Hit Scene was an Australian popular music television series produced and broadcast by ABC TV. The thirty-minute weekly series debuted on 10 May 1969 and was broadcast until 16 December 1972.
Hit Scene was developed by the ABC's Light Entertainment department, under the supervision of the Director of Television Programs, Ken Watts. The series was hosted by Melbourne radio announcer Dick Williams. Williams had previously hosted ABC's Hit Parade, which was broadcast only in Victoria as part of their Saturday afternoon Sportsview programme, and was chief reviewer on Radio Australia's 'International Record Review' short wave service. Hit Scene was regularly broadcast at 2.10 p.m. (AEST) on Saturdays, after Sportsview, with the timeslot adjusted if it clashed with a scheduled sporting fixture. The first episode was seen only in Melbourne due the ABC's sporting commitments in other Australian states. The final episode was an hour-long special. Each episode would feature interviews with Australian musicians or a touring international artist, an in-house performance by an Australian musical artist, film footage of an overseas musical act, music charts from around Australia, and reviews of new releases. Hit Scene also broadcast special concerts during weekdays, including the farewell Australian concert of Max Merritt and the Meteors (Monday 8.00 p.m., 13 July 1970) before their first North American tour.
Early episodes of Hit Scene featured a musically themed introduction track 'Mr. Eliminator' by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, backing Brisbane band the Avengers (not be be confused with the New Zealand band of the same name and time period) appearing and disappearing at various locations across Melbourne, along with compère Williams driving his Holden GT Monaro to the ABC studios. The Avengers appeared in-person on the first national episode on 17 May 1969, promoting their latest EMI single 'Tweedelee Dee' (composed by Terry Britten). Unlike GTK, in-house performances were mostly mimed to pre-recorded music. This may have played a part in Hit Scene's demise for 1973, when a Musicians' Union and Actors Equity ruling was made on 1 November 1972 to ban all mimed performances on Australian television.
Hit Scene was recorded at the Ripponlea television studios in Elsternwick, Victoria. The series was filmed in monochrome. Early episodes were produced by Bernard Terry, and directed by Roger Prior, with Alan Morris as executive producer. Brian Rodgers, Paul Brown, Ron Cromb, and Dick Robins provided technical production. Art work and set design was overseen by Peter Redman. The stylised graphics and logo were designed by Vivienne Adolphus.
In popular culture
A female greyhound (1971-1979) was named after the television series.
Since 2001, select episodes of Hit Scene have featured on Rage summer specials on ABC TV.
- Bowden, Tim and Borchers, Wendy (2006) 50 Years Aunty's Jubilee!: Celebrating 50 Years of ABC TV, Sydney: ABC Books. ISBN 9780733318405 (OCLC 77549053).
- Inglis, Kenneth Stanley and Brazier, Jan (2006) This is the ABC: the Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1932-1983, Second edition. Melbourne: Black Inc. ISBN 9781863951814 (OCLC 748507374).
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