The Happy Ballroom, The Manish Boys (David Bowie) Jimmy Powell and the 5 Dimensions and more – Sat 30th January 1965 by Andre Martin.

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Time moves and we are now Saturday 30th January 1965, it was a different Saturday for many, Television and Radio today carried extensive coverage of the Funeral Service of Sir Winston Churchill who had died last Sunday, and for many it would be a date that would stay in their memory for years. One thing that I remember, according to Richard Dimbleby who was the anchorman for that days BBC TV coverage “ it was a grey overcast day in London “ perhaps on reflection that was right for such a sombre occasion.
In the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, it was the usual entertainment with The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra providing the mix of music and movement that the patrons desired, with the Longest Bar in the Town in action, table service and spot prizes making the 5/- admission good value for money.
There were changes afoot at the Witch Doctor; Saturday night had the Mannish Boys and The Classics with records spun by regular DJ Trevor Ollive. The Sunday Club entertainments this week were Jimmy Powell and The Five Dimensions. The mid-week Jazz sessions had come to an end and Friday it was the return of The Denny Mitchell Soundsations. Other nights were filled with Record Spins.
The weekend started off as usual with a “visit” as to speak to Kingsway London with the TV show – Ready Steady Go… Keith and Cathy getting us in the right mood, this week the show included The Animals – “ Club-a-go-go” and “Don’t Let me be misunderstood” The Hollies “ Yes I will” from the US Goldie and the Gingerbreads “ Can’t you hear my heartbeat” also on the show were Elkie Brooks and Donovan. Making their first visit to RSG and miming to their 1st single – The Who “ I Can’t Explain”
The usual pop entertainments shows were broadcast on the Saturday, with some amendments to the schedule to allow for live coverage of Sir Winston’s Funeral Service. Saturday Club at 10.00am was introduced this week by Ray Orchard, featuring Acker Bilk, The Hollies, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, The Spencer David Group, Danny Williams and The John Barry Seven. In the afternoon at 2.00pm – Saturday Swings with The King Brothers, Lita Roza, The Searchers, The NCO with Bernard Herrmann – this week’s show introduced by Bruce Wyndham. Following on at 4.00pm was Top Gear The Animals, Cilla Black and Sounds Incorporated plus new releases played by Tony Hall.
Sunday Radio would include Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and his guests this week – The Rockin Berries, Lulu and The Luvvers, Craig Douglas, The Travellers and The Johnny Howard Band. No Sunday would have been complete with Family Favourites linking services personnel and friends around the world, this week it was a Two Way link between London and Germany.
Television regulars would include – Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs on Saturday, had on the show the Panel – Paul Anka, Stubby Kaye, Julie Samuel and Ann Sidney [Miss World] later in the evening on BBC would be The Billy Cotton Band Show, and guests this week – The Four Most, Cilla Black and Roy Castle.
ABC from Birmingham it was “Thank Your Lucky Stars” with Brian Matthews, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, The Rolling Stones and Craig Douglas and not forgetting Janice with her weekly Maths lesson.
Another interesting week in Hastings with lots to keep you busy, the cinemas were always full, with some really good films, the coffee bars, the youth clubs and sports clubs were keeping us active, life was always busy, and for many the thought that Spring and Summer would soon be here and all that would involve, summer holidays for example. Looking in my crystal ball I see that changes are on the horizon for the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier…..watch this space.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Stuart Huggett… Bowie!

Alan Esdaile… David Bowie and Hastings. Thanks to Mick O’Dowd for giving the SMART group a plug on the letters page in todays Hastings Observer.

Andre Martin…  I have to say that I think 31st January, would have been a much better night ! – now lets see the comments fly-in !!

Alan Esdaile… I see Jimmy Powell played harmonica on My Boy Lollipop and also had Rod Stewart in his group at one stage.

Peter Fairless… Nice find!

Mick O’Dowd… Jimmy Powell group was quite an amazing live band but never really broke through.

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