Steve Christie's wRongare a musical collective, run by Steve, that have been making music since the early 1990s to the present day. He has made several albums over the years including 'Music For Department Stores', 'Nannygoat' and 'Have You Got Time For A Smash Thru.'
Under the name of Prufrock, featuring sound design artist Dolly Dolly, he released the 'Prufrock EP' - available to download from the SHOP.
In late 2002 Steve had the idea of composing a number of make believe TV themes to try and fool people into thinking they had seen the program he described. The end product was 'Children's Television Themes From A Parallel Dimension', a 40 track album with imaginary TV show themes such as 'Smack and Learn', 'Biscuits that Hurt' and 'Me Dad, 'Ee's A Murderer'. It was released in October 2003 and has been featured on several radio shows around the world. In 2007, Stuart Maconie featured it on his 'Freak Zone' show on BBC 6.
Two versions were released on CD in 2003 and 2005 respectively, the first was the 40 music track version (as is now available to download from bandcamp), and a second version (not currently available) which had Steve reading out the synopsis of each show before the tracks. A combination of all of the narrations laid on top of each other can be heard at the very end of the album. The CD issue sold out years ago, but is occasionally available in all good charity shops.
CHILDREN'S TELEVISION THEMES FROM A PARALLEL DIMENSION
ORIGINAL LINER NOTES FROM LIMITED CD ISSUE
All tracks composed by Steven Christie, except *by Steven Christie & Dave Purse, **by Dave Purse, and ***by Steven Christie and Rosie Hooper.
Steven Christie - Vocals, piano, mellotron, hammond M100, analog synth, guitars, basses, drums, percussion, cello, violin, kitchenware
Claire Small - flute, recorder, clarinet, percussion
Victoria Hooper - flute, guitar on "Human Biology"
Dave and Carolyn on "Grandy Fatty Long Legs" and "Biscuits that Hurt"
Horse and Handbag painting © 2004 by Carlie Nicholas.
All compositions and their recordings are © 2003 and P. 2003. All rights reserved.
Do you remember the good old days? when the sun was always shining, and after school you'd dash home to catch the latest episode of Danny Byron, The Tomorrow Pylons,Grand fatty long legs, or the classic Nannygoat Of The North?
No? Neither do I.
A Trip Down Damaged Memory Lane
Steve Christie, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and sound engineer and wRong, his team of talented musicians present a new 40 track collection of television themes that could have existed during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but didn't. Living off authentic boxed air from each year in question, the boys (ok, and girls) went to a studio back in time, and created some beautiful sounds out of analogue tape and synthesizers, cellos and kitchenware.
"Children's Television Themes..." - a melodious journey through the uncharted regions of TV's subconscious archives.
What they have said of CTVTFAPD...
"Really fab - my fave was probably 'Headscarf'." -
Robert Popper, of BBC TV's "Look Around You"
"One of the most original pieces of classic Englishness in pop it's been my pleasure to hear in a long time" -
Mike Alway, of El Graphic.
"I love it! just my cup of tea, and totally up my street, i adore these esoteric, cheesy, lounge, library sounds, i can't enough of it" -
WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE SYNOPSIS FOR EACH TV THEME, AND SOME HAVE ACCOMPANYING VIDEOS (MADE BY STEVE AT THE TIME.) THE FULL ALBUM CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE FROM BANDCAMP.
1. Playgroup (1976)
For many people, this show was probably the first thing they remember seeing on television. Do you remember it? Bad. Encouraged voyeurism amongst younger viewers. Children should be quiet.
2. The Tomorrow Pylons (1972)
A trio of kids read in the paper that there will be pylons in the woods near their home tomorrow, and sure enough, the next day pylons appear, but who is responsible? A six part series from 1972 featuring Janet Reigns, Torta O'Grady, Damien Lamphart, and a whole host of early BBC special video effects. Very dull and very boring.
3. Peter And The Clown (1977)
Peter is being bullied, and is so miserable that he bunks off school one rainy morning, and visits the fairground. There he meets Amazing Bill the clown - together they embark on a series of adventures where they teach Peter's adversaries a lesson by frightening them with knives. A mini-series from OTV's late seventies education programme "Stop It! Shut Up! and Listen!"
4. Smack And Learn (1978)
An educational programme for 7-11 year olds about the Dewey Decimal Index and behaviour codes in libraries - if you talk in the library you will get a big smack with a slipper! "Read quietly Children, or Fat Mrs Reynolds will get you! Shhh!"
5. Headscarf (1969)
Rhona's dad left when she was six, and since then her and her mum had been living in near poverty in a miserable flat in a small coastal village near Brighton. Rhona walks home from school one day to find her mum's plastic headscarf blowing about, and all sorts of horrible thoughts go through her head… will she ever see her mum again? Hoped to have been lost for many years, this classic from 1969 was recently unearthed from a landfill site near Aylesbury.
6. Perishing Kids (1975)
Short mid-seventies series made by the newly formed Thames Productions. The local sweet shop is plagued by light-fingered children - the shopkeeper's son gets even with his sparrowhawk.
7. Danny Byron (1976)
All the girls love Danny - he can click his fingers better than all the other guys - romance, love and letdowns in an after-school Percussion Club. "You are watching aren't you?" - yes we most certainly are!
8. Shoes Of A Stork (1982)
Cartoon made by the award winning Cosworth Hall company, about a baby-delivering, tax dodging stork with bunions - had a vast collection of handy shoes for all occasions, and many off-shore bank accounts. Music by Play Group's Eric Griffiths.
9. Beak* (1977)
Factual programme which had a successful run from 1977 to 1980. You could learn anything and everything from this fun show, provided you could read semaphore code. Had a few sets of presenters, all of which were mute and waved their arms in fury trying to communicate to the viewers. Many will remember the stop-frame animated opening titles featuring pens, string, pylons and free school milk.
10. Vet Rescue (1983)
A live-action drama centred around the A&E ward of a London Hospital for injured vets. A particularly nasty episode featured a man who had been slapped by a ferocious albatross.
11. Pebble Mill At Once! (1982)
Technically not a Children's show, but it will be remembered for the days when you were faking a stomach upset lying on the sofa with your bed sheets.
12. Sparrow's End (1980)
Nobody liked Gareth the Sparrow, because he was different from the rest of the birds. A very sad cartoon narrated by Tim Brooke-Shields. Did a lot for the gay bird movement of the early eighties - many Sparrows came out of the closet as a result of this.
13. Grandpa (1983)
Program about an old fool played by Clive Dull - a bad caretaker took all his money, but he still didn't mind, just so long as he could walk that walk and talk that talk! "Things may be bad, but make sure you stay happy kids, and keep 'em swinging!"
14. Lucy And The Sundial (1984)
Lucy's adventures of time travel, mystery, ghosts and Phillip.
15. Hundreds, Tens and Units** (1972)
A short mathematical theme created by the BBC Radiology Workshop.
16. Human Biology Is Fun and Embarrassing!*** (1977)
Fred Harrass and Sheilagh Gilbert giving children frank information on their bodies and all of the weird and wonderful things they could do. The cigarette episode was particularly memorable.
17. Jamie And The Prog Rock Dog Detectives (1976)
Jamie and Tennyson the Dog's cartoon adventures in the land of cartoon drugs and alco-pops. Featured Drunken Stanley the Binge-Monger.
18. One By One The Animals Die (1983-2003)
The title speaks for itself - a vet's practice in Highgate, London opened its doors for this highly popular show, with the ups and downs of a pet euthanasia department.
19. Play It Safe with Frisby The Duck (1980)
Brian Rigsby, with his high-arched glasses and eyes like Church windows, showing you the smells of domestic accidents with burning wire, rubber and a fine feathered side-kick with scary wings.
20. Children's Film Foundation Opening Titles (1969)
This piece was used for all the opening shots of the series of films made for kids in the late 60s/early 70s. Classics like "Brown Pew", "Jimmy the Bull" and "Waking Up Mummified" would not have been the same without the great swinging music, as supplied by Max Winkel.
21. Glove Puppet Mouse(1971)
A program full of cardboard, glue, feathers and seaweed - thrown onto a table in a heap. Spaced out tree-dweller Joe Richards played the bald beardy presenter "Yappy". Characters included Glove Puppet Mouse, Glove Puppet Mammoth, the Great Albatross, and not forgetting - Whale. Such was the working practices back in 1971, the entire series of 13 episodes was filmed in one day, and at the very end, "Yappy" killed everyone in the studio, and then himself.
22. Creative Play (1973)
A series created and presented by some balds, with some humourous sketches and songs - "always time for the party hats". A great show to lift your spirits. Whether you're with friends, or on your own - don't have nightmares.
23. The Saturday Custard Pie Cucumber (1980)
The weekend is here! Hooray! Chuck a custard pie!… no, better still, let's aim this Ford Cortina at the Off-licence and go for a smash and grab!
24. Me' Dad, 'Ee's A Murderer (1985)
"My mother, who's a Police Detective" said the little girl in the classroom, every single episode - little Johnny's dad was a murderer, and his brother Albert kept the dead in bin-bags in the cellar as fertiliser for his special mushrooms. All Johnny wanted was a little fluffy dog, but his sister kept skinning them to wear as jumpers. Our Albert had big fluffy eyebrows.
25. Firebird* (1986)
Here we have the theme from a Japanese cartoon about a futuristic 2- dimensional warlord - loving the women! Fighting against evil! Strength of a bear, courage of a lino! [lion - ed]
26. Grand Fatty Long Legs (1970)
Grand Fatty was a cartoon daddy longlegs dog, very fat and round, could barely fly - but mummy, daddy and little ratty long legs dog all took turns in throwing him into the air, or pumping him up full of hydrogen, anything to help him become airborne. In the last episode he burst and died.
27. Biscuits That Hurt** (1977)
Biscuits that hurt, Clothes That hurt, Pillows that hurt - a science program for primary age children, investigating the best way to live a safe and healthy life. Don't put shrapnel into your biscuits - Johnny Spalls demonstrates why.
28. What's The Matter? (1983)
Marc Bowlan presented this classic kids panel game, where a young child was placed in the centre of the studio, and made to cry by Frightening Pelican. The red and the blue teams then had to guess what was wrong. The more the teams got wrong, the more the child cried, and the more the Pelican laughed with wicked delight!
29. Skipping Club (1978)
Beginning with the ident from "British Bang Productions", here is the chime-bar extravaganza that accompanied the sports warm-up show. Showing you all the great exercises, but not actually ever getting down to any sport because the warm up was so tough. "It's a tough game, son, so best not take part, eh?"
30. Dendrology Club (1973)
The study of trees was big business in 1973, so much so that a really fascinating quiz-show was developed. Cliff Michaelmore presented.
31. Hair In A Bun (1971)
A group of ageing shop-assistants with hair in buns scream at the local hooligans who attempt to dress their shop-dummies in the most ridiculous outfits! Ha ha ha!
32. Hey Look! That's My Dentist! (1981)
Christopher Parris tours the country ready to pounce on someone from his mobile pink dentist's surgery towed by a bicycle. Could it be you this week? The opening titles featured his mum who he had buried under floorboards at his house, and week by week his dad would keep trying to give her a kiss, but Christopher always managed to interject with the words to the theme song, and the dad would look very angry and chase him down the street.
33. Bloons** (1979)
Another from the Radiology Workshop, this series had a group of children playing, but being secretly hunted by wolves.
34. Witches Mildren (1976)
Creepy woman presenter from 1973's "Creative Play" produced this show for kids all about modern witchcraft! Get your free pentangle and scourge on the front of this week's Television Times!
35. Nuts, Bolts and Screws (1972)
A BBC Birmingham programme that showed close up industrial shots of automated factory machines making various items. To add a bit of interest, the machines' different parts talked to each other. The end result was always pleasing.
36. Stop It, Shut Up, and Listen! (1973)
Opening sequence that accompanied many different mini-series. This one featured a cartoon of a man with crazy rainbow eyes.
37. Roy's Bouncy Castle (1969)
Silent out-takes from Hammer Horror films were edited together to form this weird 5 minute show for kids.
38. Things Aint What They Used To Be (1982)
An old man who fought in both wars who bored everyone senseless by saying "you don't know you're born", and "they don't make 'em like that anymore". Kids would get aggrevated and set fire to his garden.
39. The Boy With The Luminous Pants (1983)
Ghost tale which sent many a shiver down your back as you ate your spaghetti shapes on toast - one of the first programmes to be shown as part of Children's OTV.
40. The End (1975)
Thames Productions' ident brings this transmission to a close. Don't forget to switch off.