Hastings Pier & More 20th February 1965 by Andre Martin.

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Interesting week, as we had Chinese New Year, I have some great memories back in 1965 of the Chinese New Year being celebrated with the members of Staff at the China Restaurant, 6 Claremont, Hastings. I have checked and it was the Year of the Dragon, my hangover made it feel more like the year of the Steam Hammer!! How many of you remember visiting the restaurant?, perhaps on your way to The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier ?
Back to Saturday 20th February 1965, and the Happy Ballroom is still dancing together to the happy music of the Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra and his mix of popular together dancing tunes, and a few more risky pop tunes!! The press has signalled that next week it will be a different show for the patrons, and the Pier Company have secured from Liverpool –Tommy Quickly, who has recently appeared with P J Proby on his UK Tour, and on “Gerry’s Christmas Show” – the supporting group being the No 1 Liverpool act “The Remo Four”, with “The Pagans” to make up the show. All of these acts come from the northern music base managed {and owned] by Brian Epstein. This is going to be something different in the Happy Ballroom.
The weekend had started with the Friday Evening visit via Television to the Ready Steady Go Studio in London, and the show this week would include Donovan “Talking Pop Star Blues” Roy Orbison “Goodnight” Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames “ In the Meantime” and The Searchers “Goodbye My Love” Cathy and Keith were at the controls, and featured in his regular dance spot was Patrick Kerr.
Along at Marine Court, The Witch Doctor is keeping the pace going SEVEN nights a week, This Saturday Night it was the turn of Tony Burns and The Niteshades with The Blues Cheaters all for 6/-., Sunday Club something that would have fitted in well with the atmosphere – The Voodoos and Friday Night it was return of Peters Faces. The record spinning was keeping everybody on their toes in the rest of the Week and Sunday Afternoon, prices ranging from between 6d to 1/6d per session, and there would be something for everybody.
For those who tuned to the BBC Light Programme, we would have heard at 8.00am starting the weekend a music show that was put together by George Martin, somebody who was to go on to be one of the great arrangers and producers in the coming years. 10.00am Saturday Club, was buzzing Mr Acker Bilk, The Hollies, Kenny Rankin, Herman’s Hermits,The Marionettes, John Barry Seven and The LadyBirds, all kept together by the master – Brian Matthews. On wards – the schedule included the one and only Jack Jackson Show at 1.00pm, somebody once said that Kenny Everitt based much of his early days of broadcasting on this programme – both of these broadcasters had such a great skill and imagination. Afternoon continued with 2.00pm Saturday Swings – this week Bruce Wyndham in the chair and on the show Mark Murphy, Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas, Toni Eden, The Kestrels, Bill Raymer Quartet and some swinging discs! 4.00pm was Brian Mathews Top gear – The Searchers, Tom Jones and The Squires. For those who missed the together dancing and stayed at home, they could always tune in at 9.00pm to The Sidney Thompson Orchestra with “Take Your Partner”.
Saturday Television would feature Juke Box Jury with Chris Hutchins, Lulu, Roy Orbison and Marjorie Proops, and David Jacobs in charge of the Hit or Miss sound effect. Over on the other channel – that really dates!! – Thank Your Lucky Stars with Brian Matthews, this week had Vince Hill, Tony Jackson & The Vibrations, Sandy Shaw, The Shadows, the Pretty Things, Janice Nicholls, the guest DJ was Pete Murray. This had been a 5th round weekend for the FA Cup, and BBC TV had a Sports Special at 11.00pm with games from Chelsea Tottenham, Man U v Burnley, with veteran commentator Alan Weeks in the studio – some of you might have caught the last bus from the Memorial to be home for this.
Sunday would bring 10.30 – Easy Beat, and this week, topping the show was Dusty Springfield, with The Animals, Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas, The Johnny Howard Band with Laura Lee, Tony Stevens and Danny Street – Keith Fordyce would try and keep everything under control! For those who were regulars for Family Favourites at Noon, this week would hear linkup between BBC London, BFBS Cologne and BFBS Singapore.
We are almost at the end of February, what will be new plans for the Pier have to offer? I could cheat and look in my crystal ball, but I will keep you all in suspense. Just to change the era a little, as many of you know Soul,Motown and Northern is my real love, and when I write this weekly ramble, I am usually tuned to BBC Radio Lancashire – Keith Fletcher “Sunday Soul” on listen again – I can thoroughly recommend the show. Until next weeks and the happenings in the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier. You take good care of yourselves.   © Andre Palfrey-martin 

Alan Esdaile… Tommy Quickly recorded the Wild Side Of Life in the 60’s. Later a hit for Status Quo.

Mick O’Dowd… He also disappeared quite quickly. He was being hyped as a big star but never really made the grade. His Wild Side of Life was really his only time at bothering the chart compilers.

Peter Fairless… It’s a 1950s country song

Martin Page… I was lead guitarist with Tony Burns and The Niteshades who played at the Witch Doctor Club on Saturday 20th February 1965. I’m still in contact with all the other band members.

1 thought on “Hastings Pier & More 20th February 1965 by Andre Martin.”

  1. I was lead guitarist with Tony Burns and The Niteshades (note spelling) who played at the Witch Doctor Club on Saturday 20th February 1965. I’m still in contact with all the other band members.

    Regards, Martin Page.


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