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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, media, media and society, media production, television programs, youth, see all tags


TV Pop & Rock

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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


Students will:

  • discuss the history of Australian TV rock music programs
  • analyse a video clip of an historical TV program
  • compare production styles of rock music programs from two different eras
  • present a modern song in the style of Six O’Clock Rock.

Curriculum links
Students are required to view and discuss media from a variety of past and present social and cultural perspectives. Students should also demonstrate an understanding of how the media represents values in the social, cultural and historical contexts in which they are produced.
This is a guide only. 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. From the written information presented on-screen in the clip from Six O’Clock Rock, what does this TV program claim itself to be?
    2. Who is the singer featured on the clip’s soundtrack?
    3. In Goodings’ opinion, why is TV program Australian Idol important?
  2. Analysing the Six O’Clock Rock clip
    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.
    6. the main difference between this program and modern rock music programs.
  3. View one of the latest TV rock music programs, then in groups choose a popular song and create a presentation of it in the style of Six O’Clock Rock. This could be dramatic or produced on video.

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