Granada Aylesbury 1962 stage shows

1962 saw six more stage shows at the Granada in Aylesbury – and by now these were predominantly music shows, having lost most of the variety acts.

The first was on 6th February with Adam Faith supported by the John Barry Seven. Others on the bill included Desmond Lane (The Penny Whistle Man), a novelty act who had toured with Bill Haley and his Comets in 1957 and had managed to be on many other package tours since then.

Adam Faith ad

On 15th March, Billy Fury returned with John Leyton, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers and Shane Fenton and the Fentones also on the bill.

John Leyton was an actor as well as a singer, best known for his single “Johnny Remember Me” which topped the charts in 1961 – although the BBC banned it due to its references to death.

Shane Fenton (Bernard Jewry) was later to become Alvin Stardust – but the story of how Bernard Jewry became Shane Fenton is a strange one. The group were originally fronted by Johnny Theakstone as Shane Fenton. The group had sent audition tapes to the BBC’s Saturday Club show – but whilst waiting for a reply, Theakstone died, age 17. The group could have disbanded – but Theakstone’s mother persuaded them to carry on, bringing in Bernard Jewry, the group’s roadie, to take over as Shane Fenton. The new band sailed through their audition and got a recording contract with EMI.

Billy Fury ad

Billy Fury returned to Aylesbury in November 1973. At that time, he had emerged from a period of sem-retirement to star as Stormy Tempest in the film That’ll Be The Day. The Bucks Herald on November 29, 1973, reported:

Blonde, blue-eyed, baby-faced and looking none the worse for his 32 years Roland Wycherley, alias Billy Fury, took Aylesbury rocking back to the early sixties when he gave a performance at the Borough Assembly Hall last week.

Watching this one-time superstar in his tighter-than-skin leather trousers and fitted shirt, amid an audience which included some genuine “Teds”, it wasn’t difficult to imagine oneself back several years to when he played in Aylesbury at the former Granada cinema.

The audience was small in comparison to the number that fill the hall for Friars concerts, but it was a great deal more positive in its response.


Billy Fury – Aylesbury, 1973        Pic: Bucks Herald

On 1st May, the “Rock ‘n’ Twist U.S.A.” tour came to town, with Johnny Burnette, U.S. Bonds and Gene McDaniels leading the line-up.

Johnny Burnette – You’re Sixteen

U.S. Bonds was later better known as Gary U.S. Bonds. His website gives the story behind the mame as follows:

As America’s baby boomers moved into their mid teens, Gary began his professional career. For his first hit, “New Orleans,” attention was brought to the record by having promotional copies sent to radio stations in sleeves inscribed “Buy U.S. Bonds” – hence at age 19, Gary Anderson became Gary U.S. Bonds. The follow-up was the now legendary ‘party’ record, “Quarter to Three,” a number one hit [in the US] with a spirit and energy that would eventually inspire and influence a generation.

Johnny Burnette ad

US Bonds tour

On 5th June was the Bruce Channel Show. Also on the bill were Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Frank Ifield, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and also Dick Charlesworth and the City Gents, more commonly seen at the Aylesbury Jazz Club.

Bruce Channel ad

On 26th October Jet Harris and Sam Cooke topped the bill – Little Richard was the headliner, but not in Aylesbury.

Jet Harris ad

John Braley wrote about the tour:

In October 1962, Don Arden put out a tour with Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Jet Harris. Gene Vincent’s UK work permit had run out so Arden had him introducing the acts and singing Be Bop A Lula, from either the orchestra pit or the front stalls! It arrived in Aylesbury, 26th October, alas no Little Richard as he was contracted to appear somewhere else – but Sam Cooke in Aylesbury, who would believe it!!!

The Bucks Advertiser enjoyed Sam Cooke – but described the rest as “a pretty drab show”:

Sam Cooke Granada review Bucks Advertiser

On 13th November, the final stage show of the year featured Bobby Vee and Buddy Holly’s backing band, The Crickets. Also on the bill were Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes, which included 16-year old Aylesbury musician Nigel Menday on drums. Tony White gave Nigel a mention is his review below: “Sixteen year-old Nigel, recognised by many of his friends in the audience, was on-stage for most of the show and coped ably with his ordeal.”

Bobby Vee died in October 2016 – Guardian obituary.


Bobby Vee ad

Bobby Vee review

One thought on “Granada Aylesbury 1962 stage shows

  1. David Bell

    I’ve just spoken on the phone with Susan Singer now Hechman as she discovered this article just last week. It brought back very happy memories for her of her career and he’s thrilled to bits with this positive review. Sh continues to sing and perform regularly but has returned to her first love – jazz. Sue will be cutting. Jazz album at the end of this month. Is there any way I can get hold of a IRS’s class photocopy of this review to send on to her? Many thanks, David. May 2018.

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