1966 rock in Aylesbury

The Ready Steady Go Club, which had started in Aylesbury at the end of 1965, presented more gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall before closing in the spring of 1966.


However, the club had trouble with artists failing to turn up or equipment not arriving, and small crowds. On 25th January, the Mark Leeman Five were due to appear – but only three of them appeared. The Bucks Advertiser reported:

Last week a much reduced Mark Leeman Five – without a vocalist and organist – gave us a makeshift show of, mainly, instrumentals. Although, admittedly, it may not be the club’s fault, this is the second time recently that things have gone wrong with group bookings.


Worse was to come when Inez and Charlie Foxx were due to play on 8th February. They arrived – but their backing group did not. John Finn reported in the Bucks Advertiser:

The famous American brother and sister singing team did arrive but a backing group did not. For two hours they sat in their dressing room twiddling their thumbs waiting for the group that was supposed to have left London at six o’clock …

Eventually Inez and Charlie agreed to appear and sang over one of their records. Teenagers rushed to the front of the hall and with just one number the Foxx’s rhythm and music swept over the small crowd. Resounding cheers followed their one and only number after which anger flared up again.

RSG Inez and Charlie Foxx

A few weeks later, on 22nd February, Tony Rivers and the Castaways were due to play – but the same thing happened. The Bucks Advertiser commented:

Another chapter in the trouble-plagued history of Aylesbury’s RSG was written on Tuesday night.

Three times now, in almost as many weeks, things have turned sour with artistes. On Tuesday the twist, treated by teenagers as a poor joke that is quickly wearing thin, was with Tony Rivers and the Castaways. They turned up, but their equipment didn’t. Again, no show.

Things got no better when another club, the Top Of The Pops Club, opened. The intention was to present top DJs, with some live bands. Pete Murray appeared with The Mindbenders.


There were soon allegations of payments not being made – under a front page heading of Top Of Pops Club Flops, the Bucks Herald reported on March 18th that:

Agents for two of the country’s top disc jockeys alleged this week that they had been unable to get payment from the Top of the Pops Dance Club, based in the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury. They maintain that Alan Freeman and Peter Murray – famous faces on television and well-known on radio – have received no money for their personal appearances.

And club members who intended going to the club tonight to see The Small Faces, last week No. 1 in the hit parade, will be disappointed. Their agent has told The Bucks Herald that the group, contrary to an announcement made from the Assembly Hall stage last week, have never been booked to appear at Aylesbury.

Top of Pops Club front page

Meanwhile, Eddie Friday continued with his Saturday evenings, distancing himself from the problems with other promoters. Among artists appearing for Eddie on Saturdays were Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Honeycombs, Patti LaBelle and her Bluebelles, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and The Ink Spots.

Eddie Friday with Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles - 7 May 1966 Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered
Eddie Friday with Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles – 7 May 1966
Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered

The Ink Spots was a strange booking. Tony White in his review in the Bucks Advertiser wrote:

It must have been very difficult – and nerve-wracking – for the Ink-Spots to face a crowd of beat-crazy teenagers at Saturday night’s Eddie Friday promotion at the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury.

At least that was the impression I got from the wings as I watched this veteran group of American showbusiness at work. They looked nervous in front of the youngsters, most of whom had probably never heard of them. That the Ink-Spots’ music was so many years pre-beat was very obvious…

This is the first visit to Britain by the Ink-Spots since 1952. Billy Bowen told me after the show that American bases around the country are included in their itinery. I’m sure they will be far more appreciated there than in the current British ballroom scene.

On 18th October, the El Bribon Organisation put on Lee Dorsey, who had a hit with “Working In A Coal Mine”.

Note: There is some confusion as the local papers also carried ads for Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band on the same evening!

Lee Dorsey review

Towards the end of the year there were more problems with artists advertised but not appearing. On 22nd November, the El Bribon Organisation advertised Tom Jones – billed as “The Greatest Rave Night in Aylesbury”. However Tom Jones did not appear. Dave James later reported:

Last November, posters all over the town proclaimed a show and a dance would star Tom Jones. Tickets were even available from local shops. Tom Jones did not appear, which was not surprising – he was not booked to appear and did not even know his name was on the posters.

Crowds of youngsters turned up on the appointed day, to read a notice saying there would be no show and no dance.

Tom Jones ad

1966 also saw the first Hobble on the Cobbles in the Market Square – see here for more.

List of gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall in 1966:

DateClubPromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
1/1/1966Eddie FridayChris AndrewsBarry Lee and the Planets, The Ironsides
4/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThem
8/1/1966Eddie FridayThe BystandersThe En Devers Ltd, The In-Sect
18/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Applejacks
22/1/1966Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Gent-L-Men
25/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Mark Leeman Five
29/1/1966Eddie FridayPeter Jay and the JaywalkersThe New Creations, The Future Set
1/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Paramounts
5/2/1966Eddie FridayThe CaesarsThe Associates
8/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubInez and Charlie Foxx (no backing group - only one song)
11/2/1966Eddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Ravons, The 5th Dynasty
12/2/1966Eddie FridayStevie, Johnny and the Various OthersThe Tridents, The Unchained
15/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Yeng Tongs (did not play)
19/2/1966Eddie FridayThe Tennessee TeensThe Sneakers
22/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubTony Rivers and The Castaways (equipment did not arrive - no show)
26/2/1966Eddie FridayThe Washington D.C.s featuring Johnny CannonThe Sonics
1/3/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Downliners Sect
5/3/1966Eddie FridayChris Lamb and the Universal Show BandGroup Survival
8/3/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Birds
11/3/1966Top Of The Pops ClubThe MindbendersPeter Murray (DJ)
12/3/1966Eddie FridayThe Zuider ZeeThe Night Beats
19/3/1966Eddie FridayMust-B-BluesMistral-Tuac
2/4/1966Eddie FridayBilly J. Kramer and the DakotasThe Shindigs, The Quantum
5/4/1966The Fortunes
9/4/1966Eddie FridayFernandos HideawaysThe Ironsides
12/4/1966Tony Knight's Chessmen
16/4/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersPinky and the Phellows
23/4/1966Eddie FridayLynn Cordette and the CountdownsThe Future Set
30/4/1966Eddie FridayThe HoneycombsThe Vibratones, Blue Velvets
7/5/1966Eddie FridayPatty La Belle and her BellesThe Bystanders, The Dark Ages
14/5/1966Eddie FridayPeter Fenton and the CrowdThe Associates, The Denim Blues
21/5/1966Eddie FridayThe SurvivorsThe Tridents
28/5/1966Eddie FridayBrian Poole and the TremeloesThe Ravons, The Methods
3/6/1966Bucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayThe RavonsThe 5th Dynasty
4/6/1966Eddie FridayThe Ink SpotsBluesology, The Ironsides
11/6/1966Eddie FridayThe Endevers LtdSounds from Spectre
18/6/1966Eddie FridayThe FenmenThe Triads
25/6/1966Eddie FridayChris Lamb and the UniversalsThe Little Angels
9/7/1966Eddie FridayThe OrlonsGates of Eden
16/7/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Denim Blues
23/7/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe Tridents, Anna Arki of Ready Steady Go!
30/7/1966Eddie FridayWainwrights GentlemenThe Reasons
6/8/1966Eddie FridayThe MansfieldsThe Ironsides
13/8/1966Eddie FridayPatterson's PeopleThe Nightbeats
20/8/1966Eddie FridayBean & Loopys LotThe Vibratones
27/8/1966Eddie FridayThe Original DyaksThe Associates
3/9/1966Eddie FridayMudThe Dark Ages
10/9/1966Eddie FridayThe Essex FiveSounds from Spectre
17/9/1966Eddie FridayThe Future SetJo Jo Gunne
24/9/1966Eddie FridayThe UglysThe Nitebeats
1/10/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe Tridents
8/10/1966Eddie FridayThe Lovin' KindThe Methods
15/10/1966Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Denim Blues, The Kontax
18/10/1966El Bribon OrganisationLee DorseyThe Neat Change, John Dimble (Radio London)
18/10/1966Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band (advertised)
22/10/1966Eddie FridayPattersons PeopleThe Vivas
29/10/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Moonbeats
1/11/1966The ActionThe Neat Change, John Dimble (Radio London)
5/11/1966Eddie FridayThe MeantimersThe Ironsides
12/11/1966Eddie FridayFinders KeepersThe Southern Valley Four
19/11/1966Eddie FridayThe Missing LinksThe Fenton Weils
22/11/1966El Bribon OrganisationTom Jones (did not appear - show cancelled)The Question, The Neat Change
26/11/1966Eddie FridayThe SneakersThe Associates
2/12/1966Barbados Independence Big DanceThe Hot Line Special of AylesburyD.C. Ward and the Fies FiestasThe Havana Boys
3/12/1966Eddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Vibratones
10/12/1966Eddie FridayThe Future SetJo Jo Gunne, The Choosey Beggars
24/12/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsSounds from Spectre, The Substitutes

One thought on “1966 rock in Aylesbury

  1. Oliver P Reilly.

    I am certain I saw the Zuider Zee n Aylesbery, is my memory playing trick or did they wear clogs?

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