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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.

Curriculum links
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 7

Reading, viewing and interpreting texts
Students read, view and interpret imaginative, information and argument texts
texts in books, films, and on television programs, CD-ROMs and websites.
Students understand that:

  • texts can entertain and evoke emotion
  • subject matter is selected to appeal to different audiences
  • readers’ and viewers’ interpretations of texts are influenced by the knowledge and values of the groups to which they belong, and by their own experiences.
  • texts can be constructed for more than one purpose (eg to report, to present a point of view, to create a market for more readers and viewers)
  • creators of texts use their assumptions about readers and viewers to engage their interest and attention
  • aspects of subject matter are selected to appeal to, and to influence, different groups of readers and viewers.

Students write texts to entertain, inform and persuade in print and electronic mediums for unknown or specified audiences.
Students understand that writers:

  • select subject matter within a chosen topic according to purpose and audience
  • can draw on their own knowledge, experiences, thoughts and feelings
  • can draw on the subject matter and forms of texts they have heard, read and viewed.

Speaking and listening
Students speak and listen through discussions, conversations and oral presentations including prepared and spontaneous discussions, meetings, debates and group discussions. Students examine ideas and information and present arguments that are drawn from topics of interest to them and that may need to be researched.

This resource is also relevant to Media Studies: Audiences, Music on TV, History of media forms, Media in society, Representation, Media production and Codes and Conventions of TV.

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

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