The Happy Ballroom & more. 1st May 1965 by Andre Martin


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

This is another quiet weekend in The Happy Ballroom – nothing booked to appear – perhaps because of the excitement that was caused last week with the Tom Jones Show, time will tell, the press gave the show a good write-up and I have attached with this blog, just what they said. Its Saturday 1st May 1965, and it’s not a Bank Holiday Weekend, as the May Day would not be introduced until 1978.
The weekend had started off with Ready Steady Go, and this week top of the bill was Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, also on the show was Beatrice Redding, with Cathy and Keith at the helm.
Our other main entertainment venue in the town, The Witch Doctor, was also recovering from the great Friday Night when Van Morrison & Them appeared. Saturday’s double bill would this week feature a couple of favourites in the club Christians Crusaders + The Prophets. Sunday Club The Mark Four, Records Monday to Thursday, with the local lads, and Friday night The Mystics.
BBC Radio was offering a good selection, with Saturday Club – Brian Matthews introducing –P.J.Proby, Cilla Black, The Searchers, Roger Miller, The Zombies, Sounds Incorporated and John Mayalls Bluebreakers. Later in the day Saturday swings introduced The Migil Five, Mary May The Checkmates and The Dalys. Brian Matthews was back at 4.00pm with Top Gear, and this week it was the turn of Tom Jones & The Squires, Doris Troy and The Tommy Sands Orchestra.
Sunday morning it was Easy Beat with The Rockin Berries, Lulu & The Luvvers, Wout Steenhuis and the Johnny Howard Band.
Pop music Television over the weekend would include – Thank Your Lucky Stars, with Brian Matthews and his guests – The Merseybeats, Sounds Incorporated, Cilla Black and Julie Grant. Juke Box Jury in the capable hands of David Jacobs had as his guests : Chris Andrews, Dora Bryan, Dave Clark and Sarah Miles
I cannot remember any May Day Celebrations, Morris Dancing or the like, how things have changed over the years. Anyway until the next episode of the History of The Happy Ballroom, take care and fingers crossed that we get some nice weather.
Andre Palfrey-Martin (c) 2015

The Happy Ballroom and more – 12th April 1965 by Andre Martin

The Happy Ballroom will this week 50 years ago be holding the South Eastern Young Conservatives Dance according to the Hastings Observer and tickets are available from the Toll House. No more information about the band or was this to be a “togetherness event” bringing back the romance to the Pier. Watch out for next week, as we see the return to Hasting Pier of The Searchers, plus local attractions Saxtet 65.
The weekend had started well with, Ready Steady Go, now in the hands of Cathy McGowan and new fellow compare David Goldsmith. There had been a recent policy change, and now acts appeared live, this week The Animals – “Bring it on home to me”: Madeline Bell “Daytime” and together they gave a very powerful rendition of “ C C Rider”: Dave Berry “Little Things” : Goldie & The Gingerbreads –“Can’t you hear my heartbeat”: Roger Miller “ King of the Road” : Rolling Stones “ Everybody needs somebody to Love” “Pain in my heart” “I’m allright” and “The Last Time” and now the regular back-up from the Breakaways and The Johnny Spencer Orchestra. The St Leonards answer to the Scene – The Witch Doctor, was building up to the Bank Holiday Weekend, with on Saturday on of the most popular groups of the circuit – John L Watson & the Hummelflugs plus Dave Lee and the Rebounds. Sunday Club, new to the south-east, The Falling Leaves and Friday [Good Friday] Dusty Springfield’s backing group – The Echoes. The rest of the week,” Great Record Nights” with the regular team of platter spinners. I know for many that have fond memories of this time, Radio was so important and perhaps we did not realise at the time, there was a lot on offer, Pirate Radio and Radio Luxemburg were aimed more at the Teen age market, but the BBC were putting out some interesting programme. Saturday morning it would be 10.00am on The Light Programme – Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews – and this week he introduced Adam Faith, Freddie & the Dreamers, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Animals, Roulettes, Silkie, the Sound of Jimmy Nicols and the Tommy Sanderson Orchestra. In the afternoon, Saturday Swings – Tom Jones & the Squires, Lita Roza, Dick Jordan and the Bill Rayner Quartet with Bruce Wyndham spinning some discs. This was followed at 4.00pm by “an express delivery of Pop Packages and Discs” with Top Gear, with Brian Matthews in charge and this week featuring the Supremes and the Temptations plus the Yardbirds. Later that night at 11.00pm amongst Pete Murray’s guests on “Late Night Saturday” was Cliff Richard talking and playing tracks from his new LP “Cliff Richard & The Shadows”
Sunday regulars were 10.31am Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and this week his guests included Kenny Ball & his Jazzmen, Doris Troy [ed -calm down Colin] the Lorne Gibson Trio with the Johnny Howard Band. Later in the day after our visit to London and Cologne with this weeks 2 Way Family Favourites, at 2.00pm The Ken Dodd Show with a special appearance of the Doddy Men – sorry I was carried away – I mean The Swinging Blue Jeans.Television regulars on Saturday: “Juke Box Jury” with David Jacobs, and this week’s guests – Hermione Gingold, “that most Happy Fella” Stubby Kaye, Tom Springfield and Dionne Warwick. Over on the Commercial channel “Thank your Lucky Stars” in the capable hands of Brian Matthews featured: The Kinks, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Donovan, the Seekers, the Walker Brothers and Alan David, and dear Janice still adding up the scores. Next weekend would be a Bank Holiday, and I know that some people were wondering if trouble would return to this quiet part of the Sussex coast, would we see Mods and Rockers back? Certainly nothing had been mentioned in the local press about any preparations, so it was down to speculation which was all very low key. Time will tell, for some, it was starting to think about looking for a summer season job, as that was not that far away, I recall filling form for a job with Butlins – but that as they say is another story. Until next week, and another instalment of The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, the true story of what was happening for us in Hastings & St Leonards !

Andre Palfrey-Martin©2015


Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 13th March 1965 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Mid March already, and we had similar weather 50 years ago, a mixture of some days Cold and other warm, the only different is that in 1965 we had Snow at the beginning of the month! Saturday 13th March 1965 in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier saw the usual programme of The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra providing music for both “pop” dancing and the more traditional “togetherness”. The Witch Doctor in Marine Court was working Seven Days a Week, with a variety for the young people of the town. Saturday night, a double bill. – Guy Darrell and The Midnighters, supported by Jon Best and The Challengers. Sunday Club – Johnny B Great and The Quotations. A change was planned for mid week – Thursday Night was now branded Big Rave Night with all the TOP records. Friday it was Sonny Child and the Elder Consolidates. We had started the weekend with Friday night – Ready Steady Go, this week Keith and Cathy had presented a good variety – Donovan “ Catch the Wind” – Gerry and The Pacemakers “ I’ll be there” Francoise Hardy “ All Over the World”, The Temptations and Little Stevie Wonder. And from Brighton, Gary Farr and the T Bones. BBC Radio Light programme had kept up the pop provision [ perhaps driven by the competition from the Pirates ] Saturday Club : Ivy League, Danny Williams, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, Tammy St John, The Artwoods and Long John Badry. Brian Matthews would be spinning top discs. Saturday Swings at 2.00pm with Clinton Ford, Patsy Ann Noble, The Travellers, with the Morgan James Duo. Brian Matthews was back at 4.00pm with Top Gear – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and Roy Orbison.Sunday was Easy Beat time, Matt Monro, Kenny Ball and the Johnny Howard Band. Juke Box Jury was taking a break, but on the commercial channel – Thank Your Lucky Stars was going strong – Bachelors, Joe Brown & the Bruvvers, Troy Dante, Marianne Faithful, Moody Blues, Them and Tommy Roe with Brian Matthews and Janice Nicholls. There is not much else to report from 1965, things have settled down and we are all looking forward to the Easter Weekend, but that would be some 4 weeks away, and would the Mods & Rockers Invasions return ? Until we answer that question, you all take care out there, wrap up warm and hope that the month will “go out like a lamb, and not like a Lion “.    Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015.

The Talismen – Top Hastings group from 1964 to 1967

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Supplied by Peter Millington Hastings Groups from 1958 to the present – photos Lloyd Johnson

Peter Millington… The Talismen – One of the best Hastings Groups between 1964 and 1967. Chris Sayer, Keith (Budge) Harrison, Henry Harvey and Peter (Jonah) Jones. Pictures from Lloyd Johnson. Sadly, Chris, Budge and Henry have all passed away.

Yvonne Cleland… I think this is the band that came round to our house and played a few numbers when I was a baby in a cot. Chris played something, and I plunked along with him on my red plastic guitar!

Jon McCallion… Had lunch with Chris nearly every day in the early 70s. Lovely man.