Happy Ballroom Sat 12th December 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin…. The town is looking festive, and we even have Christmas adverts in the local newspapers, so we know that it’s only a few days to go before Christmas Day, its Saturday 12th December 1964, and the next episode of the History of “The Happy Ballroom” on Hastings Pier. According to the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, the “together dancing” is a success and the patrons returning to the more formal Ballroom activities and music, are making this change a success. The Percy Howe Orchestra are setting just the right tone and atmosphere in “The Happy Ballroom”. But! For how long was that to last ???
The Witch Doctor keeps going from strength to strength, with a really wise choice of acts over the week, Saturday Night it was Johnny Mike & The Shades, supported by The Outcasts. The Sunday Club features The Shevelles, Wednesday it is group night with The Silhouettes and Friday is a return from – Linda Lane & The Sinners. The other evenings, it was Top Record Spinning usually for only 1/6d a night. Value for money? or did this get the patrons in, and more to spend in the Bar ! Friday Night would have kicked off with the Rediffusion TV special – Ready Steady Go, and what an excellent line up this week, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames playing live in the studio [ Yeh,Yeh & Monkeying Around] The McKinleys, Kenny Lynch [On my own Two Feet] Tony Jackson & The Vibrations [You beat me to the Punch] Rufus Thomas [ Walking the Dog & Jump Back] Gerry & The Pacemakers [Ferry Cross the Mersey – Why oh Why – My Babe] Dick & Dee Dee. Brenda lee had been scheduled to appear by had to cancel at the last moment. The Opening toon was The Animals – Baby Please don’t go. The audience dance segment was James Brown – Night Train. What a great show that night, in charge Keith Fordyce & Cathy McGowan.
The BBC were doing a reasonable job with Saturday – Light Programme 10.00am – Brian Matthews and Saturday Club, the line up included The Miracles, The Kinks, Chris Barber and Ottililie Paterson, Howlin Wolf, The Nocturnes and Arthur Greenslade with The Gee Men ! The afternoon show Saturday Swings featured The Magil 5, Joe Brown & The Bruvers, The Applejacks, Vince Hill, Don Lusher, Julie Grant, The Lorne Gibson Trio and the regular house band The Northern Dance Orchestra. Sunday was Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce – featuring Brian Poole & The Trems, The Zombies, Maureen Evans, The Seekers, Paul Conway with the Eric Delaney Band. Following this was what had become a Sunday tradition at 12noon Family Favourites, and this week it was London and Cologne. Later in the afternoon a new Sunday show – Sunday Best, with Kenny Lynch, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Rockin Berries, and Dave Shephard Sextet. 5.00pm would bring Alan Freeman and Top of the Pops. Other radio programmes in the week that might have had us tuned into were –Tuesday 1.00pm Pop Inn with Keith Fordyce and 1.00pm Wednesday Parade of the Pops, with Matt Monro and Bob Miller & The Millermen
Television hi-lights – Saturday Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs – Panel this week Lonnie Donegan, Shirley Eaton, Jimmy Edwards & Polly Elves. Thursday it was Top Of The Pops with Alan Freeman – 7.30pm.
That what we are tuned into during this week, plus for many living in East Anglia, Tuesday 16th December that was to be another Red Letter day, with the Text transmissions from MV Galaxy – also known as “ RADIO LONDON on 266 meters on the medium wave band” – more about that next week. Until then keep the faith, and save you pennies for Christmas.
2014@Andre Palfrey-Martin