Hastings Pier – April 8th 1961 Love From A Stranger and Big Beat Night with Ted Crouch.

supplied by Stephen Moran

Can you help Stephen?

Stephen Moran… I’m currently doing research into the popular music history of Hastings from 1960-1985 and prior to the recent lockdown I was reading through old copies of the Hastings Observer at the British Library. In 1961 the Disc Jockey record shop used to present a ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Night’ on the Pier every Monday and Friday. I was wondering whether anyone went to these nights and whether it was a DJ night only or if any local bands played? I appreciate its a long time ago but I would be grateful for any information anyone might have.

John Gale… My dad use to get called upon occasionally to play drums for the Ted Crouch Band,, sadly he passed away in April, so I can’t ask him, I’ll ask mum, she might remember, mind you if he played that gig (although he called them band dates) I’d have been 2 months old. I think, as dad was part of the musicians union, he would get called upon when Ted was short of a drummer

Stephen Moran… Thank you John I really appreciate your help. The Ted Crouch Band were really popular during that time, they sometimes played several times a week on the Pier.

Stephanie Blackledge… My Dad played drums regularly for Ted Crouch (incidentally there was more than one Ted Crouch band – sometimes 3/4 on a busy weekend. Ted tried to make a brief appearance at all of them). Ted also played drums but Dad was better. He (Roland Dann) also played with Alec Bradley and Jeff Heitt. Ted was a regular visitor to our house. I was only 10 at the time. Get in touch with Ricky Norman – his memory will be better than mine!

Geoff Peckham… My dad played bass with the Ted Crouch Band during the 60s. Sadly, he’s not around to ask now, but I remember he played most Fridays and Saturdays with different bands, often on the Pier. He’d sometimes tell me about ‘beat combos’ on the same bill who were too loud and couldn’t tune their guitars properly. I think he was fed up that they were gradually getting more work than his dance bands.

John Gale… My dad would probably have known your Dad, Geoff. He certainly played drums with and for Ted, sadly he too is no longer with us.  My mum is, she might remember your dad…. I’ll try and remember to ask her.


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