Television Awakened Me to the Magic of Rock-and-Roll

Sixty years later I’m still watching

Caroline de Braganza
4 min readJan 27, 2020


(Source: MikesPhotos on Pixabay)

Not music, but an array of drama and documentaries.

I was seven years old before I saw a real television.

My Dad had removed my brother and I from my mother in London while suing for a divorce. I can assure you we enjoyed the adventure of sneaking away.

Tucked away in Surrey with our guardians, Uncle Bill, Auntie Kitty and their teenage daughter, there in the lounge stood a little black and white television set!

What a godsend that was! An escape from the terrors of the past, in a warm, normal home with entertainment to fill my empty heart.

I only remember two children’s programs — Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men and Andy Pandy — plus the police series Dixon of Dock Green.

But I’ve never forgotten The Six Five Special, a music show broadcast every Saturday at five past six. Go figure!

The program began in 1957 — the year we left London. Perfect timing!

The presentation format was a new concept — an empty set filled with performers and a milling audience who could dance or sit and watch. (That’s where I first learned to hand jive.)

We can thank our guardians’ teenage daughter for ensuring we could stay up to watch on Saturday nights.

Josephine Douglas and disc jockey Pete Murray presented the show. I remember his catchphrase “Time to jive on the old six five”.

I loved the show’s opening with footage of a steam train chugging along and the theme song playing in the background:

“The Six Five Special’s coming down the line,

The Six Five Special’s right on time…”

Two performers I remember are Tommy Steele and Elvis Presley.

(My memory may play tricks on me. I can find no evidence that Elvis appeared on the show but I saw him somewhere on TV singing Blue Suede Shoes, 1956, and Jailhouse Rock 1957.)

But life moves on and there would no television for the next fifteen years!

My Dad, had won custody in the divorce in 1958 and gifted me my first guitar to…



Caroline de Braganza

Wise Older Woman (WOW). Poetry, essays, humor. Passion for mental health, social justice, politics, diverse cultures, the world and environment.