The Applejacks – Hastings Pier 5th Sept 1964 by Andre Martin

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 Andre Palfrey-martin collection

The History of groups that have appeared on Hastings Pier continues. What a coup that the Pier pulled off last week, with The HoneyCombs appearing in the Happy Ballroom, and that coincided with their no 1 position on the charts with “Have I the Right” So its Saturday 5th September 1964 and the groups booked for this week are The Applejacks and in support The Sugarbeats.Tonight’s headliners were The Applejacks who came from the Midlands -They were the first “Brumbeat” group (that is, from the West Midlands conurbation-Birmingham area) to reach the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, and were unusual for having a female bass guitarist, Megan Davies. The Applejacks began playing together in a skiffle group named the Crestas in 1961, occasionally performing at a local youth club. Lacking a vocalist, they were strictly an instrumental band until the addition of singer Al Jackson in 1963; they began playing rock and roll songs and secured a residency at Solihull Civic Hall. During that time, they changed their name to the Jaguars before finally becoming the Applejacks in July 1962.

http://youtu.be/q5dFBoyjzok

Signed to Decca Records late in 1963, their success was largely due to the strength of their first single, “Tell Me When” Written by Les Reed and Geoff Stephens, “Tell Me When” was released in February 1964 and shot to No. 7 in the UK. After the group met the Beatles during rehearsals for a television appearance, John Lennon and Paul McCartney provided the Applejacks with a song which was to be their second single: “Like Dreamers Do”.[1] However, the record only reached number 20 in the UK chart, whilst their final hit, “Three Little Words (I Love You)” (also in 1964), made it to No. 23.
The supporting band – The Sugarbeats, unfortunately there is no records. Like so many bands of the day they came and went without anybody recording their existence. Sometimes a small detail can be found if one member ever made the big time.
The Friday Night 4th September, would have followed the usual format for the fans in Hastings, able to tune into Ready Steady Go from London, this week’s show would have • Bern Elliott and The Klan – “Good Times.” :Herman’s Hermits – “I’m Into Something Good.” Peter and Gordon : The Rustiks :
The Searchers – “When You Walk In The Room.”
Down in St Leonards – The Witch Doctor, would have continued with its 7 nights a week operation with the main attractions being – Saturday [5] Joey James and the Bandits, supported by The Talismen – Sunday [6] Zoot Money Wednesday [9] Steve Marriotts Moments and Friday [11] Plus 4 with Erky Grant. – some names that we recognise – but more about them another lesson.                                                Andre Martin

The Happy Ballroom, David Bowie & The Buzz at Witch Doctor and more. 3rd September 1966 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

All too quickly the summer season ends and we start to return a more normal schedule, although as this was 1966 this would be still hectic for a few more weeks because of the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, as I write this we are remembering Saturday 3rd September 1966. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier has The Tony Strudwick Big Band for this weeks entertainment, and the variety on offer has now been reduced to just the Saturday night – the Sunday Club ended on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Along the coast, a distance that I was informed recently was just under 1 mile, the Witch Doctor is still following the Saturday Night live bands, and this week we have some chap, called Dave Bowie ?? And the Buzz, they have advertised them as Radio London Climbers! The remainder of the week is Record, but I understand that one of the most popular record spinners would be returning later in the month after a summer break. Our regular routine would for many have been Friday Night and Ready Steady Go with the show piloted through the bedlam by Cathy & Keith, on the show this week The Spencer Davis Group “When I come Home”, Wayne Fontana “Goodbye Bluebird, The Fortunes “ Is it really worth your While” & Sandie Shaw “ Run”. Lets take a look at the BBCs offerings – On The Light Programme on Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss sitting in for Brian Matthew, and the groups appearing included Alan Price, The Spencer David Group, Small Faces and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In the afternoon – Swing into Summer continues and this week’s artistes included Adam Faith, Vince Hill, The Ivy League & The Magil 5, for Brass Band Fans this was also the 114th National Competition broadcast live. The evening entertainments still with summer seasons in mind came from Great Yarmouth with Terry Scott & Hugh Lloyde, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys and The Countrymen. Later in the evening it was The Henry Wood Promenade Concert from the Royal Albert Hall. The evening ended with Dancing Over Europe and Simon Dee. Television – Grandstand, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Till Death Do Us Part, The Trouble shooters and Match of the Day. Sunday, was very much as usual – Radio – Children’s requests, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Easy Beat. Three way Family Favourites – London, Koln & Singapore [BFBS were just about to move into their new studios in Tanglin Army Barracks on the island, that would be their home until the pull out of British Forces in 1972 from the Singapore Base – I remember it well] The afternoon was filled with the usual comedy, Melody and Movie times and later in the evening the main show came from Blackpool. The evening ended with Jazz Scene. Sunday was Educational till mid afternoon, then International Athletics, followed by It’s a KO – Blackpool v Lytham St Anne, Perry Mason and Ken Dodd. BBC 2 had Cricket and a feature on Animals in Trinidad.
On the pirates Tony Blackburn on Radio London Top Forty – Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers “ Got to Get you into my Life”, Lee Dorsey “ Working Down a Coal Mine”, Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band “ Big Time Operator & a band that I would work many times with a little later in the Decade on Hastings Pier – Episode Six “ Here There and Everywhere”. The top 5 on Radio Caroline this week – Dave Lee Travis on Caroline South – Roy Orbison “ Too Soon To Know”, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine, Manfred Mann “Just Like a Woman”, Small Faces “ All or Nothing” and Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”
So there we have another weeks memories of Hastings & St Leonards. I hope that it brought back the good times, even if after all these years perhaps that not quite as we remember them – memory can do some strange things to the truth.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks again, Andre. You took me right back there!

The Mojos – Hastings Pier Sat 22nd August 1964. by Andre Martin

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ad – Andre Palfrey-martin collection. Mojos photo source: http://www.merseybeatnostalgia.co.uk/html/the_mojos.html

Well here we are almost at the end of August – a month that has seen so much happening in the town and no less than on Hastings Pier, in the Happy Ballroom andBar, Saturday 22 August 1964. Topping the bill tonight – “The Merseybeat” sound of The Mojos and in support The Orbits, making a return to the town. Originally called The Nomads, they recorded a track for the ‘This Is Mersey Beat’ LP then discovered a London group had registered the name so changed it to The Mojos. In october 1963 Adrian Wilkinson left the group and was replaced by Nick Crouch, former Farons Flamingos lead guitarist. While they were appearing at the Star Club, Hamburg,[ Many people have asked – “what did it look like – so I have found a picture and added to the images ” they recorded what is now considered one of the classics of the ‘Mersey Sound’, ‘Everythings Alright’ which entered the UK top 10 charts. The next two releases were less distinguished and prompted Stu James to say “We made our name in Liverpool as Blues specialists but were persuaded to do all sorts of lightweight pop stuff. After our initial success, we just stumbled on in a fairly aimless way, the acclaim we got was for our live performances which remained loud and raucous” . In December 1964, Stu James and Nick Crouch split from the others and formed Stu James & the Mojos bringing in Lewis Collins on bass and Aynsley Dunbar on Drums, this line-up continued till 1966 when Nick left the music business and Lewis Collins entered into a successful acting career appearing in the hit TV series ‘The Professionals’

Friday night good times would have been started off with “Ready Steady Go – The Weekend Starts Here” from Kingway Studios London – with Cathy and Keith introducing amongst others – The Cherokees – “Seven Daffodils” Brenda Lee – “Is It True” P.J. Proby – “Hold Me” ,other guests included Helen Shapiro, Brenda Lee – “Is It True” ,Wayne Gibson and the Dynamic Sounds & Duffy Power. For the adventurous amongst us, we would have a mile further west and stopped at Marine Court the home of The Witch Doctor, where the line up over the next few days would have included :-The Habits & Mark 4 [Saturday] The Voodoos [Sunday] Bern Elliott and his Clan [Wednesday] Dave Champion and The Strangers [Friday] and advanced notification for Sunday 30th – Alexis Korner. It is not difficult to see that the battle lines were drawn between the Happy Ballroom & The Witch Doctor. Until next week’s edition of the History of The Happy Ballroom, enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend – as moved to the end of August from the following year 1965. And don’t forget to catch Matthew Banisters’ Production of the Mods & Rockers Re-booted on BBC 1 South/South East – 7.30pm                                             by Andre Martin

Glynis Phillips… Went to see Mojos on pier 1st band I ever saw.

Robert Searle… Don’t forget that’s the original Mojos on that record.

 

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier, The Who & more 21st August 1966 by Andre Martin

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supplied by: Andre Palfrey-martin collection

The month continues and we are now almost at the next Bank Holiday Weekend. However it is still only Saturday 20th August 1966, over on the Pier the entertainment continues to attract many different visitors and residents alike. This Saturday it is the return of one of the most popular regular bands that appear in the Happy Ballroom – Tony Strudwick Big Band Party Night. The big attraction for the young people comes on Sunday with a return visit from The Who – the band had been recently on major tours in France and would shortly being going to Scandinavia, their music included such standards as Heatwave, Dancing in the Street, Barbra Ann and Daddy Rolling Stone, plus I Can’t Explain, Substitute, I’m Boy, A legal Matter & My Generation. They were working on their second album at the time – “A Quick One”. Tuesday it was Wrestling and in addition to the “Sensational American Style Tag team Contest” included in the bill was the Heavyweight contest between Steve Veidor and Al Fontayne. The week ended with Tony Strudwick Show Band. Friday night [19th] it was a great start to the weekend with the visit to “Ready Steady Go” Cathy and Keith in the hot seats and presenting live in the studio Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers : Got to get you into my Life, Salena Scott : I am Yours, Manfred Mann : Just Like a Woman & You gave me somebody to Love, Twice as Nice & The Who : A legal Matter & I’m a Boy. This would also have seen one of the very first appearances of Mike d’Abo in the new line up for Manfred Mann, with Paul Jones having left earlier in the summer. The Witch Doctor following its summer schedule of groups only on Saturday Night – this week it was a visit for the Oxford group Felders Orioles and the Yes “n” No. On Sunday Night it was a Record Rave and the rest of the week advertised as “ make sure you’re in the In crowd”
Let’s take a look at what was on radio, BBC Light Programme for Saturday – 10.00am Saturday Club – Brian Matthew introduced Manfred Mann, Twice as Nice, The Fourmost, Friday Brown & The Checkmates. Later in the day on Swing into Summer included Barron Knights, Acker Bilk, Clinton Ford, Ivy League, Billy J Kramer, Pinkertons Assorted Colours, Searchers, Jackie Trent & Wout Steenhaus. With the football season being under way, another feature on Saturday Afternoon – Association Football was back followed by Sports Report. In the evening it was time for BlackPool Night with Ken Dodd, Mrs Mills and Freddie Davies. A regular visit to the Promenade Concerts would have been followed with Time for Latin and Simon Dee.
On television – BBC 1 had Cricket with Brian Johnson, Peter West, Denis Compton and Richie Benaud, followed by Grandstand. Juke Box Jury this week with David Jacobs chairing –Don Moss, Patsy Ann Noble, Meg Wynn Owen and Fred Emney on the panel. Later in the evening the programmes included Laurel 7 Hardy, Creicket, Till Death us do Part, The Troubleshooters and a Visit to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with Tom Fleming giving the commentary.  On Sunday we had a choice of BBC Light Programme – David Nixon, Children’s Favourites, Mrs Mills and Easy Beat. The forces link up this week at noon would include London Koln and Borneo, later in the afternoon it was the Morecomb & Wise radio Show, Movie Go Round – How to steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. Singe something simple followed by Steptoe & Son. Sunday half hour this week came from HMPrision Exeter. A womens hour special from Moscow was followed by Jazz scene. Over on television there was “It’s a KO” between Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood, and Ked Dodd from Blackpoo was another high light of the day
Over on the Pirate ships, this week’s charts would include Big L Radio London: Small Faces: All or Nothing, Ken Dodd : More than Nothing, Beatles : Yellow Submarine, Napoleon XIV : They’re coming to take me away, Ha Ha. Cliff Bennet & The Rebel Rousers : Got to get you into my Life. Over on Caroline South – Beatles : yellow Submarine, Beach Boys : God only Knows, Lovin Spoonful : Summer in the City, Mamas and Papas : I saw her again last night, Los Bravos : Black is Black. Here we are at the end of the week, and from records it shows that the weather went from warm in the early days to wet and cooler towards the end, I do recall that we had several days of heavy rain towards the end of the month, so much so that on some of the bus routes, the water came under the doors and made the floor a little wet and slippery. The 900th celebrations continue towards their climax on 14th October, and the town was decked out with bunting and flags making it very festive. Until next week episode, all take care out in the big wide world and watch this space for events and changes that are about to take place.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

Here’s The Who a few weeks later at Felixstowe on 8th Sept 1966.

Andre Martin… OMG – Lynne that would  have been within 200 yds of my Uncles house in Felixstowe, I wonder if my Lynne cousin would have been at that.

Peter Fairless… Hastings Pier 21st August, 50 years ago, today!

Andre Martin… As you say Pete, 50 years ago almost to the minute – the headline bands would start their act around 9.00pm/9.15pm to ensure that it was completed by the early Sunday Closing hours. No quite sure if that was the National Licencing Hours or Bob Knight’s Rules !!

Jim Breeds… Thanks as always Andre for an entertaining piece. Ked Dodd from “Blackpoo” boggles the mind, though! 🙂

Andre Martin… I could say a typo – but if you have ever work with Ken Dodd, you never knew when he would end, I have seen him stretch out a 1hrs cabaret for over 3 hours ! so I left the last “l” untill the show wnds. Hope your feeling better and enjoying getting out and about.

Alex Harvey Soul Band – Hastings Pier Sat 8th August 1964 by Andre Martin

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cuttings supplied by Andre Palfrey-martin collection

What a week that turned into – Bank Holiday August 1964 – will go down in the local history for so many reasons, but more of that another time, here we are back in the Happy Ballroom on Saturday 8th August, and tonight be have on stage Alex Harvey Soul Band, supported by Johnny and The Spirits. Harvey was born in the Kinning Park district of Glasgow, where he grew up. By his own account, he worked in a number of jobs, from carpentry to waiting tables at a restaurant to carving tombstones, before finding success in music. He first began performing in skiffle groups in 1954. On Friday, May 20, 1960, at the Town Hall, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, Alex Harvey and his Big Beat Band opened for Johnny Gentle and His Group, “His Group” being the Beatles (John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore), on this the opening night — and biggest audience — of the Beatles’ seven-date tour of Scotland with Gentle.
His musical roots were in Dixieland jazz and skiffle music, which enjoyed considerable popularity in Britain during the late 1950s. From 1958 until 1965, he was the leader of Alex Harvey’s Big Soul Band, playing blues and rock and roll songs and spending considerable time touring in the United Kingdom He also won a competition, that sought “Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele”. Harvey became strongly identified with British rhythm and blues music, although he was equally able to play rock songs. The supporting band – Johnny & The Spirits, no information can be found, other than it was believed they came from South London.
The previous night, Ready Steady Go had featured music from —The Rolling Stones – “It’s All Over Now.” –Cilla Black – “It’s For You.”–Kenny Lynch – “What Am I To You?”–The Nashville Teens – “Tobacco Road.”–Brian Poole and the Tremeloes – “Twelve Steps To Love.”
A quick mention of the Witch Doctor – on the Saturday one of the regulars in the early days in St Leonards – Steve Marriotts Moments , destined for big things and on Wednesday 12th – The Animals, so the competition was building up.
I could not write this week’s History, without mentioning that the local press – The Hastings & St Leonards Observer, had several pages devoted to the previous weekend’s activities and the post actions : Magistrates Court, locals letters to the editor, the official feedback from the Police and Local Authorities. But I am sure that we have over the years heard a lot about what happened just over half a century ago, and drawn our own conclusions as to who really was behind these events.                                                                                  Andre Martin

Alan Esdaile……Apparently he won a Tommy Steele talent competition when he was young. Here he is, a few years later in 1974.

David Miller…..Now you’re talking…! The clip of Midnight Moses from the same gig is excellent too….Alex and Zal are very disturbing indeed…..!

Yvonne Cleland… Wow look at him – all clean and crew-cut!

Peter Thomson… The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were the support act for Slade when I saw them at Brighton Dome in ’73. I remember reading of his longevity in the music business even then. I was impressed that he had been supported by the Beatles for some early Scottish gigs in the ’60s.

Neil William Michael McGuigan… Shocked, never knew that. I’m a big sahb fan

The Worrying Kind in the Happy Ballroom Sat 27th June 1964 by Andre Martin

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Here is this week’s edition of The History of the Happy Ballroom, we are at the end of June – its Saturday Night 27th June 1964 – and tonight’s show will be topped by The Worrying Kind and supported by Frankie Roy and the Sandcoasters. So it’s all out of the long bar into the ballroom to see the show, you can go back for a lemonade if your good in the band changes.

I recognise the name of the top of the bill, but have little knowledge of their pedigree other than they started in the early 1960s in and around Hull, after winning an audition for a midlands agency they ended up working in London, and have to their credit supporting roles with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Georgie Fame and Zoot Money. Their line up included brass & keyboards and the music would fall roughly into the Soul/Dance genre. They made 2 recording for Marquee Studios. And that I am sorry to say is about all I could find.
The supporting act – Frankie Roy and the Sandcasters – this 5 piece have their roots in the Wantage/Swindon area, and first turned professional in 1964, in their time they played a lot of gigs in the west country and supported The Stones on their first appearance in Swindon earlier this year.
So it’s a little thin of detail this week – let us hope for more next month.
For the Friday Night RSG brigade, this would have been a good week with presentations from The Rolling Stones – plugging “It’s All Over Now”, The Mersey Beats with the Bacharach and David classic Wishing and Hoping “, Millie Small “ My Boy Lollipop” to add to the entertainment Janice Nicholls of ” Oi’ll Give It Foive” fame “.
Till next week in the Happy Ballroom ………………. Andre Martin

Suzie… They were called the frankie Roy and the Soundcasters and had Dave Balfe on guitar.

Sandy Max… Blimey, I was five!

Sam Carter… My dad Bob Carter was a member of the Soundcasters

The Yardbirds – Hastings Pier 10th July 1966

Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andre Martin….Somebody asked about The Yardbirds/Zoot Money on the Pier – well as area as chickens teeth here is an advertisement from Hastings Observer July 1966 – which might give some information

Here they are in the film ‘Blow Up’

Jim Breeds…..Marvellous stuff! Though with the exception of one couple the audience has less movement in it than the terracotta army! At least until the guitar neck got thrown. I assume that Pete Townsend must have watched this, lol.

Andre Martin… Also they play  on October 6, 1965  at The Witch Doctor, Hastings. This date does not appear in any listings of WD acts, but I can recall such.

Yvonne Cleland… The YARDBIRDS?!!!

Alan Esdaile… Would have loved to have seen The Yardbirds. Who remembers seeing the film Blow Up?

Yvonne Cleland… I remember seeing it, but a lot later than when it first came out!

Colin Norton… I remember seeing the Yardbirds with Eric on board in November, 1964. They were supporting Jerry Lee Lewis in Brighton. Great show!

Ricky Long… Thanks Alan & Andre,I played on some of the Tony Strudwick Band gigs but can’t
remember which ones.

Colin Norton… I remember seeing the Yardbirds with Eric on board in November, 1964. They were supporting Jerry Lee Lewis in Brighton. Great show!

Will Cornell… Blow Up had Jane Birkin too, but I forget which one of the girls the photographer romps with she was. That was a unneeded, gratuitous, stupid scene they could have cut out…but the Yardbirds gig and his study of the body in the photo, way cool.

Mick O’Dowd… I definately can confirm that they played the Witchdoctor as I won 2 tickets from our old friend Steve Maxted so he can confirm it as well

Jan Colley… Managed to get their autographs

Mike Berry & The Innocents – Hastings Pier Sat 20th June 1964 by Andre Martin

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all cuttings  Andre Palfrey-martin collection

The next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, takes us almost midsummer in 1964 – its Saturday 20 June and Bob Knights and brought back one of the most popular acts that regularly appeared in Hastings – Mike Berry and the Innocents, backed with Chris Star and the Orbits.
Mike Berry started off as “Kenny Lord and The Statesmen” and then became “Mike Berry & The Outlaws” before “Mike Berry and The Innocents.”
“The Innocents” were originally a band called “‘Bobby Angelo & The Tuxedos” who had backed Mike once or twice. When ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ made it into the charts, Mike needed a band so offered them the job. The change in name came about when the guys were travelling in the group van one day to rehearsals. They were suddenly surrounded by police at traffic lights near their manager’s office thinking five young guys in a van looked suspicious. Whilst being questioned, their manager came along to explain who they were and that they were quite ‘innocent,’ and so the name was born!
The original Outlaws date back to 1961 when they, as members of the then recently disbanded ‘Billy Gray & The Stormers’, reformed without Billy, on the promise of better things to come in the shape of a recording contract from the legendary producer Joe Meek, initially to back his newly signed artist Mike Berry. As it transpired, when Joe realised what a talented bunch they were, he was very keen to get them to record in their own right, as well as back virtually every other solo artist under Joe’s control. Including Carter-Lewis, Gunilla Thorne, Michael Cox, Jess Conrad, Freddie Starr, Dave Kaye, Dave Adams (Burr Bailey,Silas Dooley Jr) and Houston Wells (Andy Smith) among others.
The Innocents became to the Joe Meek Organisation what Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brother were to Motown.
They had several singles early in their career – including a cover of the Goffin & King classic – Will You Still Love Me tomorrow http://youtu.be/7wea1hYNP6A
the one that really put them on the map as Mike Berry & The Outlaws – A tribute to Buddy Holly http://youtu.be/5IQhJ-VVGyo
A month earlier The Outlaws had achieved, backing another Meek’s protégé, singer John Leyton on his number one hit ”Johnny Remember Me”.
A further hit came from the same producer Joe Meek in 1964 with http://youtu.be/kgNbN9mPiW4
This again was an example of how The Happy Ballroom was bringing down to Hastings some of the most popular and entertaining acts available in the country for its young people.
Again – The Chris Star Orbits, have proved a complete mystery, I wonder sometimes with these support bands, if they are simply a bunch of musicians that have been put together for the show, using an existing name .. Does sound a little like something promoters and producers would do when pushed.
Several people were interested to know about the new feature on these weekly posts – who appeared on ITVs READY STEADY GO the Friday Night before – in this case it would be 19th JUNE– I can confirm, we would have seen the Animals – The House of the Rising Sun, being promoted as it was due for release the following Thursday, and we all know what happened with that single ! – The Crickets, who were touring the UK at the time and promoting (They call her) LA BAMBA and Troy Dante & The Infernos who were currently supporting the Crickets on their UK tour. Andre Martin

Catherine Ireland… I remember making a commercial with Mike Berry. For Cadburys drinking chocolate with Elaine Delmar not sure which year.

Barron Knights – Hastings Pier 13th June 1964 by Andre Martin

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The month of June 1964 continues to be fairly warm if not a little wet, and here we are again on Hastings Pier eager to make our trip to the Happy Ballroom, for tonight on the bill be have the ever popular Barron Knights and support comes from a Eastbourne group who we have seen many times before The Sabres.
Hailing from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire when they started in 1959, they were a straight pop group, and spent a couple of years touring and playing in UK dance halls, before the obligatory trip and time in Hamburg, West Germany. In 1963, at the invitation of Brian Epstein, they were one of the support acts on The Beatles’ Christmas shows at the Finsbury Park Astoria in London, and later became one of the few acts to tour with both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. They first came to fame in 1964 with the number “Call Up the Groups” (Parts 1 and 2). It overcame copyright restrictions and parodied a number of the leading pop groups of the time including the Searchers, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Dave Clark Five, the Bachelors, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. The song imagined the various artists singing about being conscripted, or “called up” into the British Army, although actual conscription had ended in 1960. The single released in the summer of 1963 entered the charts in July that year climbed to number 3 and remained in the charts for 13 weeks. As an example, the song “Bits and Pieces” by The Dave Clark Five was parodied as “Boots and Blisters”. It is quite on the cards that this number could have been introduced to the audience in The Happy Ballroom on this appearance, and as such we could have been some of the first to see the new format of Comedy from the Boys.
Back in the last 1970s, I worked many times with the group when they appeared in Cabaret in various clubs and service bases in this country, and their act by then included a lot of sketches and one liners that had been part of their Television Shows in the UK.
As with so many groups at this time, there were alway changes, and sometimes tracking down their histories is difficult, because, people at the time never kept details, photographs, datesheets etc. The Sabres, who for several years had entertained us in the south-east were about to reinvent themselves and become The Shelley and it was from mid 1964 that these changes would take place, and we would see this happen ……. But more about later in the year.

Read moreBarron Knights – Hastings Pier 13th June 1964 by Andre Martin

History of the Happy Ballroom The Kinks – Hastings Pier 23rd May 1964

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all cuttings….. Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin….Its that time of the week for the next chapter in the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier. Dateline 23rd May 1964, not a very eventful weekend, other than it was to be the first time that an up an coming group from Croydon were to make an appearance – a group that were to become very popular in coming years – The Kinks. Supported by a regular outfit that had appeared many time before over the years Earl Sheridan and the Housebrakers.

This was a few weeks before the third release from the Kinks – “ You Really Got Me “ and would establish them in the recording world, this was to reach no 1 in early August [ 4 days after THAT appearance from the Rolling Stones in The Happy Ballroom ] and stayed in that slot for the following 3 weeks. What makes this interesting is that the College had booked the group for their Summer Ball in July and ace reporters – students – David Bargioni and Roger Summerling were sent to interview the group for a write up in the Rag Mag Howzat 1964. I quote from this work above in the captured images.  That’s about all for this week folks, enjoy the summer weather – if it lasts, and the Bank Holiday Weekend .  Andre Martin

Helena Kingshott… I was there x

Mick O’Dowd… Good stuff as usual Andre. Thanx