Do you remember Embassy Records at Woolworth asks Gerry Powell?

supplied by Gerry Powell

Julie Findlay-jones… We had quite a few of them.

David Edwards… They were the sound alikey records, today’s hit songs covered by other than the original artists and sold cheaper. I believe Elton John sang on some of them but don’t know who he covered

Chris Jolly… This sounds like the music they played whilst you ate at Pizzaland…

Gerry Powell… These were my introduction to vinyl when very young and bought by my dad when we first had a Ferguson record player. The 45’s cost 4/6 (that’s 4 shillings & 6 pence for those too young to know). That was half the price of the chart single.

John Scaife… Still got a few

Pete Brazier… Think I’ve still got one somewhere! Julie Andrew’s and Johnny Mathis singing songs from West Side Story! Before they became famous in their own right

Will Cornell… In honor of the centennial, I think more “Roaring 20s” records are in order, hot-cha-cha-cha-cha! Those tunes were the cats pajamas.

Barry French… I have one Embassy single featuring “The Typhoons”
Side 1 – Glad All Over Side 2- Money. Record dates from 1963.
Both tracks are pretty good covers of the Dave Clark Five & Beatles singles.

Neil Partrick.. They released a pretty wide range of stuff at cheap prices. My personal favourite (bought second hand in Eastbourne circa 1984, not at Woolies) is Supersession (Kooper/Bloomfield/Stills et al)…… a total corker.

David Edwards… out of the blue that one!

Chris Jolly… Great record!

Mick O’Dowd… Posted this before but this from the Daily Mail might help with some queries.

Pete Fisher… Embassy (1954-1965) seems to have been the forerunner of the Top Of The Pops and Hot Hits compilations…

Pete Fairless… I’ve been on YouTube and listened to quite a few of these and they’re pretty good.  However, while I get the idea of a covers compilation, a la TOTP, I struggle with the idea of cover singles – were singles expensive, were these a lot cheaper?  Can any of you old folks explain?

Pete Fisher… I got curious about Woolworth’s Embassy label, and found out they had a kind of house band from 1963 to 1965 (when the label folded) who went under the name The Typhoons, and covered a lot of the beat groups, predominantly The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Quite a few videos at youtube – here’s one…


Radio/Stereograms – did you ever have one of these?

Thanks to Richard J Porter for finding this…


shared from.. 95.7kjr

Andy Qunta… Yes, we had something like that! Spent untold hours with it!

Janine Anne Hemsley… Still use mine .

Dave Luck… Had one very similar, but with twin sliding door’s on the front, good old fashioned Radiogram.

Jim Breeds… Gosh, almost the identical model to the one Dad bought from Bryants! It was a Bush stereogram with a Garrard deck.

Kevin Burchett… I  think Madeline Joyce Morton still has one of these she did last year anyway.

Madeline Joyce Morton… Still have one it is a Bush and still works


supplied by Madeline Joyce Morton

Lucy Pappas… We had one. I wonder what happened to it?

Steve Thorpe… Had one the same, could plug a cassette recorder into the back. Then we had an ITT Music Centre with meters for recording levels! Happy days 🙂

Read moreRadio/Stereograms – did you ever have one of these?

Slik plus Screemer – Hastings Pier 22nd January 1977




slik record

cuttings supplied by Sarah Harvey

Peter Thomson… I avoided Slik, but Mrs T and I had our first proper date at a gig headlined by Ultravox.

Pete Fairless… Slik, costumes by Lloyd Johnson, if I’m not mistaken…

Lloyd Johnson… Yes! They did buy the baseball stuff from us in Kensington Market…

Daryl Perkins… I remember this gig… Forever and Ever!!

What is the most irritating song?

shared from

Caroline Jones… Lovely day, love the song but that bit where he holds Dayyyyyyyyyyyy goes on forever grrr

Mike Guy… It’s the chord change under that held note that makes it musically interesting for me.

Jacqueline Marsh… And it’s also hard to sing that note

Paul Huggett… Yummy Yummy Yummy I’ve got Love in my Tummy….

David Broome… Float On by the Floaters

Jack Apps… Deeply Deeply Me. The Bee Gees

Sandie Carlyon… Come on Eileen. Hate it.

Judy Atkinson… Longhaired Lover from Liverpool, little Jimmy Osmond and the theme song from Banana Splits

Nadia Compagnone… Lily The Pink.

Matt Thomas… Lady In Red – Chris De Burgh

David R Howard… Johnny Reggae …

Karen Sweatman… Not sure if it’s Starship’s Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now or Starship’s We Built This City. Both make my ears bleed

Martin Curcher… Mainly “My heart will go on”, but generally any song by Celine Dion.

Paul Crimin… The Birdy Song. Aggghhhh….

John Warner… Agree!

Alan Esdaile… Mull Of Kintyre Wings but I enjoyed the Mark & Lard version!

David Kent… Many involving Phil Collins, Sting, Paul Weller, Oasis etc. Bohemian Rhapsody.

Jim Hobbs… David, This man officially music dead.

Mike Guy… Perhaps that should be an added question “& what is your reason?” – just to make it a bit more interesting than a list?

Jim Hobbs… Good point, music is very subjective thing to criticise.

Read moreWhat is the most irritating song?

SMART Coffee meet report 54

Record company leaflets supplied by Chris Saunders

SMART coffee meet no 54, a great start to 2020. Among the newbies this time were Tom Cowan and Cliff Evans.  Tom was talking about his group ‘Menticide’ and happy memories of the group and John Peel playing the record. Cliff was talking about his rock band ‘Tank’ and also when he was with ‘Chicken Shack’. Also talking about his new venture with Lauren. the Aquarius International Club with dj’s playing 60’s and 70’s rock and psych tracks at the monthly happening at the White Rock Hotel. Mick O’Dowd have with him Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys book ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and was over the moon that people have found at last photos of ‘Jim The Jolly Fish’ that used to go along the seafront, which he has been searching for forever. Monica Bane confirmed that the band photo that Tony May could not confirm who it was, is definitely the Jazz Caverners at St Clements Caves featuring Johnny Griffiths. Reg Wood had with him a copy of Wizzard single Ball Park Incident, autographed at the pier gig in 1973. Gerry Powell had an interesting  pile of cover version singles, released on the Embassy record label and sold in Woolworth, as well as some great flexi discs. Pete Houghton had  lotsof rare autograph posters from the Hastings Pier gigs including Alvin Stardust, Zzebra, Esperanto, Stackridge, Judas Priest, Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers, Gong, Motorhead, Fusion Orchestra and a band I don’t remember ‘The Lou’s’. Anyone know them? they must have been a support to someone.Pete Prescott had some exciting rock books including the 1960s scrapbook by Robert Opie  with a great Hendrix painted cover and a Sotheby’s rock ’n’ roll and film memorabilia book with Jim Morrison on the cover. Also a special collectors e.p. of The Split Knee Loons! This is a small bit of what I remember, if you were talking about anything interesting or anything else you wish to add then please do so.

Jan Saunders… I just hope, one day I can get there Alan and all you SMARTIES ……. my legs don’t work any more, I want to take my mobility scooter maybe on the train or drive it to Hastings, if poss??!! – I love this Group and so pleased I can still be part of it on FaceBook, Thanks Alan – there’s quite a few people I’d love to meet up with again ……. Pete Houghton, Brian Setchfield Bob Searle, Terry Corder, Lol Cooksley, Mandy (from the soul band) etc etc ……………… Also, I’m aware of The Aquarius International Club that’s now going on the basement bar at The White Rock Pavilion, this sounds really great, 60s and 70s music ……… ohhhhhh, if only I could be there??!! xx

Monica Bane… Enjoyed seeing you all. Keep going Alan x

Andy Davies… Sorry I missed it.

Steve Amos… Sorry to miss it! Hope to make the next one.

Terry Pack… I was hoping to make my debut, but turned my ankle and couldn’t walk for a day. Next time.

Paul Crimin… Sorry I missed it Alan.

Mick O’Dowd… Another great meet Alan, as per usual. Nice talking to newbie Tom.

Jack Irving… Sorry I missed this one too.

Andy Qunta… Sounds like a fun time!

Tom Cowan… Great to meet you & others on Friday, our single is on You Tube, Menticide Bathroom Ideas Exhibition  there is another Menticide,  electronic rock outfit, would hate to be confused with them!

Roy Wood’s Wizzard – Hastings Pier 9th February 1973.

wizard teaserwizzard hastings pier 9th feb 1973

wizzard album Roy_Wood_Wizzard Wizzard_-_TopPop_1974_5

middle photo source: G00labek. black & white photo source: Beeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1974 Licentie afbeeldingen Beeld en Geluidwiki

First ad above was a teaser advert by Martin Casson Agency.

Reg Wood’s autographed single from the pier gig.

John Mcewen….I was there!

Joe Knight… A great act

Alan Esdaile… I remember seeing Roy Wood early evening and shocked to see him with a normal haircut. I never realised he wore a wig on stage.

Joe Knight… Never got to see him, got married in 1970 and very little money.

Mick O’Dowd… Brilliant artist/band.

Martin Round… I remember that night so well. Before the gig Andrew Killick  and I were in the bar and he just walked in and joined us, and he was dressed in all his finery. He was back later dressed down too. Nice guy!

Gerry Fortsch… I was there. I saw Roy Wood at the London rock & roll show when Ballpark first came out and I have seen him a number of times since including this gig at the pier.

Paul Slidel… I was only 12 in 1973 and would loved to have seen Wizard on the pier, but ‘See My Baby Jive’ and ‘Angel Fingers’ were the first 2 singles I bought from Disc Jockey in Queens Road in the same year!

Martin Waghorne… Remember it well, i was there

Peter Fairless… Of course, I was way too young(!) to have gone to this gig but Wizzard remain one of my favourite bands.

Harry Randall… He was living in Catsfield my old drummer from “Footloose and Slack Alice” did some session work for him

Di Veness… We were there Keith.

John Davis… Saw them

What would you ban from the 70’s asks Colin Bell.


Colin Bell… At the last SMART meet, dear Alan was reminiscing with me about a band called Chaquito I used to play a lot, they did a nifty version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, i’d largely forgotten, but Al’s brain cells clearly work better than mine…however this led me to thinking about another artist around at the same time Walter (later to become Wendy) Carlos, who scored the film Clockwork Orange. As we all enjoy trivia associated with our Hastings history I thought i’d share a story for your amusement….or not! Bear with me while I digress slightly for a moment to put things in context. In 1971 my dad, a builder like Andre’s dad was working for the then editor of the Hastings Observer whose name was John Cornelius, a lovely guy. He remarked to dad that the Observer had nothing in it for the ‘youth of today’ and was fuddy duddy. John asked me to start a column writing Record and Band Reviews being a then ‘youthful DJ’. Thus Top Sounds was born and the first column appeared on Saturday April 3rd 1971 and continued for a couple of years until busy with other projects, gigs etc I handed it on to our Alan. Clockwork Orange was released to huge controversy in 1971 and when some 18 months or so later it was due to be screened in Hastings, the fun started….Hands up who remembers when the cinema in Queens Road was called The Gaeity, anyway the Council in their wisdom decided before any Hastonian could be allowed to see it they demanded a private screening, thus it was that a committee of about 5 geriatrics and me by invitation representing the ‘youth of today’ attended said screening all by ourselves in a vast empty cinema! Twenty minutes in they all left! Leaving me and one other. They immediately banned it as far to unsuitable for genteel Hastonians! They of course missed the point of the entire film, and its anti violence message because they hadn’t seen the film! Don’t you just love the irony!

Arguably one of the most liberal towns in the country full of wonderful musicians, artists, poets etc and you weren’t allowed to see a film, I voted for it, so don’t blame me! If I was going to ban anything from that time I think Clive Dunns ‘Grandad’! might be right up there…what would you ban from the 70’s?…Happy Christmas to all, have a good one.

Alan Esdaile… Remember this because Alan Jensen started a petition to show the film. Not sure what the final outcome was but think it was still banned. Nick Prince might know?

Pete Fairless… Thatcher

Darren Holmes… I think Colin Bell would have banned Martin Buchan!!! lol

Nick Prince… Yes the film was banned by the Watch Committee of the Council, when it was due to show at the Classic in Queens Road. Almost every Council bar a handful banned, A Clockwork Orange, one such council that didnt, was the “ultra moderate” Rother, who were just that when it came to the local cinema. It was the last film to attract capacity audiences at the then, Classic, in Western Rd, Bexhill, as an 800 seater with circle and stalls. Isnt it odd that the Watch Committee didnt kick in the doors of the Orion every week to get off on the fare.

John Storer… Saw “A Clockwork Orange” on a pirate video in the early 80s. Didn’t understand it, but then have never got any of Kubrick’s films (with the exception of “The Shining” of course). At least it wasn’t as risible as “Eyes Wide Shut”. What would I ban from the 70s? Polyester shirts and ties, and the fact that we all thought Fosters was a quality lager!

Chris Meachen… Yep, remember having to travel to Bexhill to see it.. What would I ban from the 70’s? maybe all that tartan tied & sewn round Bay City Roller fans?

Phil Gill… I  saw it at the Regent in Rye. Worth the Dengates bus ride.

Nick Prince… an uncut version of A Clockwork Orange enjoyed a four week run at the ABC (Now Odeon), Queens Road in 2000. A directors cut, or uncut version of a banned film has to be viewed by a watch committee in order to be banned again. There were no such calls for this again in Hastings. A mockery was made of the watch committee, when they brought in the late Rev Derek Sefton-Ullmer of All Saints Church. Derek, a man I knew very well, had a vulcanic sense of humour, who when expected to ban, A Life of Brian, went the opposite way and found it the funniest thing he had ever seen. Much to the committees disgust. And that was the end of them.

Nick Prince… I would like to ban, or preferably string up all those Borough Councillors who voted to demolish the Albert Memorial in 1973. Otherwise my 1970s ban would be Jimmy Savilles Clunk Click Every Trip adverts, and The Sparrow by The Ramblers. 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… I would like to ban ” Love Like a Man” that Colin Bell used to play to death at Chichester Boys Club gigs!

John Wilde… Blue Nun wine, Austin Allegros, Hillman Avengers, Tank tops

Colin Bell… Thanks Mick, im now unwrapping that Ten Years After CD I got you for Xmas…Lol!

Read moreWhat would you ban from the 70’s asks Colin Bell.

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel Christmas Show – De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill – 13th December 2020

Steve Harley celebrates his 47th year in music in 2020 and continues to play concerts around the world. He says that playing Live is more than a job, it’s almost his life’s blood.

Considered one of the most charismatic Live performers at work today, the original Cockney Rebel tours with a full 6-piece rock band and also fronts the Steve Harley Acoustic Band.

More information & tickets…

Anyone remember the band called ‘The Lou’s’ on CBS Records?

autographed poster from Hastings Pier gig supplied by Peter Houghton

Pete saw them on Hastings Pier but can’t remember who they supported or any other information. Anyone help?

Tony Ham… As they were on CBS, The Clash possibly? Can’t find any mention of them anywhere.

Peter Houghton…  I have found them they supported Richard Hell and the Clash they was an French Punk Band members Pamels Pola Sacha Dejones Raphaele and Tolim Toto