The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 29th Oct 1966 by Andre Martin

As we move to the end of the month of October, life returns to normal, we have had the re-enactment of the battle, the visit from the current Queen and many dignitaries from around the world all leaving their mark, its Saturday 29th October 1966. The Happy Ballroom is again very quiet and there is just not much happening on the Pier. No doubt the Pier Company are still trying to find out who walked over the Triodome earlier in the year after a gig in the Happy Ballroom and made a small hole in the roof, as the rain was now coming into the building ? It certainly given a good test over the last couple of days, the Royal Visit was somewhat wet!  The Weekend would have started for some with our trip to “Ready Steady Go” and this week’s show would have included the Dave Clark Five, Bobby Goldsboro, Edwin Starr and The Troggs and Cathy and Keith keeping order. The Witch Doctor in Marine Court is running a reduced programme at the moment, and Saturday it’s the turn of Twickenham based Downliners Sect to head the entertainment on Saturday Night, the other big event in the week would have to be the return of that mad mad from Maidstone with all his crazy activities and a few good records thrown in as well – Yes you know who I mean – Steve Maxted. The BBC this weekend – Radio Light Programme: Saturday. Children’s favourites with Leslie Crowther, Saturday Clubs guests this week included Manfred Mann, Zoot Moneys Big Roll Band, Brian Poole, Kenny Ball, The Three People, Stevie Lewis and the Johnny Arthey Band with Brian Matthew. Lunchtime it’s David Frost, followed by Music from the Movies, Swingalong, Music Parade and Saturday Bandstand. In th3e evening we have Have a Go, A Night at the Music-Hall, from Stockholm Nord-Ring, Time for Old Time, The Phil Moss Orchestra, Graham Dalley & His Music and Pete’s Party with Pete Murray & records.
Sunday – Easy Beat, with Keith Fordyce, Lunchtime 12 noon 3 way link up for Family Favourites with London, Koln & BFBS Cyprus. The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid and the Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini and Pick of The Pops, were the afternoon show. Movie Go Round Pt 1 featured “After the Fox” with Peter Sellars, Victor Mature & Brett Ekland. Evening continued with Top of The Form, Singe Something Simple. Open House with Desmond Carrington, Sunday Half-Hour, Movie Go Round Pt 2, The Frankie Howerd Show, David Hughes with his choice of records and ending with The Jazz Scene.
Television would have included Saturday – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his panel Rita Tushingham, Moira Lister, Adam Faith & Johnny Devlin. Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, Film “The Man in The Iron Mask”, the Val Doonican Show, the Lucy Show, Match of the Day and The Late Show. BBC 2 The Danny Kaye Show, “Breaking Point” a thriller in five parts, Theatre 625, and the Midnight Movie was “ Crashout” with William Bendix On Sunday after the educational programmes around mid-afternoon – Film Matinee “ Men with Wings” Fred MacMurray. The Best of Bilko: Cherokee Ernie, The Woman in White, Sooty, Where was Moses a religious quiz competition, Songs of Praise, Film “ They Were not Divided “ a tribute to the Guards Armoured Division, Billy Cotton Music Hall, The Leeds international Piano Competition 1966, the look of the Week ,Pirate Radio this weekend would have included top 5 from Radio Caroline South – Hollies: Stop,Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Paul Jones: High Time, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Herman’s Hermits: NO Milk today. Radio London with Tony Blackburn Hollies: Stop, Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Bobby Darin: If I were A carpenter, Temptations: Beauty is Only Skin Deep and Cilla Black: A Fool am I .
I have in the back of my mind that there was a college Halloween Dance on the Friday Night, but I cannot find any information, I remember that somewhere at this point in time there was a do at the Dolphin Ballroom featuring the Searchers plus ?? Well it was 50 years ago!! Next weekend it would be Battle Bonfire Night, and that I do recall so until next week and the next look back at Hastings some 50 years ago, you all take care if you are “Trick or Treating” watch out, there are some strange people about!! Heh Heh!!            Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell – reviewing Pickettywitch/Polly Browne/Sweet Dreams the anthology 1969-1976 (2cd set)



This 52 track compilation covers the complete recordings made by Pickettywitch, Polly Browne’s solo album and her Sweet Dreams collaboration with Tony Jackson. Best remembered for the January 1970 top 5 hit ‘That Same Old Feeling’ and for those with long memories the follow up ‘Its Like A Sad Old Kinda Movie’ Polly and Co made some breezy sunshine pop. At this distance 46 years on (where did the time go!) listening to this compilation the Pickettywitch material, apart from the aforementioned hits is not particularly memorable to be fair, its all a little too samey, although the album did sell well at the time. However Polly’s solo album is far more satisfying with some nice takes on ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘The Composer’ and especially ‘Amoureuse’ which Polly recorded months before Kiki Dee but didn’t release til after Kiki had hit with it. Her voice given more free rein from the confines of PW has a breathy quality very reminiscent of the great Dionne Warwick which is very appealing.
The last half of disc 2 is devoted to Sweet Dreams. Polly teamed up with Tony Jackson ex Skatalite and lead singer of Gullivers People, co-incidentally there has been recent discussion of GP elsewhere on SMART, Abba had yet to release their ‘Honey Honey’ track in the UK, Polly seeing its potential was quick to record it and was rewarded with a return to the charts with a Top Ten hit. I actually prefer this version much as I admire Abba. Although not included on this comp she also recorded ‘Up Up In A Puff Of Smoke’ on the same day as HH, which was also to become a hit, a good day in the studio for our Polly. The combination of Polly and Tony’s vocals blend very well and a nice surprise for me is the inclusion of their version of ‘I Just Want To Stay Here’ the Gerry Goffin/Carole King song made famous by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and a guilty favourite for this old reviewer! So in conclusion overall a good package, excellent sleevenotes and great sound quality. Now if RPM would be kind enough to do the same with PYE labelmates The Paper Doll’s i’d be a happy bunny!

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Til next time………….  Colincolin-head-111x150-111x150



Dave Nattress… Remember the single “Same old Feeling” very well – good old TOTP”s!!!So long ago…..