Vicki Wickham OBE
Vicki was awarded the OBE, in 2013, for service to the Music Industry, presented by HRH The Prince of Wales
Sue Clark: ‘We first met through Radio 2 and have worked together on many programmes over the last 18 years. We both share a love of American soul, r’n’b, funk, and Motown music.
Amazingly for me, Vicki knows all these artists and so through her I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of meeting many of my idols and making radio programmes with them including: Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy and Dionne Warwick.
Vicki’s a true professional and has a great reputation in the music industry; she’s also a fantastic person to go to for exactly the right advice and guidance.'
Vicki Wickham OBE started off her working life as personal assistant to producer and writer Charles Chilton at the BBC; a time when radio ‘documentaries’ came under the heading Light Entertainment.
The offices and a recording studio were at Aeolian Hall on Bond Street! Charles had produced many of The Goon Shows, written and produced the historic Journey Into Space and was producing documentaries; with music from the George Mitchell Choir, narration and script with actors and sound effects. Programmes ranged from: music from WW1 (which became Oh What a Lovely War for Joan Littlewood at Stratford East), Flanagan & Allen, a British Vaudeville comedy duo, to a History of the Mormons.
When Vicki was in her early 20s she moved on to Rediffusion TV and started as secretary to TV Executive Elkan Allan but was soon promoted to Editor which ultimately morphed into Production on the TV music programme Ready, Steady, Go! (RSG!) first broadcast in 1963. It was the only programme of its kind and launched the careers of many who now form part of our celebrated music heritage.
RSG! was ground-breaking in many ways, it also introduced the UK to American black music. She then produced The Sound of Motown, an RSG! TV Special, hosted by Dusty Springfield.
Vicki co-wrote, with Simon Napier Bell, the lyrics to You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me for Dusty Springfield, which was later recorded by Elvis Presley.
Vicki managed Dusty Springfield and launched her comeback with a collaboration, in 1987, on the Pet Shop Boys hit song What Have I Done to Deserve This? and their production of In Private.
Published in 2000 by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, Vicki co-wrote with Penny Valentine, an authorised biography of Dusty Springfield, Dancing with Demons.
She was Executive Producer of Full Circle, a documentary for BBC 1, with Dusty and French and Saunders.
Vicki received a Life Time Achievement Award from UK’s Women In Music Organisation in l999.
Vicki with Berry Gordy on stage at BBC Broadcasting house for the recording of Motown: 50 years on for BBC Radio 2
DUSTY THE MUSICAL
As MD for the UKs first R&B label Toast they had a hit with Pretty Red Balloons by Rosetta Hightower, lead singer of the Orlons.
Then with the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and Peter Brown, Vicki produced the first Sunday night rock concerts at the Saville Theatre, London. The line up included: The Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Vanilla Fudge, Fats Domino, Gladys Knight & The Pips.
Vicki then went on to run the New York office for Track Records, with best-friend Nancy Lewis (Jones) owned by The Who’s management team - Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Artists signed to label were The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Thunderclap Newman and Arthur Brown. Whilst there she signed Patti Labelle & The Bluebelles (Patti Labelle, Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx) and changed their name to Labelle. She then managed and produced them, one of their most notable hits was Lady Marmalade remembered for its chorus, Voulez vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?