The Interns plus The Midniters – Hastings Pier Sat 18th July 1964 by Andre Martin


the interns

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

It’s that time of the week again, and here we are Saturday 18th July 1964 – and the Happy Ballroom is in full swing, the attractions to night – The Interns supported by The Midniters.
The Interns were originally a duo consisting of Rikki Alan (real name Alan Smith, guitar/bass/ vocals), and his brother Gerry Alan (real name Gerald Smith, piano/guitar/vocals), playing local dances and working men’s clubs in the area surrounding their home town of Newport, South Wales. With the addition of Mark Goodwin (drums) they became the Rikki Allen Trio, playing ballroom dates throughout Wales, as well as occasional concert appearances on package shows topped by artists such as Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, and Johnny Kidd. In 1961, the band turned fully professional, and headed for London. They made their European mainland debut in Germany, May 1963, at the Star Club in Hamburg. Here they shared billings with Ray Charles, The Searchers and (Gerry Allen’s hero) Jerry Lee Lewis. Returning to London, Gerry played piano on singer Paul Raven’s (later Gary Glitter) Parlophone disc, “Walk On, Boy”. In August 1963, the Rikki Allen Trio band released “The First One” on the Decca label. Also in 1963, the band supported the Rolling Stones on their November–December UK tour. In 1964, under the guidance of musical instrument entrepreneur Ivor Arbiter, they morphed into The Interns, The group was managed by the Tito Burns Agency who also managed, Dusty Springfield and The Searchers, amongst others, and recorded for Philips Records. As a result, the band often appeared on the same bill as these artists. For example, on Sunday 23 August 1964, The Interns appeared on the third and last of three Sunday concerts organised by the promoter, Arthur Howes. Dusty Springfield topped the bill, which also featured Eden Kane as well as The High Numbers, who would soon become The Who. An event that had happened according to Whoology the week before.

In 1964, the Interns released “Don’t You Dare” and “Cry To Me” a cover version of an American record by Brenda Holloway, both singles were produced by Bill Landis. “Don’t You Dare” featured lyrics written by the wives of Rikki and Gerry Allen. The single was advertised in the NME on 20 March 1964 During this period, the group had some television success, appearing regularly on two of the big pop music shows of the time, Thank Your Lucky Stars (e.g., on 11 March 1964) and Ready Steady Go! (on 17 July 1964). The supporting group from Liverpool, who had appeared several times before in The Happy Ballroom featured an up and coming comedian as their lead vocalist – Freddie Starr who would remain with the group until 1965.

Other musical interests that we would have followed in the week would have been – Top Of The Pops – Wednesday 15th July – The Barron Knights (“Call up the Groups”); Manfred Mann (“Do Wah Diddy Diddy”). Videos: The Searchers (“Some Day We’re Gonna Love Again”); The Beatles (“A Hard Day’s Night”); Dusty Springfield (“I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself”); The Merseybeats (“Wishin’ & Hopin'”). All that I have been able to find out about RSG on the Friday night is that one of the groups appearing were in fact the Interns. But other things were afoot, as I will be telling you next week – until then enjoy the warm weather and Pirates Day in the Old Town this weekend.                                                                 by Andre Martin

Chris Brown… Hello Andre, I have read a number of your interesting bands of the 60’s & wondered forgive the liberty if you could answer a question about the stated band who came from Newport. I have a mint demo in my collection of a single they cut in 1966 titled Is It Really Want You Want. By this time they were a foursome of Alan & Gerry Smith along with future Mott the Hoople Drummer Dale Griffin & an un-known guitarist as Clive Burnett, Stuart Childs, Malcolm Bowles, Rob Newcombe & Mark Goodwin had all left by this time. Would you happen to know who the guitarist was please? and also the christian names of the songs writers messrs J Paske & B Sheppard. Thank you very much for the consideration.

Mick O’Dowd… This is your starter for 10, Andre.

David Kent… Is that Steve Coogan bottom left?

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