Friday, 15 December 2017

Adverts in the Pilot, 1972

Some adverts from a 1970s past edition of "The Pilot" with a few gleanings from sources to bring the times alive with the people and acts mentioned in the adverts.

The Watersplash

Spencer Leigh commented that:

In October 1956, Malcolm Vaughan was due to appear on BBC TV's Off The Record to promote his new release, "St. Therese Of The Roses". The invitation was withdrawn a few days later after a BBC committee had determined that the record was unsuitable for broadcast because "the lyric is contrary both to Roman Catholic doctrine and to Protestant sentiment." The resulting controversy helped to sell records, and with airplay on Radio Luxembourg the sugary wedding song climbed to No 3, stayed on the charts for five months and sold half a million copies.

In 1953, Thomas appeared in the revue Going Gay in Eastbourne and befriended a comedian, Kenneth Earle. They thought of becoming a double act but didn't care for the sound of "Earle and Thomas". They walked around the high street, trying out different names, and settled on "Earle and Vaughan".

Earle and Vaughan continued to work as a double act throughout the 1960s but never realised their ambition of making comedy films like Morecambe and Wise. It would have been better for Vaughan's career if he had continued making records and capturing the same market as Matt Monro. The duo split up in 1972 with Earle becoming an agent and Vaughan touring in productions of The Good Old Days.

Swansons Hotel, St. Helier, Jersey

Tommy Swansons Hotel overlooked the bay of St. Aubins and had a great view of the arriving Sealink ferries and Elizabeth Castle, then reclaimation tookover and the sea was pushed further back, a car park and new Waterfront buildings went up and Swansons was no more, now replaced by a 'modern' office block.

One commentator said:

"I worked on the door at Swanson in 1968/69, remember Ricky Renee Drag Queen spending a season there, had a few punch-ups with scaly wags trying to gain entrance wait for it, without a neck tie and jacket, no one dresses like that these days. A Scottish Night porter named Ron often helped me out. Tommy Swanson was a lovely man who appreciated the work that I did."

The Surf Room

“Buddy Britton”, “Britten” or “Britain” was a very fickle artist: first performing as a Buddy Holly tribute like Keith Kelly, then reinventing himself as “Simon Raven Cult” in the mid 60’s. He started fronting his own Rock’n’Roll trio then was backed by a London-based R & B group called the Regents

Nick Simper has this to say about his time with Buddy in Jersey:

"Whilst the island is still a lovely place to go to, visitors will find it very different from the Jersey of 1965. Today the island revolves around the financial industry and there is little live entertainment to be had, but back then Jersey was more famous for its night life. Along the five miles of the west coast alone, there were six or seven night spots."

"The venue that we were to play at was called the Surf Room, a dance hall cum night club situated on the edge of the beach in the centre of St. Ouens Bay, built onto the Watersplash, Jersey's number one nightspot, where audiences flocked nightly for a meal and a floorshow. Water fountains, cascading over stepped terraces gave the club a somewhat exotic look, which was marred one night when a joker emptied a packet of soap powder into the water, giving the whole area the appearance of a giant meringue!"
"During the day, Solly and I would explore the charming capital, St. Helier, or roam the many lanes and beaches. Sometimes we would just hang out with friends, or rehearse new songs whenever Buddy felt like adding to our already huge repertoire. Occasionally one of the Watersplash musicians would cadge a lift from me to visit a sunny meadow where he was attempting to grow his own marijuana. Armed with fertilizer and a watering can, he would visit the spot often. This practice ended abruptly when he found that the meadow was now occupied by a horse that had promptly scoffed his plant, leaving no trace!"

West Park Pavilion

I've not been able to trace much on Ronnie Rand save that he came from an Army Music background where there is this snippet from Germany:

"The Blue Rockets Dance Orchestra was stationed in Germany and appeared at the Theatre and afterwards went on to a dance at the Royal Enfield Canteen. It's director was Ronnie Rand. "

James McLachlan remembers this about "The Pav".

"To some it will always be known as the West Park Pavilion, or simply the ‘Pav.’ Others will remember it as Behans, or the Inn on the Park.   Whatever moniker it went under, it remains one of the most fondly remembered buildings for three generations of islanders. From its early incarnation as a lavish ballroom to its rebirth as a live music venue, and finally as an unlikely home to the ‘rave’ scene, it mirrored the changing social trends in Jersey."

In 2001, the venue, renamed "The Inn on the Park" was demolished and is now the site of luxury flats.

1 comment:

Alan Corsane said...

Nothing about Sands disco, or Bal tabarin?