The Happy Ballroom – 3rd/4th July 1964 The Kinks & Ted ‘Kingsize’ Taylor by Andre Martin

The summer days continue and here we are at the first weekend in July, and what a busy time it was to be in The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier. The weekend starts of in true style on Friday 3rd with the local College of Further Education Summer Dance, and top of the bill – The Kinks, who had been down a few weeks earlier in May and given a very entertaining show to the crowds. For those of you who follow the History of The Happy Ballroom, you will have seen in a previous post details of a write up that had been made for the College Rag Mag – HOW and this gave details of the Kinks first single that had just been released and was now starting to move up the charts. Another little known story about this dance was that, back a few weeks when this dance was being planned, the college were offered as headliners a band from the North East, who were starting to make an impact, but it was decided to go for the Kinks for this date. The unselected outfit were The Animals, who had just released “The House of the Rising Sun” and would reach no 1 by the end of that month. The supporting group – The Classmates all that is known is that they were a 4 piece from south London, possible connection was that the Kinks were from Croydon Art College and they could have been from the same management. This was to be another first for the college, as the end time of the dance was to be extended to 3.00am, a little longer for everybody to enjoy the night than usual, when the dances would end by 2.00am.
Now for Saturday 4th July – no reference to American Independence Day – how things would change by the 1980s, the Headliners are King Size Taylor and the Dominos, and in support another regular and favourite of the crowd in the Happy Ballroom – Earl Sheridan and The Houseshakers.
The Dominoes were originally formed in north Liverpool, in 1957, from a school skiffle group called the Sinners, The following year, Ted “Kingsize” Taylor- so called for his 6′ 5″ height – joined as lead vocalist and guitarist. By summer 1960, the group were being billed as Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes. They first performed at the Cavern Club in January 1961, when they featured 17 year old singer Cilla White, who was mistakenly renamed Cilla Black later that year by Bill Harry in an article in his magazine Mersey Beat Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes were signed by Decca Records in Germany, and also recorded there for the Philips and Ariola labels. In 1963 they recorded an album, Live At The Star Club for Ariola, with whom they had a recording contract, but were also persuaded to make a separate album for Polydor. The album, Let’s Do the Slop, Twist, Madison, Hully Gully…, was released under the pseudonym of The Shakers. Three singles from the album – “Money”, “Whole Lotta Lovin'”, and “Hippy Hippy Shake” – were released by Polydor in the UK. All the recordings by Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes were covers of rock and roll and rhythm and blues songs by other artists; they wrote no songs themselves. Their biggest success in Germany was a version of Solomon Burke’s “Stupidity”, also released on the Decca label in the UK. While in Germany, they also performed regularly in Kiel and Berlin, and acted as backing group for Alex Harvey, before returning to the UK to back Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins on tour in 1964. They also appeared on the British TV show Ready Steady Go!
Here from 1964 –
That was a good weekend for all the youngsters here in Hastings. Nothing to report on the RSG front as for some reason nothing has been shown as scheduled, but earlier in the week on the BBC fledgling pop show Top of the Pops it featured Animals, Brian Poole & The Trems, Peter & Gordon and the Stones.
Another interesting historical fact for this week, that did in time have links with the Happy Ballroom – on Friday 3rd July – Fontana Records released I’m Fine by the Hi Numbers, who would change their name within the next few days to be The Who – but their appearances on the Pier will have to wait for another occasion.                           Andre Martin


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Ties in with a comment at the end of the History of the Happy Ballroom weekly write-up. The WHO would appear several times over the coming years.

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