Happy Ballroom & music memories 9th January 1965 by Andre Martin




all cuttings – Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… That’s the Christmas and New Year celebrations over for another year, the Christmas Trees and Illuminations have gone from the town centre, and we all settle down for the start of the new year – this week in the Happy Ballroom its Saturday 9th January 1965, and the entertainments provided includes The Percy Howe Orchestra – “Bringing the Romance back to the Ballroom” – in the local press I notice that a change is intended, and from next week, The Gordon Ryder Orchestra will be providing the music for both young and old alike. Does this indicate that changes are afoot? We will have to wait and see, no looking in the crystal ball now!! Several of the local firms had also completed their seasonal functions and I have found a couple of examples, J F Parsons and KB [attached]
The St Leonards home of the Witch Doctor continues with an interesting programme for the coming week, including some changes. Saturday night we were entertainment with The Puppets and The Dolphins, Sunday Club saw the first visit by The Blues X5. Wednesday night introduced another genre for the club with Mr Acker Bilk and Paramount Jazz Band. Friday saw Wayne Dene and The Telstars bringing the week to a close. Watch out for more Jazz over the coming weeks, it had always been popular in the town, looking for a new audience or “the management” looking to keep us all happy?
Last Friday nights Ready, Steady, Go had been another good weekend with Cilla Black “ You’ve lost that Lovin Feeling “ and from the soundtrack of Ferry Cross the Mersey – “ Is it Love”. The Rockin Berries included in their set “ What in the Worlds Come over you” another single heading for the charts. Also on the show Sonny Boy Williamson, Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan, a good 30 minutes from London and the MOD world.
The BBC still kept up the POP music, Saturday Club with Brian Matthews hosted Matt Monro, Johnny Spencer Orchestra, Swinging Blue Jeans, Kenny Ball and a true Hastings favourite group – Tony Rivers & The Castaways . Later that day Saturday Swings, with Frankie Vaughan, The Barron Knights, The Brooks, The Outlaws, The Overlanders and The NDO [Northern Dance Orchestra] with Mr Bob Miller all under the control of Don Wardell.
Sunday Morning, for those who were up and about by 10.30am heard Susan Maughan, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Lorne Gibson Trio with The Johnny Howard Band – in the hot seat spinning records was Keith Fordyce.
For those who watched Television on Saturday evening, you had Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs – his panel this week – Peggy Mount, Pete Murray, Dusty Springfield and David Healey. As soon as this show ended, with a quick channel change it would be time for “Thank Your Lucky Stars” from ABC TV in Birmingham, and this week Brian Matthews [ he pops up all over the place ] presented – Ronnie Carroll, The Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, Twinkle, Dodie West and using her mathematic skills – Janice “ I’ll give it fouive” Nicholls.
What a week in Hastings – changes in the wind for the Happy Ballroom, introducing different sounds to the Witch Doctor, our cinemas offering us a good selection of block busting films – don’t forget we had several cinemas in the town and around all running seven days a week. So all in all it was a good time to be living in this town, plenty of jobs and a vibrant social scene.
Next week – will we know any more about the Pier? Log-in and read the next instalment of “The History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier “                    2015© Andre Palfrey-Martin.

Jim Breeds… I  remember my neighbour in Rock Lane, Trevor Partridge , playing this over and over on his record player 🙂

Yvonne Cleland… One of the great meaningful records of the Lido days……

Terry Huggins… Humph! I had to endure that dirge repeatedly in my youth. It was clearly derived from Leader of the Pack.

Alan Esdaile… Weren’t both of these banned from being played on the radio at one stage?

Terry Huggins… There were originally four Shangri Las, but the other one suffered from stage fright and left. They came from a tough area of New York and were the first ‘bad girl’ band.Many over amorous musicians they toured with received a hefty kick where it hurts. One of them died young, but Mary still performs occasionally. Don’t know about any bans, but there was a story that their record company refused to release I Can Never Go Home Any More until the lyric was changed to eliminate a reference to the girl being sexually abused by her father.

Pete Fairless… The BBC refused to play it, apparently.

Andre Martin… Twinkle had a big boost from plays on the Pirate Stations, don’t recall that being banned by the BBC, but I am sure that Leader of the Pack suffered. Don’t forget that we also had a powerful station at the time Radio Luxemburg, and Twinkle would have featured in any DECCA sponsored shows- there was Wednesday Night show TTDC [Teen & Twenty Disc Club] fronted by a well known DJ from the MECCA Circuit !!

Terry Huggins… There were a number of hit records about death during the late 50s early 60s: Dead Man’s Curve, Tell Laura I love her (with the words altered as it was written about a rodeo rather than a car race), Last Kiss, Teen Angel etc.

Pete Fairless… I love ‘Dead Man’s Curve’, what a great song!

Terry Huggins… And eerily portentous as it turned out for Jan Berry.

Julian Weber… Were Wayne Dene & The Telstars from Beaconsfield, Bucks?

Geoff Joliffe… Hi Julian, Wayne Dene & The Telstars were from Beaconsfield. I am Geoff Jolliffe who formed the band with John Ireson in early 60s and were going for several years but allas when we could not get into the charts we decided to disband and went on to carry on with other projects. I have carried on playing ever since and still enjoy the buzz. If you want to contact me, email geoff.jolliffe@btinternet.com Many fond memories of Telstar days

History of The Happy Ballroom – Sat 28th November 1964 – Togetherness Dancing. by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

In the History of the Happy Ballroom we move on to Saturday 28th November 1964 – in anticipation of the new policy of “ Togetherness Dancing” in the Ballroom, the countdown has started to next Saturday – only a week to go, and we will then know just what surprises the Pier Management has waiting for its patrons, old and new – but I have attached a press cutting from this Saturdays Hastings Observer, to give you some clues.
What else have the young people in the town followed over the weekend, The Weekend Starts Here – with Ready Steady Go on ITV on Friday evening, and the line up this weekend, under the control [ that’s putting it mildly ] with Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan – It’s a Beatles Special, this is the 3rd time that the Liverpool 4 have taken over most of the show, and this week’s music included “I Feel Fine”,” She’s A Woman”, “Baby in Black “, “Kansas City” and there was a competition to pick a young girl from the audience to have her photo taken and she had the opportunity to speak with the boys “on Camera” perhaps that was her 15 minutes of Fame, who knows ! Also on the programme – Kim Weston “ A ltlle More Love”, the Isley brothers “” Stagger Lee” and “Last Girl”, Sandie Shaw “?”, The Searchers “ What have I done to the Rain”, Billy J Kramer “Tennessee Waltz” and the Zombies “ Sumertime” – so it was a packed programme.
Radio Caroline was going strong with its range of programmes, and as you will have seen last week, the Witch Doctor was the venue for one of the Radio Caroline Roadshow visits that were making the rounds in the South – and we would see more of them in the future. Advanced notice – MV Galexy in on route………………………………
The BBC offering to the weekend, was packed with music [ I could be cynical and say that managers has been pulling all the strings to their artistes on air to plug their releases as Christmas was just a few weeks away] Saturday – BBC Light Programme – 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews and featuring this week The Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Martha & Vandellas, Peter Lee Stirling, The Bruisers, The Plebs [How Current] The Reg Tilsey Group. In the afternoon at 2.00pm Saturday Swings with Don Wardell and keeping him company in the studio – Billy J Kramer, The Hollies, Barron Knights, The Kestrels, Johnny Duncan and The Blue Grass Boys, and all the backing from the Northern Dance Orchestra [NDO to many]
TV that evening would include Juke Box Jury – with David Jacobs in control of the Bell or Buzzer, and helping him Jean Metcalfe [ from Family Favourites and incidentally we would hear a 3 way link up on Sunday with Cologne[BAOR] and Singapore[BFBS] – also on the panel Morecombe and Wise. For those who stayed at home and watched TV – Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green would keep you company.
Sunday BBC Radio Light Programme at 10.31am East Beat – The Searchers, Lulu, Spencer Davis, and by special request of Mr & Mrs Breeds of Hastings in Sussex – Wout Steenhuis, The Eric Delaney Big Band all under the control of Keith Fordyce.
Club goers making the trip to the Darkest parts of St Leonard’s [ Some parents thought that The Pam Dor Coffee Bar and The Witch Doctor were the worst dens of iniquity ] The line up for this weekend and week were – Saturday Trendsetters Ltd with Guy Darrell & The Midnighters, The Sunday Club featured – The Micky Finns, and Wednesday brought the return to the town, this time not on the Pier of Lord Sutch & The Savages, Friday brought the week to a close with Johnny Mike & The Shades.
Next week – all change on the Pier, it will be interesting to see just how successful this was, the run up to Christmas starts with a lot of the local firms starting to hold their Christmas Parties, and how we were spoilt for choice of where to go, and there is something in the air………….. but more of that in the next instalment of “The History of the Happy Ballroom”
2014 © Andre Palfrey Martin

Alan Mitchell… I remember the Confederates practicing The Beatles She’s A Woman at the Grove School back in the sixties.

Peter Millington… Better memory than me Alan, and I was there with them LOL

Alan Mitchell… I know, you were sitting playing a fender bass Trevor was playing a gibson SG single pick up.