Happy Ballroom & music memories 9th January 1965 by Andre Martin

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all cuttings – Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… That’s the Christmas and New Year celebrations over for another year, the Christmas Trees and Illuminations have gone from the town centre, and we all settle down for the start of the new year – this week in the Happy Ballroom its Saturday 9th January 1965, and the entertainments provided includes The Percy Howe Orchestra – “Bringing the Romance back to the Ballroom” – in the local press I notice that a change is intended, and from next week, The Gordon Ryder Orchestra will be providing the music for both young and old alike. Does this indicate that changes are afoot? We will have to wait and see, no looking in the crystal ball now!! Several of the local firms had also completed their seasonal functions and I have found a couple of examples, J F Parsons and KB [attached]
The St Leonards home of the Witch Doctor continues with an interesting programme for the coming week, including some changes. Saturday night we were entertainment with The Puppets and The Dolphins, Sunday Club saw the first visit by The Blues X5. Wednesday night introduced another genre for the club with Mr Acker Bilk and Paramount Jazz Band. Friday saw Wayne Dene and The Telstars bringing the week to a close. Watch out for more Jazz over the coming weeks, it had always been popular in the town, looking for a new audience or “the management” looking to keep us all happy?
Last Friday nights Ready, Steady, Go had been another good weekend with Cilla Black “ You’ve lost that Lovin Feeling “ and from the soundtrack of Ferry Cross the Mersey – “ Is it Love”. The Rockin Berries included in their set “ What in the Worlds Come over you” another single heading for the charts. Also on the show Sonny Boy Williamson, Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan, a good 30 minutes from London and the MOD world.
The BBC still kept up the POP music, Saturday Club with Brian Matthews hosted Matt Monro, Johnny Spencer Orchestra, Swinging Blue Jeans, Kenny Ball and a true Hastings favourite group – Tony Rivers & The Castaways . Later that day Saturday Swings, with Frankie Vaughan, The Barron Knights, The Brooks, The Outlaws, The Overlanders and The NDO [Northern Dance Orchestra] with Mr Bob Miller all under the control of Don Wardell.
Sunday Morning, for those who were up and about by 10.30am heard Susan Maughan, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Lorne Gibson Trio with The Johnny Howard Band – in the hot seat spinning records was Keith Fordyce.
For those who watched Television on Saturday evening, you had Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs – his panel this week – Peggy Mount, Pete Murray, Dusty Springfield and David Healey. As soon as this show ended, with a quick channel change it would be time for “Thank Your Lucky Stars” from ABC TV in Birmingham, and this week Brian Matthews [ he pops up all over the place ] presented – Ronnie Carroll, The Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, Twinkle, Dodie West and using her mathematic skills – Janice “ I’ll give it fouive” Nicholls.
What a week in Hastings – changes in the wind for the Happy Ballroom, introducing different sounds to the Witch Doctor, our cinemas offering us a good selection of block busting films – don’t forget we had several cinemas in the town and around all running seven days a week. So all in all it was a good time to be living in this town, plenty of jobs and a vibrant social scene.
Next week – will we know any more about the Pier? Log-in and read the next instalment of “The History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier “                    2015© Andre Palfrey-Martin.

Jim Breeds… I  remember my neighbour in Rock Lane, Trevor Partridge , playing this over and over on his record player 🙂

Yvonne Cleland… One of the great meaningful records of the Lido days……

Terry Huggins… Humph! I had to endure that dirge repeatedly in my youth. It was clearly derived from Leader of the Pack.

Alan Esdaile… Weren’t both of these banned from being played on the radio at one stage?

Terry Huggins… There were originally four Shangri Las, but the other one suffered from stage fright and left. They came from a tough area of New York and were the first ‘bad girl’ band.Many over amorous musicians they toured with received a hefty kick where it hurts. One of them died young, but Mary still performs occasionally. Don’t know about any bans, but there was a story that their record company refused to release I Can Never Go Home Any More until the lyric was changed to eliminate a reference to the girl being sexually abused by her father.

Pete Fairless… The BBC refused to play it, apparently.

Andre Martin… Twinkle had a big boost from plays on the Pirate Stations, don’t recall that being banned by the BBC, but I am sure that Leader of the Pack suffered. Don’t forget that we also had a powerful station at the time Radio Luxemburg, and Twinkle would have featured in any DECCA sponsored shows- there was Wednesday Night show TTDC [Teen & Twenty Disc Club] fronted by a well known DJ from the MECCA Circuit !!

Terry Huggins… There were a number of hit records about death during the late 50s early 60s: Dead Man’s Curve, Tell Laura I love her (with the words altered as it was written about a rodeo rather than a car race), Last Kiss, Teen Angel etc.

Pete Fairless… I love ‘Dead Man’s Curve’, what a great song!

Terry Huggins… And eerily portentous as it turned out for Jan Berry.

Julian Weber… Were Wayne Dene & The Telstars from Beaconsfield, Bucks?

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