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The DJs Story (part 73)

From Nigel Grundy:

“I am concerned to read about Mr. Cross’s insecurity in thinking some may not recognise him as Portsmouth’s premier DJ for the last 40 years. It is not generally known that at Christmas 1969 he fought off a challenge for his job from Mr. Harry Mates who set up his turntables ON THE STAGE! I was there with my camera and watched as Mr. Cross fought back valiantly with his exciting choice of middle-of-the-road records until his challenger admitted defeat and fled from the building. How deprived of a great DJ we would have been if Mr. Mates had won the day.”

(PS there may have been some collusion from the band – as you can see, Image)

PPS – also for Nigel: Anyone know anything about Dave Frampton who played in a skiffle group with Jon Isherwood in the 1950s?


Apologies …

… to Pompey’s Premier DJ but some of you may be interested to know that BBC’s “Question Time” tonight comes from Portsmouth Grammar School – what’s more Britain’s funniest Revolutionary Marxist Alexei Sayle is on the panel which could make it worth watching.


Radio Anniversaries

It’s hard to move in 2012 for anniversaries and major events. I’m ignoring Antarctic Scott, the Titanic* (boy we love disasters huh?) and Her Majesty for now but on tomorrow’s show I’m going to celebrate some key events from 1912, 1952, 1962 and even 1972 cos it has a link with 60s Pompey (now what might that be?). There are a higher proportion of instrumentals than usual.

TOMORROW (FRIDAY) 3pm on EXPRESS FM – “The Weekend Starts Here”

(*There are a good few Titanic tunes from ‘Rabbit’ Brown, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie to Gavin Bryars)

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Billy Strange RIP

I’ve just found an obituary for  guitarist Billy Strange who died aged 81 on 22 February. He was one of those ‘behind-the-scenes’ guys who had a remarkable career. He co-wrote “A Little Less Conversation” (Elvis) & Limbo Rock (Chubby Checker), arranged “These Boots are Made for Walking” and “Something Stupid” and played on Spector’s “Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah”, plus “Good Vibrations”, “Sloop John B” and the wonderful Love album Forever Changes.


Crow (still calling John)

A typical Crawdaddy advert from Melody Maker – almost certainly 1965 and showing Pompey’s Crow – until recently the J Crow Combo starring there on a Wednesday night. There were two Crawdaddies – not sure whether this is Croydon or Richmond. Mike King was pleased to see John Crow’s contribution and added this comment – any thoughts about the albums?

“Great to hear from you, John, after all these years. I’ll certainly look you up if I get down to Alicante. One thing. If I were to ask you to list, say, 3 albums currently available that contain music similar to the J Crow Combo of the Sixties with the heavy leading saxaphone, could you do that? Cheers for now, Mike King”

PS Repeat of my apology to John – I’ve wanted to talk with you for ages about the group and managed to trash your email address. If you add a comment here, I’ll get it again and can mail you (Dave Allen)


King’s Theatre

‘Oscar’ asks below about the Pompey Pop night at the King’s and I’m happy to confirm that everything is coming together. I have another meeting this Wednesday to add some details

SUNDAY 8 JULY 2012 – 7.30pm

I can confirm that we have DJ Pete Cross to entertain pre and during interval and Shep Woolley to sing some and MC the whole event. Then we have to date fixed three local acts – all genuine 50s/60s Pompey players and in two cases actually groups from that era. They are rock & rollers Danny Raven & the Renegades, Shaddattak who cover Shadows/Beatles and are drawn from a variety of local 60s groups and Limited S who started around 1967 as the Parkas. They play somewhat later 60s stuff so there will be a chronological feel to the evening
For that evening, we’re planing an exhibition of 60s memorabilia/photos/posters by Southsea Gallery, Pompey Pop and Nigel Grundy, my book ‘Pompey Pop Pix’ will be on sale and (as below) we’re hoping too to launch Nigel Grundy’s book “My Back pages” a personal memoir and many of the great photos he took back then
Topping everything, we’re looking for a top-of-the-bill act which I’ll confirm asap
I’m also responsible for the production of a souvenir programme and will be delighted to get any memories of popular music at the King’s in the 1950s/1960s
PS Some lovely comments and bits of history from my old buddy Mick Eveleigh on the Barry Sutton postings.


His back pages

Most of you will be familiar with Nigel Grundy’s excellent photographs and contributions to Pompey Pop Pix and this Blog (as well as his own site). Nigel is in the final stages of completing his book of Pompey in the ’60s and 70s which is in some respects a highly personal account but also contains many more of his photos of the clubs, dance halls, bands, mods, folk clubs, coffee bars …. (etc). You name it/them you’ll probably find it plus some lovely accounts of some of the bigger festivals and events.

I got a sneak preview last night and it’s delightful – we’re hoping he can launch it at the King’s Theatre ‘Sixties’ show on Sunday 8 July. There will be updates and more news to follow.

OK who’s next?