The Happy Ballroom and others 20th March 1965 by Andre Martin.

Andre Martin…We are getting nearer everyday to Spring and the return of the Sun, its Saturday 20th March 1965 and on Hastings Pier in the Happy Ballroom, we have the Regular Saturday night of togetherness Dancing with onstage The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra, offering the patrons a wide selection of pop and standards, everything must being going well, as there is no mention of changes in the local paper, leaving just the usual advertisement in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer to tell the world. It is a different age to that of today – no mention of anything to Celebrate St Patricks Night which had passed on the 17th in the week.
Along the prom, at Marine Court The Witch Doctor has an excellent programme for the week, with something for everybody. Saturday night we have a double bill with Christians Crusaders supported by an up and coming London outfit – Steve Marriott’s Moments. This week’s Sunday Club it’s the Barry Cash 5+2, a special met ion is made in the advertisement – the winner of last week’s Sunday Club Cash Draw of £60.00 goes to a Mr Trevor Spears of Hollington! Wednesday night was local band night with The Humperdinck’s. Friday night saw the return of a very popular group at the club –from London – John H Watson & The Hummelflugs. The other nights and Sunday afternoon were well covered by the team of DJs spinning the “latest sounds”
Friday night would have kicked off with the Ready Steady Go from Kingsway, and with Keith & Cathy keeping everything moving along at a great pace, this week’s contributions from – Dave Clark Five “Reeling & a Rockin” ;Martha & The Vandellas “Nowhere to Run” ;Kinks “ Everybody gonna be happy” ; Them – with Van Morrison “Here comes the night” ; The Yardbirds “For your love” ;Dave Berry “Little Things”;also on the show were The Miracles and Bobby Vee. Some excellent sounds that night.
Radio over that weekend had the usual regular shows but offering a good range of music and entertainments – Saturday Club with Brian Matthews this week featured Dave Berry & the Cruisers, Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band, Jeanne Lamb, the Yardbirds, Alex Harvey, John Mark and The Lancastrians. Saturday Swings 2.00pm – The King Brothers, Sheila Buxton, Benny Lea, Unit 4+2, The Billy Duncan Quartet with Bruce Wyndham spinning some “ swinging discs” Brian Matthews was back at 4.00pm with Top Gear and this week with Brian were Del Shannon, Stevie Wonder, the Sorrows and Arthur Greenslade & The Gee Men.
Sunday would bring us Easy Beat – 10.30am – this week Tom Jones, Gerry & Pacemakers, The Johnny Howard Band and the Morgan James Duo, Keith Fordyce in charge and spinning a few hot hits. This week’s Family Favourites “ Noon in London, One pm in Germany” was a three way link up – London, Cologne and Tripoli on the North African Coast – yes those were the days when we have forces stationed all round the world and this weekly link up were very popular. Television over the weekend, had the usual flavour – Saturday with both “Juke Box Jury” [David Jacobs and guests Georgia Brown, Paul Jones, Edmund Purdon plus a.n.o] and “Thank Your Lucky Stars” [Brian Matthews with this week Katie Boyle, guest DJ ??? also Francoise Hardy, the Temptations, Pet Clarke, Cliff Richard, Del Shannon & Janice Nicholls.
Later that Saturday Night on BBC TV from RAI TV Roma the Eurovision Song Contest – our representative was Kathy Kirby with “Belong” David Jacobs was describing the scene for us back in UK – not sure if we managed “non points” perhaps the other judges liked us more back in the 60s. Interesting to see the number of Motown Acts that are appearing on the Radio and Television around this time, which must have been linked with the Motown Review that was playing the theatre at this time. Plus they would have been getting a lot of exposure on the Pirate Stations, where there was not the limitations imposed with needle time and the MU. Back to the present, look out for the musical events that will be taking place at The Hub, White Rock this coming weekend, 27 & 28 March – until next week take good care of yourselves.   Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

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