Welcome to 1965 in The Happy Ballroom by Andre Martin

Welcome to 1965 – we are at the start of another year in the life of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier – it’s a bit of a low key start, in so much as they have remained following the pre-Christmas format, and we have The Percy Howe Orchestra in the Ballroom on Saturday 2nd January, bringing back “romance to the ballroom”, with “ togetherness dancing”, and all for 5/- with waiter service, and a buffet thrown in. Other togetherness sessions will be held on – Wednesday and Friday evenings in the restaurant, 4/- each session, all packed away and home by 10.30pm.
How many of your remember having to go to work of 1st January ? not like today when the holiday season seems to go on forever, back in the 1960s, it was a few days off at best 2 !!! – The Witch Doctor had started off the new year with The Migil Five on Friday January 1st. Saturday 2nd was the return of Shorty & Them and the Sapphires. The first Sunday Club of 1965 saw from London The Mark Four, Wednesday was another opportunity to see selections of local groups, with the return of the “ Group Night” and to end the week, Friday was a visit from Dave Dee and The Bostons. The other nights of the week and Sunday Afternoon, would have been “Record Sessions” or “Record Spins” – the name disco had not yet taken off…. With both Radio Caroline and Radio London working hard to pump out the good sounds, without the restrictions of “needle time” there was plenty to include in these sessions, and it is not beyond our imaginations to know where a lot of the records being played were sourced – The Disc Jockey home of one Alan Jensen !
The weekend & The New Year had started off well on Friday Night, with that slice of Mod Music c/o Redifusion in London on this first programme for 1965, The Animals, Susan Maughan, Dave Clarke Five, Freddie & The Dreamers and Mick Jagger was interviewed by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan – so it would have been a good show, unfortunately the tapes have been wiped.
I have to say, that on reflection the BBC were trying to meet the needs of the young people, it was the rules, such as needle time, and limiting US artistes to appear live, because the Musicians Union objected, and the fact that so many of the Management were in their 50s! – When you look at what they did, sometimes it was not that bad! – Saturday 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews – this week he had on the show Wayne Fontana, Brian Poole, Susan Maughan, Barron Knights, Marty Wilde and The John Barry Seven. In the afternoon – Saturday Swings with Don Wardell, featuring – Matt Monro, Hollies, Georgie Fame & Blue Flames, Johnny Duncan, Russ Sainty and The Nu Works.
Sunday would bring Easy Beat – Billy J Kramer, Julie Grant, The Overlanders, Johnny Howard Band with Keith Fordyce in the Chair – and additional act Wout Steenhaus
Television, had fallen back to the usual format, Dr Who, Dixon Of Dock Green etc. The Panel for that Saturday Nights – Juke Box Jury was –Val Doonican, Charlie Drake, Fenella Fielding and Twinkle – with David Jacob poised to press the HIT or MISS button.
That’s about it for the first week of the new year – 1965 – how many of us had made New Year’s Resolutions, and had already broken them ?? What was the next 12 months to bring, will we see something happening in “The Happy Ballroom” – at the moment nothing much is changing and it is gone very predictable – let’s hope for a revival in its fortunes, and even more choice of groups for the people in Hastings and district to enjoy.
See you next week —-
2015 © Andre Palfrey-Martin

Alan Wood… Thanks for these news letters,probably the most interesting read till the next one!!!!