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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 - broadcasting, changing communities, entertainment, media industry, music, popular culture, technology, teenagers, television programs, 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.

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


Making and Producing

  1. Music Video
    Produce your own music video clip. In your production think about the following:
    1. editing on the beat of the soundtrack
    2. use of lip-syncing
    3. use of post-production techniques to stylise the video.
  2. View the archival video clip, then make your own introduction to Six O’Clock Rock that is more contemporary and fitting for the new millennium.

Critical and Historical study

  1. Play the broadcaster interview.
    1. What does it tell you about the popularity of rock’n’roll shows in the 1960s?
    2. Why and when did the first rock’n’roll shows begin production?
    3. What did Tim Bowden say about growing up as a teenager in Australia in the 1950s?
    4. How did rock’n’roll change the way teenagers thought and acted?
  2. Select a music video clip and use the scaffold below to write a critical analysis of the music clip.
    1. Establishment of mood and stylising the video.
    2. Development of narrative within the music clip or focus on the performance of the musicians.
    3. Reference to films or artworks (often music videos will pay tribute to the practice of other artists and producers).
    4. Connectivity between the music and the video – do the two complement each other or is there a disjuncture between them?
    5. Look at the archival video clip of Six O’Clock Rock and compare it to a contemporary music program like Rage. What are the differences and similarities of these two shows that deal with popular music of their times?

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