TV UK TV

Rock Follies (ITV 1976-77 Rula Lenska, Julie Covington)

Rock Follies

Musical drama series Rock Follies was a totally original take on the harsh realities of the music business which over the course of two seasons followed female rock band trio The Little Ladies as they try to make it.

The three were Anna Lynd, Devonia “Dee” Rhoades and Nancy “Q” Cunard de Longchamps and as they strived for the top they had more than their share of downs amongst the ups. Exploitation was everywhere but the girls were determined to make it on their talents and not their bodies. For the second batch of episodes the series was renamed Rock Follies of 77 and the girls got a new agent in the shape of pushy American Kitty Schreiber as well as a new band member in the shape of Rox.

Nicely stylised and with lots of musical moments in every episode Rock Follies was highly popular at the time generating two albums and a hit single (called O.K.). All of the music was original and written by Roxy Music alumni Andy Mackay (who around this time also contributed the memorable opening theme to Armchair Thriller). There were especially strong scripts from the excellent Schuman and the girls had a great dynamic. Julie Covington then a big star of West End musicals was nominally the lead singer but all three contributed equally to the overall vibe of the songs.

A stunningly good series, easily the equal to something like Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven with it’s fantasy musical moments.

Rock Follies

The Little Ladies in action.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Thames

RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 12 | AIRDATES: 24 February 1976 – 1977

WRITER: Howard Schuman | MUSIC: Andy Mackay | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Verity Lambert | PRODUCER: Andrew Brown

cast
CHARLOTTE CORNWELL as Anna Wynd
JULIE COVINGTON as Devonia “Dee” Rhoades
RULA LENSKA as Nancy “Q” Cunard de Longchamps
EMLYN PRICE as Derek Huggin
BILLY MURRAY as Spike
STEPHEN MOORE as (season one)
BETH PORTER as Kitty Schreiber (season two)
SUE JONES-DAVIES as Rox (season two)
DENIS LAWSON as Ken Church (season two)
BOB HOSKINS as Johnny Britten (season two)
NELL CAMPBELL as Sandra (season two)
DEREK THOMPSON as Harry Moon (season two)

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 24 February – 30 March 1976
1. THE SHOW BUSINESS (24 Feb 1976)
2. THE LITTLE LADIES (2 Mar 1976)
3. THE ROAD (9 Mar 1976)
4.THE TALKING PICTURES (16 Mar 1976)
5. THE POUNDS STERLING (23 Mar 1976)
6. THE BLITZ (30 Mar 1976)

SEASON TWO 4 May – 8 June 1977
1. THE BAND WHO WOULDN’T DIE (4 May 1977)
2. THE EMPIRE (11 May 1977)
3. THE HYPE (18 May 1977)
4. THE LOONY TUNES (25 May 1977)
5. THE DIVORCE (1 June 1977)
6. THE REAL LIFE (8 June 1977)

NOTE: Some sources will list an extra episode for season two called THE EXTRAVAGANZA SHOW this is actually the first three episodes of season two re-edited to a two hour special for a repeat screening which began 21 November 1977.