Top Picture:The end of the Highbury Estate in the 1960’s
Bottom Picture:News magazine of the 1950’s
Another new school mate this week, welcome to
Chris Ashbywho says:- I was only there for one year, what was then the 'first year' at secondary school. Out of the three secondary schools I attended I always thought Manor Court was one of the friendliest and was the one I liked the most.
I have been thinking about bands and pop venues in the 60’s, so I have put together some memories that you might find interesting. It takes in venues and some of the local bands who played around the clubs and ballrooms in the sixties, which, after all was a golden era for Pompey venues and bands.
Now lets see who remembers any or all of the following:- The Classics basically a Gosport band who matured into Simon Dupree (nee Simon Clifford from Lee on Solent) and the Big Sound, Manfred Mann which again leaned heavily on an input from Gosport's Mike Hugg and Paul Jones (nee Pond) as its leading members. These bands became well know but how about Sons of Man, St Louis Checks, Rory Storm and Harlem Speakeasy (previously Harlem Soul Band). I know the members of Manfred Mann are still performing but I think all of the Big Sound have retired but I understand that Rory Storm is still going in the north of England.
And now the venues:-
The infamous Birdcage Club moved around the town and ended up in Milton Road next door to the pub near Bransbury Park on the corner of Henderson Road, the Birdcage was certainly infamous for the music it hosted and pills that could be bought, to say nothing of the regular Police raids!!!. However The Birdcage was the only place that I have seen The Who appear live. I understand that the Birdcage re-invented itself and turned into the Brave New World at the beginning of '68.
The Savoy Ballroom had its dance floor on the first floor dance floor and was opposite the South Parade Pier where concerts were held in the theatre and on the odd occasion’s pop cruises which would leave from the Pier head for a float around the Solent for the evening. The Savoy hosted many varying bands both from the pop world and the Trad Jazz world, I remember seeing the Clyde Valley Stompers there along with the Graham Bond Organisation and Georgie Fame amongst many others.
The South Parade Pier theatre, when there was no Summer Show on, saw the likes of Julie Felix, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball but the concerts here were always very formal affairs and this is before Ken Russell got his hands on the place.
I, along with what seemed to be hundreds of others (probably on 150), crammed into the Railway Hotel in Fratton on a Saturday evening to see Manfred Mann and other R&B bands; in fact the Railway also turned into a jazz club on Friday evenings and amongst the bands I remember seeing there are the Back o’ Town Syncopators, the Down Town Syncopators with Alexander Murray-Smith, the Bourbon Street Six with Jo Collinson (who, every performance dressed in a different costume) and Gerry Brown and his Jazzmen. I understand that on one of the folk evenings, a young American carrying a guitar came in off the train from Fratton station to try to get a gig. The promoter gave him an impromptu audition but the music was not to his taste and told the young man to try somewhere else !!! The name of the young man Paul Simon ! Later to find fame with his singing and song writing partner Art Garfunkel, I wish I had been there!! One other thing that I do remember about The Railway is that it was one of the first pubs in Portsmouth to have a video juke box which was turned off on live music nights.
The Locarno in Arundel Street ran pop shows but I never remember going there also the St Marys Institute in Fratton Road (where in later years radio Victory was to find a home) hosted gigs in the Sixties as did Kimbells in Southsea.
The Guildhall was a good venue for 60’s pop featuring the best in the music world. I regret that I did not see The Beatles there (I could not afford to go that week) but I did see the live broadcast of Juke Box Jury. Over the other weeks I remember seeing Helen Shapiro, Del Shannon, Billy Fury, Gene Vincent, Louise Cordet and many other bands who were touring at that time.
Other local bands and groups I remember from this period are; Dave Dee and the Bostons who became Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch - from Salisbury, The Troggs from Andover. Jimmy James and the Vagabonds where regular visitors to the area and who would believe that Lulu and the Lovers appeared at the Thorngate Hall in Gosport as did Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.
The Odd Fellows Hall in Kingston Road ran R&B nights on Saturdays, the Animals played here and Kimbells as did Chris Farlow and Long John Bawldry.
Ahh the days of my youth!!!!!!
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I remember the excitement when Fine Fare opened in Cosham High Street. It was advertised that the first 100 customers would receive a free chicken. My mother sent me, with £1 to queue up but I was too late.
News and Views:
After 50 years Bobby Rydell’s entire album collection with Cameo Records are being re-released in digital stereo remasters.
On this day 4th June 1960-1965.
On 04/06/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 04/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 04/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 04/06/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 04/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions
On 04/06/1965 the number one single was Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw and the number one album was Bringing It All Back Home - Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.