Saw this on a vhs collectors page..basically says someone had every single ep of Countdown on vhs and gave them back to the abc
Amazing if true. I think most of us would love to see them regardless of the quality. Imagine seeing even a fraction of those missing 70's eps. Heaven!
And you all believe in the tooth fairy? What format would they have recorded on in 1974/75? Wouldnt be VHS or even Beta thats for sure, not in Australia...take that information with a grain of salt. Some missing Countdown material has been returned to the ABC, but it isnt full episodes..just segments...
Talking about Countdown segments, its odd that they did not pull out the first Countdown Episode they have with Meatloaf hosting in 1978, they do have the opening titles and the bit where he comes out on a motorbike, introduces the first live act The Angels which exists in full.
The guy worked as an archivist at the ABC. He seemed to know what he was talking about.
I wouldnt believe what I see on facebook....if the ABC had all the episodes they would certainly have publicised that fact by now....Of course I would love to be proven wrong - but I can almost guarantee that it is not true...
I clicked on the link you provided above Jase, and strangely it now says the post has been deleted ...funny about that....
Just checked and the post regarding the off air Countdown's is still there. Member's name is Rod O'hara
It's still there
I joined up to the group after answering some inane questions about selling/trading VHS, I became a member, but all I see is this:
This content isn't available right now
When this happens, it's usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people, changed who can see it or it's been deleted.
Works for me, link takes to me to a post started by James Paterson - Rod's post is in the comments section.
Thanks Gary - that explains it now - I know whats going on...
That's cool. I'm a bit sceptical as well but hopeful at the same time.
A friend of mine messaged me about this and this was the conversation:
Hi Jason, I just noticed this on a facebook post from a VHS/Beta Collectors Australia page and something very interesting came from it. Rod O'Hara
I worked at the ABC TV Archive until end of 2017, and we were still using U-matic tapes that hadn't been digitally transferred yet.
also, when the ABC switched from film to videotape the powers that be decided that rather than archive program and rushes, because videotape was reusable it was deemed in the interest of saving money to just tape over certain things. This included a lot of episodes of Countdown, and "off-air" recordings of the 7pm news, which were lost forever. Someone rang the ABC archive and said they had a lot of ABC recordings on VHS. An archivist went to check it out and discovered this person had recorded every episode of Countdown (plus heaps of other stuff) on VHS. We got the tapes and digitally transferred and remastered the sound, and the collection was re-completed (although not in broadcast quality, but pretty close to). /sorry for the essay!
I hope this is true, I am not sure how to find out though!
Rod O'Hara that’s a cool story!
Rod O'Hara so all those lost 70s countdowns are back in the archive?
Jason Robson yep, but some are just vhs dubs from off air, not the transmission copy (so mixed audio, supers etc)
Rod O'Hara so they could broadcast them? They can't be as bad as some of the YouTube rips we see from time to time that look horrible
Jason Robson I don’t think they’ve broadcast complete shows, but we used segments in obituaries of artist that performed on there, or on Rage if there weren’t any other clips of a certain artist.
Rod O'Hara good to know they are not completely lost forever then..thanks for the info
In response to the comments made by Rod
VHS was not used domestically in Australia till 1980 so it would not be possible to have any recordings of Countdown on this format prior to then - they would have to be have been transferred from Phillips, U-Matic, National Cartridge or Betamax (post 1978).
The "lost" 1970s Countdowns are not all back in the archive
No segments from lost episodes have been used in artist obituaries or other specials, only episodes that already existed.
I contacted Rod to find out more and this is what he has said so far:
Hi Nathan - I am *reasonably* sure the ABC archive has a complete collection, but only some are on VHS (or dubbed from VHS and remastered). I can try and find out out from former colleagues exactly though, it’s been 4 years since I worked there and it amazing how quickly you forget things! Cheers, Rod
I assume that home video recording equipment would have been majorly expensive back then, compared to now. It was probably out of reach for most people, or at least not terribly common.
Plus, tapes are clunky and take up a lot of space. I can't imagine someone having hundreds of tapes of Countdown recorded form TV lying around, which they've still kept 45-ish years later, and not said anything about them to the ABC archives department - being that big a fan of Countdown and surely knowing many of the 70s episodes are lost - until recently.
VHS home recordings, especially those that are decades old, are never "close to" broadcast quality. That doesn't mean they couldn't be aired; just they are nowhere near the quality of a broadcast tape. It doesn't seem like this Rod person knows what they are talking about.
Re-dubbing the audio for Countdown episodes doesn't really work, because you've got audience cheer, voice over, and the presenters speaking, throughout. You can't re-dub any of that; just the music.
Jason is correct, and you have all totally missed the point as well - it is not possible to have a VHS "off air" recording of any missing Countdown prior to 1980, as the recorders were not available in this country...only Betamax, U-Matic, Phillips N1500 and National Cartridge were available in the 70s and were out of the price range for 98% of the population. And the other 2% sure as hell were not recording Countdown every week, even if they could have afforded the huge cost of blank tape..most people had to re-use them out of necessity, and there was no thought at the time that the TV stations wouldnt be able to keep older material, such knowledge was restricted to the "inner workings" of the TV industry and wasnt even a thought for the rest of us.
As to the assertion that "I am *reasonably* sure the ABC archive has a complete collection" lol
I am absolutely sure they dont
Two "off air" recovered episodes have been sent to the ABC, one from July 1978, incomplete and not in broadcast quality, and a July 1977 hosted by Jon English which was in good enough quality to have been re-screened on Rage a couple of times now - with the opening titles cleverly added in from a "Breakers and Titles" Segment tape the ABC archives had..other than that, only segments from missing shows have been located and returned to the ABC.
Never rely on social media for reliable information, even from someone who has worked in the archives and really should know better than to engage in guesswork just to give people a sense of excitement, and ultimately false hope.....
talking of lost episodes. how were the john paul young/sally boyden/ bay city rollers interview 1975 found? looks like u-matic tape. was it recorded off-air in 1975 or by someone when the masters were wiped in the 1980's and taken home and kept for years?
odd how the full story has not been told and if these were found then there could well be more out there.
The footage from all three of those performances were from a home recording (on a National Cartridge recorder) made by Sally Boyden's family back in 1975. They made recordings of much of Sally's career, mainly on Young Talent Time, but in this case Countdown. Sadly, not the entire show was recorded, as the family just wanted certain performances, mainly of Sally herself. The other songs/interviews are a bonus. It was digitally recorded and is now safely kept in the NFSA and made available to the ABC for rage.
What was a national cartridge recorder? An early video recorder?