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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

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 poprock_pr.mp4 (21.3MB).

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Additional help.

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


Outcomes for this module

Students will:

  • discuss the history of Australian TV popular music programs and their appeal to young audiences
  • analyse a video clip of an historical TV program
  • analyse the visual and aural codes and conventiosn of popular music programs on TV
  • write an article for a range of media

Curriculum links
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 5

Year 5 Reading
Students read and view texts that entertain, move, report, present opinions and persuade. Students have the opportunity to draw on their knowledge of texts and language to clarify meaning. When students read and view texts, they recognise main ideas by identifying who, what, where, when and why, and locate supporting details and background events.

Year 5 Writing
Students write texts for known readers to entertain, inform and persuade in print and electronic mediums. Students understand that writers consider their purpose for writing (eg to entertain, to inform, to persuade) and the interests of their intended readers when selecting subject matter within a chosen topic.

Year 5 Speaking and listening
Students understand that speaking and listening provides opportunities to clarify ideas and understandings on a topic, to give simple arguments and to seek the opinions of others. They understand that people, places, events and things can be portrayed in particular ways.

This is an extract only. Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English
Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.

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:
    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 Discuss:
    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. View one of the latest TV rock music programs then discuss the differences in style between the modern program and Six O’Clock Rock
  4. Write an article for a popular music website or magazine about your favourite popular music program on TV.

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