Neil Landon & The Burnettes 29th August 1964, Alexis Korner 30th August 1964- Witch Doctor

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… From The Witch Doctor in 1964, one of the bands that Neil played with before the Lonely Ones.

Gerry Fortsch… I was very impressed with this club, I was never very trendy in truth I looked more like a hairy beatnik. I did catch the Small Faces though.

David Edwards… I’d have been 13 at the time so no chance of getting in but I do remember him being the house band on I think it was 5 o’clock Club a kids programme on the telly, which was quite surreal really.

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

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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

Steve Marriotts’ Moments, The Confederates. The Witch Doctor Christmas 1964

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supplied by Peter Millington.

Talking of Steve Marriott here’s one of his best tracks from 1967 with The Small Faces.

Mick O’Dowd…..Steve is/was one of my musical heroes and if I had been in a band(no chance, can’t sing, can’t play an instrument) he would be who I would like to have been like.

Tony Court-holmes….sunday night tamla night

Mick Knights….I’ve always told those that would listen, that I saw Steve Marriot at the Witch Doctor before the Small Faces were formed, the thing I’m not too sure about is, did Steam Packett play the Witch Doctor, I know Long John did, as I do remember seeing him there. I feel sure someone will have the definative word.  I also think he appeared more than on the one occasion, I wait to be proved wrong.

Andy Qunta… Wow! Steve Marriott, pre-Small Faces! Interesting!

Andy Knight… What was the Confederates line up that night?

Mick O’Dowd… No you’re not wrong Mick, he also appeared with The Small Faces here. Oh for a return of this sort of Christmas line-up!

Peter Millington… Andy, The line up was probably Johnny Conroy (Lead Vocals), Dave Johnson (Drums) Paul Burton (Rhythm + Vocals), Peter (Ginger) Millington (Bass + Vocals), Trev Spears (Lead Guitar + Vocals). At about that time Terry Chedzoy replaced Dave Johnson so it could have been either one.

Mick Knights… I have this vague memory of Christmas and New Year’s eve at the witch Doctor being the best two nights of the year, could have something to do with being 16 in 64!!

Andre Martin… Read all about Christmas & The New Year 1965 in my blog later this week – but here is a taster for all the Witch Doctor Fans.

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David Bartlett…one of my all time heroes. love the music ( you,ve always been 10 years to late paul weller , c,est,la,vie ) long may you run stevie

Tony Court-holmes… the cobweb

 

M.I.5. – Witch Doctor St Leonards-on-Sea 19th November 1966

Anyone remember this group, possible from Liverpool?

Caroline Shott… Wasn’t The Witch Doctor also the name of the club in Hastings? As I read your post it all came flooding back!

Mike Vawdrey… There was a Scottish group of the period known as Johnny Law and the M.I. 5 – don’t know if they were prominent enough to venture this far from their home turf ? ? An alternative possibility could be that they included somebody whose initials were MI …

Little Richard – Witch Doctor St Leonards 7th October 1964

Supplied by Stephen Moran

Anyone confirm if he definitely appeared? I think he had to cancel a previous date due to pneumonia?

John Gale… Little Richard, what a voice, far more than just a Rock n Roll star too, very soulful as well

Colin Norton… Hadn’t realized that Mr. Penniman had played the Witch Doctor. How cool!

Graham Belchamber… Incredible he played here

Mike Vawdrey… Maybe it was a touch of the ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu’  – as per Huey ‘Piano’ Smith ? ?

Jim Breeds… I love that The Knives and Forks were booked for Saturday, and by Sunday it was The Return of …!

Mick Knights… Little Richard cancelled on the evening, we all turned up only to be reimbursed!

Mick O’Dowd… Is that THE Dave Dee?

Colin Bell… Yes indeed it is, shortly before the name change to DD, DBM&T.

Mike Vawdrey… Yes it is !

Dave Weeks… Never mind all that, the return of Knifes and Forks must have been a special night. Or was it an instruction as they went missing the week before?

Mick Knights… Just noticed at the bottom of the poster ‘Epivision is coming’. Being quite ancient I was there at the time and recall exactly what it was, does anyone one else? All of a bit of an anticlimax really, having been promised an audio visual experience it turned out to be an overhead projector that would project a dodgy photo of the group who’s record was playing, didn’t take too long for the novelty to wear off!

John Lee and The Groundhogs – Witch Doctor St Leonards On Sea 24th July 1965

cover: https://www.discogs.com

Tim Moose Bruce… Tony McPhee

Judith Monk… Just seeing the poster takes me straight back.

John Winch… I did the support (I think it was on this tour of his when he was alone) for John Lee in Brighton in the Wintergarden over the Aquarium. He had two bottles of whisky in the dressing room and had drunk at least half of one of them. While I was playing and halfway through a song, he came out onto the stage holding them both and put the half-finished one down in front of me, nearly fell over, and said, “…. you drink that , I’ve got the other one here, now let’s play something boy.” (Probably thought I was crap white boy trying to play the blues) He then went straight off into one of his rhythmic half hour Blues and left me to follow where I could. Lot of blues concerts in those days, I had a chance to do a bit with Sonny Terry and Brownie in Brighton and John Hammond Jnr: somewhere up country. Also played in the back room of a club in Brighton with Blind Gary Davis. Sadly, so I heard, someone ripped off his J200 that night back in London.

The Happy Ballroom, David Bowie & The Buzz at Witch Doctor and more. 3rd September 1966 by Andre Martin

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bowie & buzz

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

All too quickly the summer season ends and we start to return a more normal schedule, although as this was 1966 this would be still hectic for a few more weeks because of the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, as I write this we are remembering Saturday 3rd September 1966. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier has The Tony Strudwick Big Band for this weeks entertainment, and the variety on offer has now been reduced to just the Saturday night – the Sunday Club ended on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Along the coast, a distance that I was informed recently was just under 1 mile, the Witch Doctor is still following the Saturday Night live bands, and this week we have some chap, called Dave Bowie ?? And the Buzz, they have advertised them as Radio London Climbers! The remainder of the week is Record, but I understand that one of the most popular record spinners would be returning later in the month after a summer break. Our regular routine would for many have been Friday Night and Ready Steady Go with the show piloted through the bedlam by Cathy & Keith, on the show this week The Spencer Davis Group “When I come Home”, Wayne Fontana “Goodbye Bluebird, The Fortunes “ Is it really worth your While” & Sandie Shaw “ Run”. Lets take a look at the BBCs offerings – On The Light Programme on Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss sitting in for Brian Matthew, and the groups appearing included Alan Price, The Spencer David Group, Small Faces and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In the afternoon – Swing into Summer continues and this week’s artistes included Adam Faith, Vince Hill, The Ivy League & The Magil 5, for Brass Band Fans this was also the 114th National Competition broadcast live. The evening entertainments still with summer seasons in mind came from Great Yarmouth with Terry Scott & Hugh Lloyde, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys and The Countrymen. Later in the evening it was The Henry Wood Promenade Concert from the Royal Albert Hall. The evening ended with Dancing Over Europe and Simon Dee. Television – Grandstand, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Till Death Do Us Part, The Trouble shooters and Match of the Day. Sunday, was very much as usual – Radio – Children’s requests, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Easy Beat. Three way Family Favourites – London, Koln & Singapore [BFBS were just about to move into their new studios in Tanglin Army Barracks on the island, that would be their home until the pull out of British Forces in 1972 from the Singapore Base – I remember it well] The afternoon was filled with the usual comedy, Melody and Movie times and later in the evening the main show came from Blackpool. The evening ended with Jazz Scene. Sunday was Educational till mid afternoon, then International Athletics, followed by It’s a KO – Blackpool v Lytham St Anne, Perry Mason and Ken Dodd. BBC 2 had Cricket and a feature on Animals in Trinidad.
On the pirates Tony Blackburn on Radio London Top Forty – Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers “ Got to Get you into my Life”, Lee Dorsey “ Working Down a Coal Mine”, Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band “ Big Time Operator & a band that I would work many times with a little later in the Decade on Hastings Pier – Episode Six “ Here There and Everywhere”. The top 5 on Radio Caroline this week – Dave Lee Travis on Caroline South – Roy Orbison “ Too Soon To Know”, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine, Manfred Mann “Just Like a Woman”, Small Faces “ All or Nothing” and Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”
So there we have another weeks memories of Hastings & St Leonards. I hope that it brought back the good times, even if after all these years perhaps that not quite as we remember them – memory can do some strange things to the truth.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks again, Andre. You took me right back there!