1962 Rock in Aylesbury – and the Town Hall fire

1962 saw rock shows at three different venues. Eddie Friday continued with his Saturday evenings at the Grosvenor, Wallis & Wyatt (Alan Wallis and Stan Wyatt) at Aylesbury Town Hall until it burnt down in March, and at the Walton Hall.

At the Grosvenor, there was a wider range of artists presented.

In March Tony Orlando appeared as part of a tour with Jimmy Crawford and the Ravens.

Tony Orlando had hits in 1961 with Bless You and Halfway to Paradise. Orlando was later involved with Tony Orlando & Dawn, as well as being a producer.

Tony Orlando tour

Others appearing included Craig Douglas, Emile Ford (with both the New Checkmates and the Original Checkmates), Mike Sarne, Wee Willie Harris, Screaming Lord Sutch, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and the Barron Knights.

Emile Ford died on 11 April 2016 – see his obituary from The Guardian.

Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes were more-or-less the resident group at the recently opened California Ballroom in Dunstable. The Nu-Notes at one stage become the Rhet Stoller Group (Rhett, or Barry, Stoller being the guitarist) and had a minor hit in 1961 with “Chariot”. On one occasion they were billed at the Grosvenor as Russ Sainty and the Rhet Stoller Group.

Russ Sainty ad

The band were back in May as Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes, supported by regulars Eddie Prince and the Creoles. Jack Clark kindly sent a photo of the poster.


Also in May, Eddie Friday also tried a new midweek venture with DJ Eddie Moreno called “The Teen & Twenty Nite-Club” – a similar club was already successfully operating in Wembley with over 4,000 members, but in Aylesbury this was short-lived, closing after just a few weeks.

Teen and Twenty

Later in the year, Eddie Prince and the Creoles supported Garry Mills and the Deccades (June 2)


and Mel Turner and the Mohicans (November 3).


Meanwhile at the Town Hall, acts appearing included Eden Kane, Joe Brown and his Bruvvers, Shane Fenton, as well as Screaming Lord Sutch and the Barron Knights.


The Johnny Dankworth Orchestra was greatly enjoyed by Tony White, the jazz columnist in the Bucks Advertiser. Johnny Dankworth had enjoyed chart success with “African Waltz” in 1961 and had won the big band section of the Melody Maker jazz poll with almost 80% of the votes. Click image to enlarge.

Dankworth review 2

Town Hall Fire

A disastrous fire at the Town Hall occured in March 1962. The Bucks Advertiser reported that it was the second fire within four days and thought to be the work of an arsonist. Painted solgans were found reading “If not this time there’ll be another” and “More to come”. Click image to enlarge.

Town Hall Fire Bucks ad front pagr

A small ad appeared the following week:

Town Hall fire notice

Following the fire, some shows were put on at Walton Hall – which had hosted the odd gig up until then, and would again provide a useful alternative whilst the Grosvenor was re-furbished to become the Borough Assembly Hall in 1963.

Appearing were Rolly Daniels, Ricky Valance, Paul Hanford and Joe Brown and his Bruvvers.

Joe Brown Walton ad

The ad below includes Gene Vincent among future bookings on 28th April. However, John Braley, a local authority on Gene Vincent, has been unable to find any evidence that this happened. The gig continues to be listed on various websites as part of Gene’s appearances in April and May 1962, part of his seventh UK tour on which he was backed by Sounds Incorporated, with the Aylesbury date sandwiched between Broadstairs on 27th and East Ham Granada on the 29th. If anyone has more details about this, please let us know!

Ricky Valance ad

Below are lists of gigs at the Grosvenor Ballroom, the Town Hall and Walton Hall. Scroll down to view.

Grosvenor Ballroom

DateClubArtist 1Artist 2
6/1/1962Terry Young and the Bluenotes
7/1/1962Sunday ClubRocky Lane and the Victors
27/1/1962Russ Sainty and the Rhet Stroller GroupRoyston Jones and the Raiders
3/2/1962Dru Harvey and the JokersMike Dee and the Jaywalkers
10/2/1962Dave SampsonJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs, Rikki Forde and the Cyclones
17/2/1962Craig DouglasJimmy Virgo and the Bluejacks
24/2/1962Peter ElliottJohnny La Starr and the Marzipan Twisters
3/3/1962Tony OrlandoJimmy Crawford and The Ravens, Verne Rogers and the Hi-Fis
10/3/1962The CheckmatesEddie and The Chequers
17/3/1962Cliff Bennett and the Rebel RousersJohnny Vallons & The Deejays
24/3/1962The AllisonsLeon Chad Quartet, Verne Rogers and the Hi-Fis
31/3/1962Emile Ford and the New CheckmatesJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
7/4/1962Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersThe Le-Roys
8/4/1962Sunday ClubJohnny Vallons and the Deejays
14/4/1962Johnny Gentle and the JaybirdsJohnny Dark and the Silhouettes, Johnny Carr and the Cadillacs
15/4/1962Sunday ClubEddie Prince and the Creoles
21/4/1962Jimmy Crawford and the RavensLee Atkins and the M.I.5
22/4/1962Sunday ClubDru Harvey and the Jokers
23/4/1962Tony Allen and the Kansas City FourPaul Dean and the Dreamers
28/4/1962Emile Ford and the New Checkmates versus The Original Checkmates
29/4/1962Sunday ClubThe Dominators
5/5/1962Russ Sainty and the Nu-NotesEddie Prince and the Creoles
6/5/1962Sunday ClubClyde Burns and the Beachcombers
12/5/1962Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersThe Magnificent Six
13/5/1962Sunday ClubGrant Tracey and the Sunsets
19/5/1962Colin HicksCliff Adams and the Twilights, Teddy and the Cannons
20/5/1962Sunday ClubJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
22/5/1962Teen and Twenty Nite-ClubEddie Moreno (DJ)Terry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers, Nick Raynor and the Falcons
26/5/1962Big Rock 'n' Twist ShowShirley Ann Field, Andrew Ray (judges)Robb Storme and the Whispers, The Magnificent Six
27/5/1962Sunday ClubThe Federals
2/6/1962Garry Mills and the DeccadesEddie Prince and the Creoles
3/6/1962Sunday ClubThe Spiderman
9/6/1962Grant Tracey and the SunsetsDru Harvey and the Jokers
11/6/1962Paul Dean and the DreamersRicky Wade and his Crossfires
16/6/1962Garry Edwards ComboShane Spencer and the Casuals
17/6/1962Sunday ClubMike Sagar and the Crestas
23/6/1962The Original CheckmatesThe Le-Roys
24/6/1962Sunday ClubPete Chester Combo
30/6/1962Mike Sagar and the CrestasJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
7/7/1962Chico Arnez and his OrchestraThe Stormbreakers with Ricky Marino and Clive Turner
8/7/1962Sunday ClubTony Bolton and the Federals
14/7/1962The FlintstonesRicky Allen Combo
21/7/1962Paul RavenCliff Adams and the Twilights, Shane Spencer and the Casuals
28/7/1962Michael LondonJohny Carr and the Cadillacs, The Stormbreakers with Ricky Marino and Clive Turner
4/8/1962Dru Harvey and the JokersThe Swinging Skyways
11/8/1962Gerry TemplePeter Nelson and the Travellers, Carl Vincent and the Maniacs
18/8/1962Danny Davis and the MaraudersEddie Prince and the Creoles
25/8/1962Lance FortuneRocking Henry and the Phantoms, Roy Wayne and the Wanderers
1/9/1962Johnny Milton and the CondorsJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
8/9/1962Jackie LyntonBob Xavier and the Jury, The Cervezas
15/9/1962Peppi and the New York TwistersJohnny and the Jaytones featuring the Lynton Twins
22/9/1962Mike SarneBillie Davis, Keith Turner and the Swallows
29/9/1962The Original CheckmatesClyde Burns and the Beachcombers
6/10/1962Mike Sagar and the CrestasShane Spencer and the Casuals
13/10/1962Wee Willie HarrisTony Crombie and the Rockets
20/10/1962The Original CheckmatesPeter Nelson and the Travellers
27/10/1962Emile Ford and the CheckmatesGarry Edwards Combo
3/11/1962Mel Turner and the MohicansEddie Prince and the Creoles
10/11/1962Johnny Kidd and the PiratesDave Martin and the Martells
17/11/1962Johnny Carr and the CadillacsPaul Dean and the Dreamers
24/11/1962Screaming Lord Sutch and the SavagesJohnny Starlite and the Gamblers
1/12/1962Ray PilgrimRikky Temple and the Lonely Ones, Peter Nelson and the Travellers
8/12/1962Mike Sagar and the CrestasVerne Rogers and the Hi-Fis
15/12/1962Craig DouglasRikki Allen Trio, Bern Elliott and the Fenmen
22/12/1962The Barron Knights and Duke D'MondJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
24/12/1962Russ Sainty and the Nu-NotesBern Elliott and the Fenmen
29/12/1962Johnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Chris Farlowe Combo
31/12/1962Johnny Vallons and the DeejaysBilly Reid and the Bluecoats, The Sonics

Town Hall

DateArtist 1Artist 2
5/1/1962Danny DavisGary and Lee, The Paramounts
6/1/1962Eden KanePeter Jay & The Jaywalkers, The Barron Knights
10/1/1962Shane Fenton
13/1/1962Tommy Bruce and his BruisersBarry James, The Strangers
17/1/1962Vince EagerBarry Edward and the Semi-Tones
20/1/1962Rolly DanielsChris Wayne, Gerry Temple, The Barons
24/1/1962Seven Fabulous Flintstones
27/1/1962FleerekkersJohnny Dave Five
3/2/1962Joe Brown and his BruvversDuke D'Mond and the Barron Knights
7/2/1962Screaming Lord Sutch
10/2/1962Danny RiversNelson Keene, Ricky Wayne and the Offbeats, The Jesters with Maureen Cochran
17/2/1962Johnny Dankworth and his Orchestra with Bobby BreenFrankie Short's Apex Rock Group
21/2/1962The Barron Knights
24/2/1962The ViscountsDan Haggerty Trio, Mick Barber's Travellers
3/3/1962MudlarksThe Barron Knights with Duke D'Mond
7/3/1962The Apex Group
10/3/1962Michael CoxKeith Kelly, Peter Wynne, Bob Xavier and the Jury, Jimmie Richie Group

Walton Hall

DateArtist 1Artist 2
24/3/1962Rolly DanielsChris Wayne, The Condors, Gerry Temple
7/4/1962Ricky Valance and the CruisersThe Jesters
14/4/1962Paul HanfordThe Federals, Gary Lane and the Garrisons
23/4/1962Joe Brown and his BruvversApex Group

2 thoughts on “1962 Rock in Aylesbury – and the Town Hall fire

  1. Roy Cawston

    What happened to Terry Anton and the Rythem Rockers

  2. Stephen Daglish

    Good question! Over 50 appearances between 1960 and 1962. Will try to find out what happened next – or maybe someone reading this might know!

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