The Happy Ballroom and more 12th March 1966 by Andre Martin

March is quickly going and here are already at Saturday 12th, in The Happy Ballroom there is nothing scheduled, all that is advertised is for next week Saturday 19th, A Big Night Out – with the return of Dave Berry, no mention of his Cruisers. The Disc Jockey Promotions are happening in the Restaurant on a Thursday with local band – Mud Milligans Big Boss Band.
Friday Night had been a special on Ready Steady Go – with a James Brown Night – he was complete with the Famous Flames and the whole show was built around his touring concept The JB Review.
The Witch Doctor put together an interesting programme – On Saturday Night the headline band was Dean Ford & the Gaylords, who had recently moved from their home of east Glasgow to London. The group had been rated the TOP Scottish band in the early 60s, within a few weeks of appearing at Hastings they would change their name to The Marmalade and go onto a successful career. Supporting the lads from north’o the border were another popular act The Way. Sunday Afternoon, Tuesday & Thursday Evenings would be with Records, with what was a key part of the weeks entertainment on Thursdays. The “Biggest Disc Show Around” The Muscles Maxted Show.[quoted from the newspaper advertisement. Friday night continued with a “Roman Rave” with a Band of Angels – but more about that later.
BBC Radio over the weekend included Saturday Club with Spencer Davis, Ivy League, Division 2, Elkie Brooks, Ray Anton & Proform [sound like something you bought in Boots] and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds. Brian Matthew spinning and new releases and linking the whole show together in his usual calm way. Later in the day you had Jack Jackson Record Show. In the afternoon on Saturday Bandstand it was the Aldershot Staff Band of The Corps of Royal Engineers and on Jazz Beat that night – Acker Bilk.
Sunday followed the usual format – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 12noon – Two Way Family Favourites London & Koln, afternoon comedy with this week Round The Horn, Val Doonican and Benny Hill. Movie Time featured “Flight of the Phoenix” starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch & Hardy Kruger, I think this had been filmed in Libya with help from the British and US Forces. The other feature film was “Our Man Flint” starring James Coburn & Lee J Cobb.
Television offered on Saturday Dr Who, Juke Box Jury with David Jacob and his panel Patsy Ann Noble, Brian Matthew, Wendy Varnals and Bert Kaempfert. The evening continued with Dixon of Dock Green, the western film – “The Maverick Queen” followed by Terry Scott and at 9.10pm an Election Broadcast with the Prime Minister – Harold Wilson OBE. This was followed Dick Van Dyke on the Andy Williams Show. Nothing out of the ordinary on Sunday except perhaps Pinky & Perky !!
On the Pirates: Radio Caroline South with Tom Lodge @ 12 noon the charts were topped by Small Faces – Sha La La La Lee and the Hollies – I Can’t let Go. Radio London new Big L Top 40–Yardbirds – Shape of Things, Kinks -Dedicated Follower of Fashion. Walker Brother – The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore. Hollies – I Can’t Let Go. Bob Lind –Elusive Butterfly.
A brief write up this week, as I have been very busy with projects that are all coming together nicely – including the Hastings Pier situation. Look out for more information as it’s trickled from the Trust over the coming weeks towards the Grand Opening on Saturday 21 May 2016.
Next week I will include more about the Friday 18th March 1966 and The Ides of March Rave at the Witch Doctor and the duel appearance of the d’Abo family !! Until then you all take care, fingers crossed that the warm weather continues.     Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Savage Hearts – 1982 – stage, pier, rumours (the crypt)

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all photos supplied by Mick Mepham

Mick Mepham… (photo 1) Hurrah! Note: The girl’s eyes front left!!!  (photo 4)  Takes me back to when Rumours was a really good gig. Packed out, hot, dark, sweaty and that was just Steve’s underwear …..This is how we use to get into the dressing room, hence the expression “the place was a dive”…… — With Steve Farris, Andy Animal, Momo Sex, Mick Mepham…. ”Not at all staged …..”

Southern Sounds & Guy Darrell & The Midnighters. Sat 10th Oct 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection. photo of Southern Sounds.

Andre Martin…October moves along and here we are at Saturday 10th, – History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier. The whole attractions seems on the surface, to have gone into a vacuum – things are happening, but nothing much is being reported, and with our ability to look back, know that things are about to change. However back to the Ballroom, and tonight me have 2 groups all for 5/- and if your 18 and over [laugh] access to the longest bar in town ! Top of the Bill are – Guy Darrell & The Midnighters, supported by Southern Sounds
There is little about Guy Darell and The Midnighters, although they did leave a few releases from the 1960s, and the Midnighters are not to be confused with the Merseyside band of the same name that featured Freddie Starr in the early 1960s. They recorded for Oriole having a couple of minor hits in 1964. The support act, were from Portsmouth – Southern Sounds, a five piece group, playing a lot of covers of both US and UK standards. Apart from this, very little is known about them, they had worked clubs, ballrooms and for the Navy.How times had changed, looking back over the past few months when you think that we had been able to see Chart Hitters, such as the Stones, Animals, Kinks on a regular basis, and now very much run-of-mill entertainments.
The Witch Doctor, had continued with its 7 nights a week policy and this week had included in the line up : Saturday – from Nottingham – The Sheerwoods supported by well known local group -The Talismen : Sunday from Merseyside – The Rhythm & Blues Incorporated : Wednesday it was Johnny Mike & The Shades : and a Blues special for Friday with Little Water. The weekends had started off with its usual bang, if you were able to get to see Rediffusion Cable TV with Ready Steady Go – and on the programme for the Friday night was –The Dave Clark Five –The Honeycombs – “Is It Because?” -Manfred Mann – “Sha La La.
Till next week’s episode, I will leave you with this thought, Bonfire Night processions are upon us, and Hastings for next Saturday will be one not to be missed – enjoy and be safe !! somewhat calmer than I remember from 50 years ago !!                Andre Martin