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

History of The Happy Ballroom and more 21st August 1965 by Andre Martin

I thought that for this week’s edition of The History of the Happy Ballroom, Hastings Pier – Saturday 21st August 1965, it would be a good idea to check back on the weather, as we go from extremes to extremes at the moment, and it does make life a little difficult. Overall the Temperatures for August 1965 were below average, and on several occasions the area of Hastings and the Pier were subject to gale force winds and heavy rain. This would have given the ballroom even more problems in trying to heat such a large area, but the British are a hardy race, and the Old Time Music Hall and the Wrestlers, keep the “Dunkirk Spirit” alive and made the journey to the sharp end and kept the audience numbers good.
Friday Night would have started the weekend off with our visit, via Rediffusion to the Television Studios in KingsWay London, and on the show tonight: Alan Price Set-“Any Day Now” :Donovan – “ Universal Soldier”: Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders – “She Needs Love” and Herman’s Hermits – “A Little Bit Better”. Our usual hosts Cathy and Keith would have tried to bring some sanity to the show.
The Witch Doctor was as ever presenting an interesting range of groups for us to appreciate, Saturday it was the return of The Meddy-Evils and in support The Equals [featuring an up and coming Eddie Grant]. Sunday Club presented an up and coming band from South London – The Herd. Friday Night – the start of the Bank Holiday Weekend and we had the Rising Suns. The rest of the week we had the various record nights being presented by the WDs team of DJs.
BBC Radio was working hard to maintain their audiences. The Light Programme on Saturday was a real mix with something for all, 10.00am Saturday Club – this week with Simon Dee sitting in for Brian Matthew, on the show – Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, Unit 4+2, the Walker Brothers, Alma Cogan, the Artwoods, Mel & the Primates, the Ladybirds and Arthur Greenslade & the Gee Men. 12.00 Lance Ago go. 12.30 The N D O with Sheila Buxton. This was followed at 1.15pm with Murray Kash and Walk Right In. 2.00pm Saturday Swings with Mr Aker Bilk, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, Dodie West, the New Faces, plus records. 4.00pm we would have had The Folk Room with the Overlanders, Alabama Hayrides’ and the Malcolm Price Trio. Later in the evening, perhaps in competition to the Pier people might have decided to stay home 9.00pm “Time for Old Time” Sidney Bowman and Benny Lee and MC for the show Stanley Wilson.
Sunday followed the usual format – 10.31am it was Easy Beat, following the morning service, noon and it would have been Two Way Family Favourites [London & Koln]. The early afternoon was filled with comedy half hours and at 3.00pm Movie Go Round with this week – “Mary Poppins” featuring Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke, and “Dr Who and the Daleks” – starring Peter Cushing and Roy Castle. The pop music continued at 4.00pm with T O T P.
Television – Juke Box Jury panel this week were Carole Carr, Terence Edmonds, Herman and Rosemary Nicols – in the Chair David Jacobs. Later in the evening at 10.35pm Raymond Baxter introduced the 1965 Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 50 years later, so many of the regiments have disappeared as the reduction in the Military numbers and postings.
Its main pop show for this week was “Thank Your Lucky Stars” and I wonder how many of you know all the acts that appeared this week – the Byrds, Alma Cogan, Eddie Hodges, Frank Isfield, Barbara Kaye, the Walker Brothers, the Rockin Berries introduced by Brian Matthew.
Looking ahead, it’s the Bank Holiday next weekend, in its new slot at the END of August and there is lots being planned to entertain the visitors and residents alike, I recall that we even put on extra buses to cope with the expected people. Going back to my point about the weather, I am sure that we were just about or have just had flooding in the town centre and Middle Street being under water. That would make it difficult for us[bus crews] to get into our canteen during its opening hours.
Until next week’s Bank Holiday Special, I hope that you have been able to keep dry and are enjoying the end of the Summer Season – you all take care.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

History of the happy ballroom and more 7th August 1965 by Andre Martin

The History of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, continues this week 50 years ago, its Saturday 7th August 1965 – with the local press having reported that the Old Time Musical Hall had been doing excellent trade, the format which was based on the City Variety Leeds, as we had seen on Television, had transformed the Ballroom on some evenings, where groups were encouraged to dress in the Edwardian Style, and they were treated to Table service of drinks and snacks. Reading this in the local newspaper – The Hastings & St Leonards Observer is good news for all.
The weekend the regulars on Friday Night would have been eagerly watching RSG – this week the top of the bill was The Who, however on the TV recording on the Wednesday, Roger was down with a bug and had been sent home, he had however recovered by Friday when appeared at the Richmond Jazz Festival. Also on the programme Brian Poole & The Tremeloes :”I want Candy”: The [US] Byrds “All I really want to Do” and Sonny & Cher “ I got You Babe”.
BBC Radio was certainly putting out some good music – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew – YES I Remembered ! – In the line up Gerry and The Pacemakers, Vikki Carr, The Johnny Spence Orchestra, Gene Vincent, The Puppets, Carolyn Hester and The Marionettes. Lunchtime it was The Northern Dance Orchestra – known as The NDO with guest Friday Brown. 2.00pm Saturday Swings – The Hollies, Acker Bilk, Scott Peters and the Jenny Allen Trio. Change in mood with the Folk Room at 4.00pm this week on the show Donovan, The Settlers, Jenny Johnson and Shangaans.
Sunday 10.31 it was Easy Beat – very little information about this week, 12.00 noon it was THREE WAY Family Favourites, BBC London, BFBS Cologne and BFBS Nicosia with Jean Challis. Later at 4.00pm it was Alan Fluff Freeman with Top of The Pops.
Television – Saturday Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs, Catherine Boyle, Billy Daniels, Don Moss and Helen Shapiro. ITV offered Thank your Luck Stars with this week, Jim Dale, Sonny & Cher, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers, Heinz, the Small Faces and Sue Thompson.
I have left the Witch Doctor to the end this week, because it must have been one of the very best of weeks, Saturday 7th August we had Sons of Man and The Washington DCs. Sunday Club –it was a first visit from The Ram Jam Band with Geno Washington, for that night the prices had risen a little to 6/- in todays money 30p. The rest of the week it was records with the Witch Doctor team, but on Friday another great first for the Club, because on stage – Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames – playing much of their material from the recent released albums – Fame at The Flamingo” and “Fame at Last” The local press gave a very good write up of the show. Another visit from a future big name had attracted the press the previous week, it was the first visit to the club of The WHO, who were filmed by the BBC at the club for a pilot of a new TV show for young people called ”Whole Scene Going” Produced for the BBC by Elizabeth Cowley it had from Private Eye Barry Fantoni and actress Wendy Varnals as the presenters. The series ran from 5th January 1966 to 15th June 1966 [you will have to wait for more details till the blog reaches 1966 !!] The Who at the Witch Doctor and the interview with Pete Townsend went to air on 5th January. So all in all it has been a exciting week.
Back to today, and this has been an exciting week with The Old Town Carnival and Carnival FM – the opportunity for me to get back to playing music,” Time Machine” and “Ready Steady Go – The Weekend Starts Here” and the additional fun with interviewing Mick Odowd about the Witch Doctor from our youth. Must away as I still have to put together one more show for Sunday afternoon – SHOWTIME – FILMS AND SHOWS – that is going to be fun. Until next week you all take care and enjoy yourselves

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

History Of The Happy Ballroom – 19th Dec 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… History of the Happy Ballroom reaches the weekend before Christmas – Saturday 19th December 1964, and what I find surprising is that there is very little in the newspaper, editorial or advertising to say that its almost at Christmas, a couple of paragraphs that covers the week ahead. One item that I did pick up on was that amongst all the appearances of the Percy Howe Orchestra, is that on Boxing Day Patrick Dane and Club 69 will be providing the music in that evening – this is a change from the current musical policy, as Patrick Dane has appeared many times in the past with the Quiet Five in the Happy Ballroom.

This is a busy week, with lots happening for the youngsters in the town, The Witch Doctor – its 1st Christmas, has a full programme. Saturday its Christians Crusaders and The Rockin Eccentrics, the Sunday Club brings down Top R&B Group – The Meddy Evils. Wednesday we see some home grown talent – The Confederates make a welcome return. Thursday is Christmas Eve and topping the bill from South London Steve Marriott’s Moments supported by The Lonely Ones. And for those who want to get out on Christmas Day, there will be a record session in the club between 12.00noon – 2.00pm.
It is not unusual for venues to be open on Christmas Morning, if you look in the newspaper, you find that The Pier, The White Rock Pavilion, The Sun Lounge and even The White Rock Baths were open for a few hours on Christmas Morning.
The weekend would have kicked off on Redifusion TV with – The Weekend Starts Here – Ready Steady Go, and from Kingsway that week we would have been entertained by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan fronting the show, this week featuring The Animals, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and Petula Clark, no doubt saving up for the extra long show on Christmas Day next week. The BBC were doing well, with the Light Programme on Saturday offering us – Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews featuring this week – Dick & DeeDee, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, The Countrymen, Rufus Thomas, The Chessmen and the Reg Tilsey Group. Saturday Swings [2.00pm] Frankie Vaughan, Karl Denver, Maureen Evans, Kenny Lynch, The Polka Dots, Sheila Sutton, The Bruvvers and back by request Wout Steenhuis [ this is a good example of the BBC paying attention to listeners requests from the town]. On Sunday Easy Beat [10.31] featured Pet Clark, Ronnie Hilton, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, the Seekers, Terry Lightfoots Jazzmen, musical support from the New Radio Orchestra, later in the afternoon at 5.00pm – Alan Freeman and Pick of the Pops
Amongst the television over the weekend, Juke Box Jury would have under the control of David Jacobs, and panellists – Marianne Faithfull – Sheila Hancock – Terry Hatch and Kenneth Williams.

We are set for another interesting week; one new feature to our entertainment would hit the airwaves at 6.00am on 23rd December 1964 – transmitting from 3 miles off the English Coats near Frinton in Essex – on 266 Meters in the Medium Wave Band – Radio London. The station had been test transmitting for the pervious week, but now they would be on air till August 1967. There would be other connections with Hastings and Big L – Radlon Sales from 17 Curzon Street – but more about that later. Until the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom [ don’t worry – we will get back to more stories from the Pier in the coming weeks ] keep warm, enjoy the coming week and Christmas Get togethers, and be safe, if you want to have a drink, then please do not drive – you know that it makes sense. On that note have a peaceful time and I will be back in time for Boxing Day.                    2014©Andre Palfrey-Martin