History of The Happy Ballroom – 21st Nov 1964. Get ready to take your partners by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin…History of the Happy Ballroom, reaches Saturday 21st November 1964 and we have signs that something is about to happen – The Pier Company have announced that from 5th December, the regular Saturday Night Dances will resume, with The Percy Howe Orchestra being the resident band. These changes have been brought about by demand, as the management have realised that changes were needed and new decorations to the Ballroom & Stage will enhance the venue and attract a different clientele looking for romance, music and togetherness. We will have to wait and see, I have posted the write up from this week’s Hastings Observer as this also shows other attractions that are available for the patrons on The Happy Ballroom and the rest of the Pier.I wonder if the changes were hastened by the arrival since July in the town of The Witch Doctor with is very effective décor, compared to the austere and cold ballroom on the end of the pier, I am sure that we all have memories of “ the Aircraft Hanger” and just how cold that could be even in the summer if the wind and rain were lashing the Pier.
Along the prom, and I know that some of you decided to ride your Bikes and Scooters along the lower Prom – naughty, naughty. When we reached the Witch Doctor, what do we have booked in for this week, some of the best attractions in the club scene?
Saturday Night sees one of the best Liverpool bands – The Playboys, supported by the Exblusive Outsiders; no doubt their name gives you some idea of the music they play. Sunday Club present the excellent Long John Baldry. Mid week attraction on Wednesday is The Radio Caroline Roadshow featuring Chris Sandford and Gay Singleton [ I am sure that she ended up on BBC TV with Blue Peter]and on Friday to start off the following weekend, Shorty & Them.
Friday Night [20] would have kicked off on ITV with Ready Steady Go, and this week it was a bumper package including – The Plebs – “Baby I’m Going to Leave You.” –Paul Williams – “Gin House Blues.”–Zephyrs – “Wonder What I’m Gonna Do.” –Marvin Gaye – “Can I Get A Witness?” –Simon Scott – “My Baby’s Got Soul.” –Kenny Lynch – “My Own Two Feet.” –Jerry Lee Lewis (backed by The Plebs) – live performances of “High Heeled Sneakers” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.” –Marvin Gaye – “How Sweet It Is.” –Them – “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” –Samantha Jones – “All Because of You.”
–The Rolling Stones – “Off The Hook,” interviews with Brian Jones & Mick Jagger, “Little Red Rooster” and “Around And Around.” With Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan.
BBC Radio & TV was living up to its reputation, on Saturday we had Saturday Club with Brian Matthews, this week the show was Tony Sheriden, The Tornados, Gus Blackhouse, The Rattles,, Johnny Phillips, Gunter Fuhlish Orkestra – the show this week came from Hamburg c/o NDR [ North German Radio] In the afternoon on Saturday Swings the line up was Swinging Blue Jeans, Mark Wynter, Julir Marlowe, Spencer Davis Group, Val Doonican, The Raindrops, Barbara Law and Wout Steenuis. Music backing by The NDO and The Bernard Hermann Orchestra. In the chair Don Wardell.
Easy Beat on Sunday featured Jackie de Shannon, Russ Sainty & The Nu Notes, Julir Rogers, The Overlanders, Johnny Howard Band, with Keith Fordyce in charge. Television on Saturday Night – 17.15hrs Juke Box Jury – David Jacob with guests – Alma Cogan, Spike Milligan, Liza Minelli and Pete Murray. Later that evening, we could have seen, if we had stayed home – Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, The Black and White Minstrel Show and later night viewing featured part 4 or a 25 part documentary The Great War [ remembering that 1964 was the 50th anniversary of the start of WW1]. Amongst the Sunday attractions, 16.40hrs Z Cars and a little later Pinky & Perky ! The count down to Christmas continues and we can see that the Pier Company are now making an attempt to make use of the Happy Ballroom – some might have thought they were turning back the clock and trying to return to the days of the Big Bands away from the Pop Groups – only time will tell, and we will continue to tell that story here on The History of the Happy Ballroom [ revamped } ?????   by Andre Martin


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