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From the website From Wireless To Web.
Video clip synopsis – The opening sequence from Six O'Clock Rock - Australia's first national teenage programme on the ABC. Scott Goodings gives a history of music shows on Australian television.
Year of production - 1960
Duration - 2min 53sec
Tags - audiences, broadcasting, consumers, creativity, culture, identity, media influence, music, popular culture, teenagers, youth, see all tags


TV Pop & Rock

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About the Video Clip


This video clip is the opening sequence from popular ABC teenage programme from the 1960s Six O’Clock Rock, produced by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Six O’Clock Rock is made available by ABC Content Sales and is on the From Wireless to Web website, produced in 2005.

This interview with Scott Goodings was recorded for the website. Scott Goodings is a self-proclaimed “TV freak” and walking archive. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web.

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Students will:

  • discuss the history of Australian TV rock music program
  • analyse a video clip of an historical TV program
  • prepare a review of a recent TV program, aiming it at a specific audience
  • create a poster display of the biography of a well-known Australian involved in the development of TV pop and rock music.

Reading Standard: students view imaginative, and persuasive texts that explore ideas and information related to challenging topics, themes and issues. They identify the ideas, themes and issues explored in these texts, and provide supporting evidence to justify their interpretations. They infer meanings and messages in texts.

Writing Standard: students produce texts for a variety of purposes, including speculating hypothesising, persuading and reflecting. They write arguments that state and justify a personal viewpoint. Students improve the accuracy and readability of their writing. They edit their writing for clarity, coherence and consistency of style, and proofread and correct spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.

Speaking and Listening Standard: students express creative and analytical responses to texts, themes and issues. They critically evaluate the spoken language of others, and select, prepare and present spoken texts for specific audiences and purposes. They identify key ideas and take notes.

The activities in this digital resource are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strands of Level 5 Communications (Listening, Viewing and Responding standard; Presenting Standard), and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 5 Interpersonal Development (Building Social Relationships standard; Working in Teams standard), and Personal Learning (The Individual Learner standard; Managing Personal Learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


“Well … come on everybody, it’s six o’clock, ah-huh huh!”

The invitation to join Australia’s first 'live’ rock’n'roll show was broadcast on the ABC at 6pm on Saturday 28 February 1959. With that, rock’n'roll converged upon Australian television and captured a whole generation.

Social conservatives feared that rock’n'roll could ruin the fibre of the nation. The ABC’s weekly Six O’Clock Rock was hosted by the legendary 'wild one’ Johnny O’Keefe, King of Australian rock’n'roll. Dame Enid Lyons raised the matter in Federal Parliament. This only served to boost the ratings, and 6000 teens queued for tickets to be part of the live studio audience.

Nine months down the track, Brian Henderson’s Bandstand on TCN9 took the threat out of rock’n'roll by transforming it into something for the whole family. Neater, more clean-cut and altogether nicer, Bandstand ran for 14 years, and launched the careers of many Australian musicians.

The plug was pulled on Six O’Clock Rock in 1962 when O’Keefe moved to ATN7 to host The Johnny O’Keefe Show. The ABC followed with Hit Scene and GTK, before launching Countdown in November 1974. The iconic live music show went to air every Sunday night until 1987, hosted by Countdown frontman Ian 'Molly’ Meldrum and a parade of celebrity guest hosts. Appearances on Countdown were pivotal for national and international acts.

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    In class, view the video clip interview with Scott Goodings, and the extract from the ABC rock music TV program Six O’Clock Rock, then discuss and make notes on the following:
    1. Explain what Scott Goodings means when he refers to the TV program Countdown as ‘egalitarian’.
    2. In Goodings’ opinion, why is TV program Australian Idol important?
    3. From the written information presented on-screen in the clip from Six O’Clock Rock, what does this TV program claim itself to be?
    4. Who is the singer featured on the clip’s soundtrack?
  2. Analysing the Six O’Clock Rock clip
    Draw a table with three columns labelled Music, Sound Effects and Vision. Into each column write a description of all the events you hear or see, in chronological order, from the Six O’Clock Rock clip. Using the information in your table, write an analysis of the clip in about 150–200 words, discussing the ways in which the opening titles for the program were designed to appeal to teenagers. To assist you, consider the following:
    1. the use of sound effects
    2. the use of visual effects
    3. the different images of clocks
    4. the style of music and the singer’s voice
    5. the link between camera ‘cuts’ (or editing) and the music.
  3. Reviewing rock music programs
    View one of the latest TV rock music programs then write, edit and proofread a review of it in 300 words for a magazine aimed at the 11–14 age group.
  4. Creating a poster display
    In pairs research and create an informative poster display biography of Johnny O’Keefe or Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, showing his importance in the development of TV rock and pop music in Australia. (In consultation with your teacher, you may select someone else known for their contribution.)

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to The Unofficial Johnny O’Keefe Page

Go to The Early Years, George Negus Tonight, 17 November 2003, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Go to The Countdown Years, George Negus Tonight, 16 June 2003, Australian Broadcasting Corporation