The Happy Ballroom – 8th May 1965 P J Proby by Andre Martin


Andre Martin… Here a little later than planned is the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, it’s weekending Saturday 8th May 1965. We find that the Pier Company have decided to present another recording artiste and this act I know with bring back memories for one particular reader – more about that later ! Top of the Bill was P.J.Proby – who everybody remembers not for his musical ability but for splitting his trousers on stage during his act, and bringing down condemnation from many !! The supporting group were another of the regulars to the town The Quiet Five. All this plus the usual Bar and snacks, 7.30 – 11.45 at the door 10/- [9/- in advance from the Toll House]
The weekend would have kicked off for many with the Friday night – Ready Steady Go, from Redifusion Studios in Kingsway London – With Cathy this week were The Everly Brother, Sandie Shaw and Unit 4+2.
Live music continued at the Witch Doctor with Saturday nights offering – Johnny B Great and The Quotation who had just finished supporting The Drifters on a UK Tour, and The Equals. Sunday Club saw Johnny B Great and The Quotations back on stage for the evening. Friday night saw the first visit to the club of the Bad Boys. The rest of the week was filled with the Thumping Disco Sounds with our local record spinners in control. A good 7 nights entertainment that kept the punters flocking to St Leonards in their droves.
What was the BBC offering for our listening pleasures – Saturday on the Light Programme, we had 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews, and this week on the show – Sandie Shaw, Tom Jones, The Fourmost, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Cannon Brothers, The Settlers and The LadyBirds, so it was a busy and varied show. Saturday continued with Saturday Swings at 2.00pm – Unit 4+2, Sue & Sunshine and the Bill Rayner Quartet, plus Dave Macbeth plus “ some swinging discs “ In control was Bruce Wyndham. Ed – interesting to note that the use of discs rather than records is beginning to appear more and more. Brian Matthews would be back at 4.00pm with Top Gear this week featuring The Everly Brother, Cilla Black and Sounds Incorporated.
Sundays music line up with include – Easy Beat [10.31] Keith Fordyce introducing The Seekers, The Ivy League, Migil Five and the Johnny Howard Band. Mid day would bring the very popular link up with Families in UK and with the Forces Overseas, this week it was a 2 way link with Cologne and London.
There was no Juke Box Jury on the Saturday Night TV schedule – because the BBC Light Programme was presenting a special 25th anniversary of VE day – more talk and discussion than music.
ABC from Birmingham – Thank Your Lucky Stars – Brian Matthews [ that chap certainly get around] presenting Shirley Bassey, The Birds [not to be confused with the BYRDS from US] Chubby Checker, Marianne Faithful and The Searchers.
That is what we were viewing, listening to and enjoying in the town, 50 years ago. The Pier Company keeps trying to attract a regular clientele and will continue to change their programme over the coming weeks as we will see. Until next week, you all take care out there.  Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Janine Anne Hemsley… Great read x

Mick O’Dowd… Top stuff Andre. I was there and he didn’t split his trousers but I did get crushed and hauled over the heads to the stage! The shame of it!

Alan Esdaile… Were you singing ‘Hold Me’ at the time, Mick?

Mick O’Dowd… It was more like Together up and over Alan!

Sylvia Sinden… can remember seeing him at brighton it should have been the walker brothers but they couldn,t make it so itwas pj instead i was so upset at the time

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