The Who: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

The BBC Audition

On Friday February 12, 1965 The Who auditioned for the BBC by performing three songs – Baby Don’t You Do It Now, Luby Come Home, and Shout and Shimmy.

The seven member “Talent Selection Group” had mixed opinions on the group, ranging from “overall not very original and below standard” and “a border-line pass” to “in all a pleasant and commercial sound”. One member of the panel did nail it though with this comment –

“the sort of group that with the right material and production could very easily make a hit, a well rehearsed competent group.”

At the time of this audition The Who’s first single “I Can’t Explain” was out but it had not yet hit the charts. That would come just eight days later on February 20 when it broke into the UK charts at #45.

It wasn’t long after when The Who made their chance appearance on Top of the Pops. They were asked to fill in after another group cancelled their appearance on the “Tip for the Top” segment. Roger Daltrey remembers the flight to Manchester to record the show because it was his first time on an airplane and he had the comfort of holding Marianne Faithful’s hand as she too was appearing on the show.

Shout and Shimmy would become the B-side to My Generation.

Hear how The Who made the charts in 1965. Listen to Part 4 of The Who: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts – Snakes & Ladders