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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all cuttings Andre Palfrey-martin collection

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

Marshall Scott and Whisky Mac first gig – September 1968

supplied by Andre Martin

Ian McGilvray… One of My first Bands

Geoff Peckham… Yes, I remember seeing you with them. Quite awestruck as a young lad, I was!

Dave Nattress… Geoff, I recall seeing Whisky Mac round and about Bexhill a few times probably the first few live gigs I ever attended. I remember Mac (Ian) from school – he would have been 2/3 years older than you and I? Probably back then Ian and you would have been just about the only rock musicians in the school? As you would recall though, there was a thriving school orchestra for a good while presided over by a somewhat formidable Miss Celia Elsworth. I’m pretty sure there was a dedicated music room that carried over from the girls school when the boys and girls were amalgamated in our 4th year.

Donation to Conquest Hospital Radio from Kevin Burchett Scalliwags

photos by Sid Saunders

Today 11th May 2018, Kevin Burchett on behalf of the members of Scalliwags made a donation of £300 to the Conquest Hospital Radio.Three of the radio presenters accepted the donation with thanks at the White Rock Hotel. In the photo left to right is Tony Davis, Kevin Burchett, Alan Esdaile and Andre Palfrey-Martin. Donations to help with the running of the radio station are always welcome.

Alan Esdaile… very much appreciated Kevin

Andre Martin… Excellent and a BIG thank you from all at CHR. It will be much appreciated.

Mick O’Dowd… Good stuff Kev!

Tony Davis… Thank you Kevin.

Andy Qunta… Excellent!

Alison Cackett… Brilliant x

Wendy Belton… A huge thank you to Kevin Burchett for his generous donation to Conquest Hospital Radio and to Sid Saunders for the lovely photos.

Kevin Burchett…. you have to thank the scalliwags members that come to my charity event every year without them it wouldnt happen

Kings Country Club – The Drifters, Martha Reeves, Johnnie Ray -1970’s memories from Andre Martin(Chris Gentry)

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

advert 26th January 1978

Mike Wright…..Drifters with the great lead voice of Johnny Moore

Philip Meston……The only performance I saw at Kings was The Three Degrees and that was because I free tickets!

Andre Martin…..Philip for you –

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Robert Searle….Saw Three Degrees there, the place was packed out .A really good night with Clodagh Rodgers in support.

Colin Fox….. also saw them at Kings and they did a great harmony version of MacArthur Park

Gary Kinch…..All together now, one, two, three……………………….Under the Boardwalk, down by the sea.

Jacqueline Patton… I used to go with my parents it was a grand night out as a child

Colin Fox… The Drifters had 60 different singers over the years, and the last original Drifter died in 2007. I remember reading years ago that their were 42 different groups called The Drifters touring the world in one year.

 

A Band Of Angels – Hastings Collage 30th October 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Martin… As its Halloween at the moment, if we think back – this is about the college, here is something that I know will be of interest to many, On Friday evening 30th October 1964, in the old Gymnasium at the College in Archery Road, we held our Halloween Dance – Top of the Bill, A Band of Angels, featuring Mike d’Abo and the supporting band whose name slips my memory for the moment, bass guitar one Noel d’Abo [ student and well known member of the college]. We do not have any press adverts for this, but I have found the following press cutting from the local Observer, about a visit made by the group to AJs show in Queens Road. I am sorry the photo is very dark, but Mike can just be seen in the back row.