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I met band leader Ted Heath atWolverhampton Civic

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 31, 2014

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I SAW Ted Heath and his band at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in the late 50s and I met Ted Heath during the interval and had a chat with him. He was a very nice man. His band was wonderful for listening to and dancing to. A wonderful musical experience.

I and many people of my age group can recall many top bands appearing at the Civic from the mid 50s to the late 60s. Wonderful.

Joe Loss and his orchestra were regular visitors in that period, a fabulous band playing exciting music and enhanced with his singing stars Larry Gretton, Rose Brennan and the ebullient Ross MacManuss, who also played trumpet. Ross later embarked on a solo career as a club entertainer and was very successful. He was the father of Elvis Costello.

I recall whenever Joe Loss was due to appear, tickets were issued months in advance and we had to queue for them, especially for his New Year's Eve appearances.

Other top British bands appeared including Cyril Stapleton, Victor Sylvester, Ken Mackintosh, The Squadronaires, Eric Delaney, Sid Phillips, Bob Miller, all wonderful bands, the 'pop stars' of the era. Wonderful nights indeed.

A number of top quality local bands appeared at the Civic including Mac Thomas, Stan Fielding, Ronnie Hancox (with Susan Maughan), Reg Bartlam, Brian Pearsall, Dave Cadman, Keith Vernon, Styx Wilkinson and others. Great memories of a golden era at the Civic.

If myself and mates failed to get a girl we went to Shellings fish and chip shop on Snow Hill or Cyril's Cafe on the Birmingham Road for a late night snack or bacon sandwiches and coffee. Most of us would walk home 2 or 3 miles away.

Happy memories. Wonderful nights.

Reg Summerfield,

Netherleigh,

Beckett Street,

Bilston.

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