supplied by Andre Palfrey-martin collection
Andre Martin… Something is going to happen – I just know it will, but until then, we find ourselves in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, on Saturday17 October 1964, and what a month this has been, do you realise that we have just had a General Election? Thursday last, when Harold Wilson and the Labour Party won, buy a whisker – if I recall only a 3 seat majority. But enough of that, the first thing I want to address is about last week, several people have asked me, did I have the correct listing, based on the Pier advertisement in the Observer, I would have said yes, but on further research, I do feel they were wrong and it should have been Guy Darrell & The Midnighters as top of the Bill. But that will remain one of life’s little mysteries.
This week should be clearer – Top of the bill – from the North-East – The Worrying Kind, supported by our own The Confederates, 7.45pm – 11.45pm and all for 5/- – what value.
The Worrying Kind had made several visits to the Happy Ballroom in the past, the last was in July of this year, and they had been well received with their mix of Soul, R&B and what we would today call chart covers. The group had been known at one time a Brian Howard & The Silhouettes but changed to Worrying Kind a couple of years ago, they had had a couple of releases and it was rumoured that a Jimmy Page had played on these sessions, although there is little mentioned, he glosses over many of the bands he played sessions with in his autobiography so we can neither confirm or deny. The Confederates, a likely bunch of local lads, under the watchful eye of “ Spike “ Millington – that Pete’s dad, if you did not know, giving their best for the patrons of the Happy Ballroom. So this was another good night, OK not any name attractions, but good all-round entertainment and giving the patrons just what they wanted. Rumour was that Spike and Bob Knights – The General Manager of the Pier, would spend most of the evening putting the world to rights in the Long Bar !
So let’s have a look at what else is keeping the young people of the town entertained during this week, we would have had Friday nights – Ready Steady Go which this week included an interview with – Mick Jagger by Ellen Grehan. Scheduled guest:–Dionne Warwick – “Reach Out For Me. Obviously Mick Jagger was being given plenty of air time on that Night.
At The Witch Doctor – on Saturday Night it was 4+1 backed by Second Thoughts, Sunday Club that week would have been a cracker featuring Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames. And to end the week – Friday nights offering – Shane & The Shane Gang.
I thought that I would also have a quick look at what was on BBC – Saturday Club [BBC Light Programme] Matt Monro, The Pretty Things, Inez and Charlie Foxx, The Rockin Berries and Spencer Davis Group – all introduced by Brian Matthews. Sunday Swing [2.00pm] features Lulu & The Luvvers, Clinton Form, Julie Grant and The Fortunes.
BBC TV that Saturday night on Juke Box Jury Des O’Connor, Mary Wells and Jimmy Young plus one other panel member, and in the chair David Jacobs.
Later that evening – The Billy Cotton Band Show – featured Matt Monro and Gerry and The Pacemakers.
And not to be left out – Radio Caroline was flying the Pirate Radio Flag out there off the Frinton Coast, with at least one household name having survived the weather, after 3 months Tony Blackburn was still broadcasting – it was believed that he had taken a break at some point to gather breath !!
So you can see it had been a interesting week. One thing that I have forgotten to mention, is that the Pier is starting to run generic advertisements for the Ballroom being available for Hire…………so what have they up their sleeves…..time will tell. Andre Martin
Jim Breeds… Always fascinating 🙂
Peter Millington… Remember it well