The Percy Howe Orchestra – Hastings Pier Sat 5th Dec 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… The History of the Happy Ballroom now moves into a new phase, as we have been eagerly awaiting the return of the “Together Dancing” and after several weeks of press trails and leaked information, here we are SATURDAY 5TH December 1964 and at 8.00pm tonight the baton will be raised at the Percy Howe Orchestra will swing into action – 8.00pm-11.45pm and all for the princely sum of 5/-. You will have to wait till next week for the report on how this went………………Did this achieve what the Pier Management wanted, did it meet the needs and expectations of the Patrons of the Pier, and would this be sustainable against other similar competition, we will only know in weeks to come. In advertising terms the re-launch was very low key, there were no special features with all the suppliers and contracts mentioned and advertised – in recent times such an event as this would have taken up sometimes a double page spread !!
Elsewhere what have the young people in the town be enjoying over the coming week – The Witch Doctor has a change in their weekly programme, on Wednesday Nights, it’s the start of the “ Beat Group Competition” with a prize of £300.00 for the winners, run in a series of heat, each week 4 groups would appear and over the coming weeks by elimination, there would be a winner.. but more about that as it takes place, but what value for money – entry only 2/6d. This week in December, Saturday Night featured –The Brothers Grimm + Jonathon Cane and The Freemen. Sunday it was a visit from Ray Clevelands, and Friday night The Zephyrs.
Friday night had seen a interesting Ready Steady Go, with a link with the Hasting Pier, as included in the line up were acts that had or would make visits in time – Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan fronting the show with The Moody Blues “Go Now”, The Miracles [no mention of Smokey Robinson as yet fronting the group] P J Proby “Summertime” and Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers.
BBC Radio – Light Programme – Saturday morning was with Saturday Club, and as ever this always reflected what the music scene was offering –Marvin Gaye, The Searchers, The Fourmost, The Sputniks, Jess Conrad, The Hi Fi’s and all under the watchful eye of Brian Matthews, is it any wonder that he today in 2014 can talk with such authority about the music and artistes over the past 50+ years
2.00pm would be time for Saturday Swings – Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, Russ Sainty, The Lauries Steel New Sound, Julie Rodgers, The Bachelors, The Brooks and The NDO with Bernard Herman – compere was Don Wardell [Eds note – The Northern Dance Orchestra appeared regularly on the BBC as they were one of the House Bands, the musicians were often some of the top session men in the country, and would have appeared on numerous records under the direction such greats as Norrie Paramour, George Martin and the like, these musicians were the cream of the recording industry]
Sundays offerings – Easy Beat at 10.31am –Brenda Lee, Kenny Lynch, Patsy Ann Noble, Long John Baldry , The Eric Delany Band and in the chair Keith Fordyce. Special this week at noon, was 3 way Family Favourites – obviously getting ready for Christmas, with the link up – London[BBC] – Cologne[BFBS] and Singapore[BFBS]. “Sunday Best” at 3.00pm included – Joe Brown & The Bruvvers, The Karl Denver Trio and Julie Dawn.
Television that weekend included Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and the Panel – Peter Murray, Sandie Shaw, Diahann Carroll and Vic Lewis. There was the usual run of programmes that I have mentioned in the past, so no change there – however Christmas is coming and within the next couple of weeks much would change. There we go for this week – 5th December 1964 .. We await the feedback from the Happy Ballroom as to how the new policy on dancing has been received. Until then keep warm and watch out for the next edition of the History of the Happy Ballroom .                                             2014©Andre Palfrey-Martin

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