History of The Happy Ballroom – Sat 28th November 1964 – Togetherness Dancing. by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

In the History of the Happy Ballroom we move on to Saturday 28th November 1964 – in anticipation of the new policy of “ Togetherness Dancing” in the Ballroom, the countdown has started to next Saturday – only a week to go, and we will then know just what surprises the Pier Management has waiting for its patrons, old and new – but I have attached a press cutting from this Saturdays Hastings Observer, to give you some clues.
What else have the young people in the town followed over the weekend, The Weekend Starts Here – with Ready Steady Go on ITV on Friday evening, and the line up this weekend, under the control [ that’s putting it mildly ] with Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan – It’s a Beatles Special, this is the 3rd time that the Liverpool 4 have taken over most of the show, and this week’s music included “I Feel Fine”,” She’s A Woman”, “Baby in Black “, “Kansas City” and there was a competition to pick a young girl from the audience to have her photo taken and she had the opportunity to speak with the boys “on Camera” perhaps that was her 15 minutes of Fame, who knows ! Also on the programme – Kim Weston “ A ltlle More Love”, the Isley brothers “” Stagger Lee” and “Last Girl”, Sandie Shaw “?”, The Searchers “ What have I done to the Rain”, Billy J Kramer “Tennessee Waltz” and the Zombies “ Sumertime” – so it was a packed programme.
Radio Caroline was going strong with its range of programmes, and as you will have seen last week, the Witch Doctor was the venue for one of the Radio Caroline Roadshow visits that were making the rounds in the South – and we would see more of them in the future. Advanced notice – MV Galexy in on route………………………………
The BBC offering to the weekend, was packed with music [ I could be cynical and say that managers has been pulling all the strings to their artistes on air to plug their releases as Christmas was just a few weeks away] Saturday – BBC Light Programme – 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews and featuring this week The Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Martha & Vandellas, Peter Lee Stirling, The Bruisers, The Plebs [How Current] The Reg Tilsey Group. In the afternoon at 2.00pm Saturday Swings with Don Wardell and keeping him company in the studio – Billy J Kramer, The Hollies, Barron Knights, The Kestrels, Johnny Duncan and The Blue Grass Boys, and all the backing from the Northern Dance Orchestra [NDO to many]
TV that evening would include Juke Box Jury – with David Jacobs in control of the Bell or Buzzer, and helping him Jean Metcalfe [ from Family Favourites and incidentally we would hear a 3 way link up on Sunday with Cologne[BAOR] and Singapore[BFBS] – also on the panel Morecombe and Wise. For those who stayed at home and watched TV – Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green would keep you company.
Sunday BBC Radio Light Programme at 10.31am East Beat – The Searchers, Lulu, Spencer Davis, and by special request of Mr & Mrs Breeds of Hastings in Sussex – Wout Steenhuis, The Eric Delaney Big Band all under the control of Keith Fordyce.
Club goers making the trip to the Darkest parts of St Leonard’s [ Some parents thought that The Pam Dor Coffee Bar and The Witch Doctor were the worst dens of iniquity ] The line up for this weekend and week were – Saturday Trendsetters Ltd with Guy Darrell & The Midnighters, The Sunday Club featured – The Micky Finns, and Wednesday brought the return to the town, this time not on the Pier of Lord Sutch & The Savages, Friday brought the week to a close with Johnny Mike & The Shades.
Next week – all change on the Pier, it will be interesting to see just how successful this was, the run up to Christmas starts with a lot of the local firms starting to hold their Christmas Parties, and how we were spoilt for choice of where to go, and there is something in the air………….. but more of that in the next instalment of “The History of the Happy Ballroom”
2014 © Andre Palfrey Martin

Alan Mitchell… I remember the Confederates practicing The Beatles She’s A Woman at the Grove School back in the sixties.

Peter Millington… Better memory than me Alan, and I was there with them LOL

Alan Mitchell… I know, you were sitting playing a fender bass Trevor was playing a gibson SG single pick up.

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