Cilla Black & Sounds Incorporated – Hastings Pier 4th April 1964

all cuttings Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin….Its the 4th March 1964  and  its the visit from the Liverpool Lass – Cilla Black, plus Sounds Incorporated and supporting group Rock and Roll outfit from London Earl Sheriden and the Houseshakers.
I have found out a very interesting newspaper cutting from the Hastings Observer following the show and it gives some interesting information. Cilla was about to release her follow-up to “Anybody Who Had A Heart” at the beginning of May “You’re My World”, was an English language rendition of the Italian popular song, “Il Mio Mondo”. Produced by George Martin at the Abby Studios and featuring Johnny Pearson at the baton, incidentally looking into my crystal ball, this single would reach the no 1 spot in the UK by the end of May – just in time for the next Bank Holiday.
A great part of the show was the music of Sounds Incorporate, who hailed from Dartford and had been part of the Brian Epstein Empire scene for about 18 months, and during this time had worked with many of the Liverpool acts on the numerous touring shows that were so popular in this country. They had a excellent recording pedigree and had been regulars as supporting many popular US artistes such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee and Sam Cooke.Very little known about the support band, they were a south London outfit, that had previously played at the Pier – if any more comes to light I will post.

Alan Esdaile….The story I remember from Bob Knights the pier manager on Cilla Black was that on her first appearance on the Pier she was so broke they could not afford accommodation and they usually slept in the van and looked like they hadn’t eaten for days. After the gig they stayed at Bob Knights house for the night and he gave them a big meal.

Andre Martin…..Knowing Bob, that sounds like a true story, thanks for sharing – I know Bob could be a “old Woman” at times, but he had the Pier at heart and made our lives safer, even with the gaps in the planking !!

Susan Duck… I was there. Went to the dressing room to get her autograph. Brian Epstein was there. Cilla was so full of personality even back in those early days.

Moya Wilson… Wow that’s brilliant Susan.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Am I Dreaming? 80 Brit Girl Sounds Of The 60s. 3CD Set

AM I DREAMING?  80 BRIT GIRL SOUNDS OF THE 60’s    Various Artists 3CD Set

I’ve been looking forward to this release, definitely an early Christmas pressie for me. Solo and girl groups of the 60’s is one of my favourite genres. I guess most people’s minds would leap automatically to the sounds from over the pond from the Brill Building, Carole King, Shangri-La’s etc and Spectors Wall of Sound productions for The Ronettes, Crystals etc all timeless classics of course. But here in the UK we had an equally thriving ‘scene’ with many going on to be big names and some sadly disappearing without trace. This beautifully presented 3CD set from RPM is a finale to their very successful ‘Dream Babes’ series of compilations that ran from 1994 to 2007. If you already own any of these CD’s fear not none of the tracks are duplicated in this set which contains many rarities and some previously unissued material. The accompanying booklet by Ian Chapman and Bob Stanley tells the story in fine form along with some great photos. Just some of the ‘big’ names starting out on their careers are here in the shape of Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield (The Springfields), Kathy Kirby (a huge favourite of my dear old dad), Cilla Black, Jackie Trent, Elkie Brooks, Kiki Dee and Cloda (without the gh) Rodgers to name but a few. Fascinating to hear their evolution from their early recordings contained here. Away from these well known artists are the lesser remembered but in some cases equally great singers who had some success but didn’t make the leap to the big league but nevertheless left us some great singles, my personal choice being Billie Davis, Samantha Jones and Beryl Marsden who could belt out a great tune and should have had greater success but such is the fickleness of the record buying public then and now. A lot of the girls (and groups) were viewed as a bit of novelty fare at the time, and to be fair some were. However listening to the Vernon Girls of We Love The Beatles fame/infamy sing ‘Only You Can Do It’ on Disc One you realise they weren’t a million miles away from those aforementioned Brill Building girls when they had decent material. At 80 tracks there is so much to unearth and enjoy, it may not all be in the premier league but for anyone like me who loves this genre and time period its hard to fault. The breadth and scope on display is actually summed up wonderfully by the accompanying press release and for once I can’t better it in my own words ‘ beat girls, folk girls, hippy girls, mod girls,……………….Not forgetting Schoolgirls, secretaries, convent girls, actresses, daughters of diplomats and god daughters of royalty’!! Wonderful. You can have the fun of working out who is who!

I’ll leave it there with a YouTube clip of our late beloved Cilla getting Motown, and the back of the two heads watching the performance in the first 10 seconds belong to a coupla geezers called Paul and John….wonder what happened to them……….

For more information go to

This being the last SMART Sounds of this year, may I wish an early happy Christmas to all fellow Smarties and friends, see you in the New Year,

Til then………………….


Cilla Black dies aged 72.


Jim Breeds… I’m only on my phone but it looks like no-one has shared this story yet  frown emoticon. Cilla Black dies aged 72

Chris Giles… Very sad another legend from my childhood passes away

Peter Millington… So many people will be mourning her departure from this life. I saw her on Hastings Pier on 4th April 1964 backed by Sounds Incorporated.

Andy Qunta… Sorry to hear this. Cilla was a great singer & entertainer, & seemed like a lovely person too. RIP.

Alan Esdaile… very sad news, R.I.P. Cilla.

Mick O’Dowd… It’s getting mighty crowded up there!

Leigh Wieland-Boys… Very sad news

Sarah Harvey… 🙁 A legend

Andre Martin… RIP Liverpool Lass

Jim Breeds… It’s not a lorra lorra laffs, this one, is it? Still, I expect St. Peter was shocked when she turned up calling out “Surprise, Surprise!!!!”

Caz Simpson… I was on the Pier at the same time as Peter, I’ve loved her ever since. So very sad.

Alan Pepper… Ta – Ra Chuck ! Will be missed . Another sad loss and thanks for the great performances.  Loved Step inside love and Alfie especially.

Cilla – ITV – 15th September Episode 1.

First of a three-part biopic of the Liverpudlian songbird who would later find fame and fortune. The young and unknown Priscilla White works in the typing pool of a local company in the city, but dreams of stardom. The series tells of her rocky road to fame and captures the essence of 1960s Liverpool with its atmosphere of promise and excitement as the Merseybeat music scene is about to explode. Priscilla falls for young chancer Bobby Willis, but in her desperation to become a star, she elbows him aside. Then a failed audition with Beatles manager Brian Epstein leaves her frustrated and distraught. With Sheridan Smith, Aneurin Barnard, Ed Stoppard, John Henshaw, and Melanie Hill.

Mick O’Dowd… Enjoyed this! Used to have The Big Three at The Cavern EP with What’d I Say on! Nostalgia overload!

Pete Fairless… She’s very good, isn’t she?

Alan Esdaile… Yes Sheridan Smith is very good and it is her singing.

Pete Fairless… All songs recorded live on set, it said – that’s excellent! Although, as you say, Sheridan Smith is a great singer, anyway, it’s a pretty impressive take on a young Cilla and particularly so if she did it with those false teeth in!

Ralph Town… I like he since A pint of Lager and a packet of Crisps but shes been an amazing Doctor Who companion to Paul McGanns Doctor for Big Finish Audio adventures 🙂

Jim Breeds… Missed this last night – may have to catch up on iplayer. Coincidentally we did watch Who Do You Think You Are last night featuring Sheridan Smith, whose ancestor was a banjo virtuoso. It was a very good episode and features her performing with her mum and dad’s country & western music act.