ARD (ended 1972)



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The legendary West German rock series Beat-Club was broadcast from September 1965 through December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, Germany and produced by the regional TV network Radio Bremen, which at that time was part of the German Government radio chain ARD. Radio Bremen was the sole producer for episodes 1 – 34. Episodes 35 through 74 were produced jointly by Radio Bremen and the WDR network. Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch. Gerhard ("Gerd") Augustin was a well-known disc jockey in Bremen and northern Germany. In 1963 he was the first DJ to spin records at local clubs. He was a moderator (co-host) of the first seven Beat-Club shows.

Michael Leckebusch, a former trumpet player in a theatre band in Hamburg, came to work for Radio Bremen's TV station in 1965. He became the director of Beat-Club. Uschi Nerke joined Augustin as co-host of Beat-Club. She started with the first show and remained with the series through the end of its run. (She was not, however, involved in the concept or creation of the show.) Beat-Club premiered September 25, 1965. While this premiere episode may appear tame, the TV network at the time feared complaints by parents and other adults who didn't like rock music. This show, in fact, began with a plea by German TV personality William Wieben for tolerance. Rough translation: "Good day, dear Beat friends. The time has come. In few seconds we will begin the first show on German television made especially for you. As for you Ladies and Gentlemen who do not like Beat (rock) music, we ask for your understanding: this is a live show for young people. And now we're taking off..."

is believed to have been Germany's first rock music series. Beat-Club should not be confused with another German TV series, Beat! Beat! Beat!, which premiered in 1966. Beat! Beat! Beat! was produced in a different city (Frankfurt am Main), by the regional network Hessischer Rundfunk. The series went through many format changes in its 7 years on the air. At first the show took on a (sort of) Cavern Club look. The walls behind the stage were brick - no fancy sets. The bands performed live while audience members were shown dancing. Sometime after show #8, Dave Lee Travis became a co-host. Travis had been a D.J. with "Radio Caroline," a pirate radio station that broadcasted into Britain from an offshore ship. Eddie Vickers, a soldier with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), appeared sporadically as host during 1966-67.

Dave Lee Travis' last appearance as host was on episode #45. His replacement was Dave Dee, of "Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky, Mick & Titch." Dave Dee appeared on episodes 46 through 53.

Around 1967, the series switched from live performances to lip-synching. The look of the set also changed, from the brick walls to the more familiar set with large cards in the background displaying the names of the performers. Another change around this time was the introduction of the "Go-Go-Girls," a troupe of young women who danced to recordings of current hits.

"Beat Club" switched from black & white to color on December 31, 1969 (episode #50). Starting with episode 46 (September 1969) most of the music guests started performing live again.

The final Beat-Club program aired in December 1972. The series was replaced by Musikladen, which lasted until 1984. Uschi Nerke was a co-host on Musikladen from 1972-1980.

Alan Price

Alan Price


Dave Dee

Dave Dee

host (1969-70, shows 46 - 53)

Dave Lee Travis

Dave Lee Travis

host (1966-69, shows 9 - 45)

Eddie Vickers

Eddie Vickers

host (appeared sporadically 1966-67)

Gerd Augustin

Gerd Augustin

host (1965-66, shows 1 - 7)

Uschi Nerke

Uschi Nerke

host (1965-72, shows 1 - 83)

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  • It is great to be able to look back and see what was happening in the late sixties and early seventies

    It is great to be able to look back and see what was happening in the late sixties and early seventies. Did the stars really dress and look like we remember them?. In this case, yes, some of the episodes of Beat Club really show how bad the taste in dress was at times. However as we like Gene Pitney in particular and so little of what he did was recorded we are just glad to get the chance to see these shows occasionally.moreless

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