Midnight has fallen, bringing in Saturday morning, the 23rd of March 1968. But 500 Penzance and district youngsters have had a great night out, and (leaving aside any possibility of illicit substances having been consumed) are probably just too excited to sleep.
Granted, Billy J Kramer might not be quite such a star now as he was a few years ago, when he appeared on Top of the Pops in his shiny suit miming to smash hits like those chart-topping 1963 singles Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret and Bad to Me. Then there was Little Children, pick of the pops in 1964; each one of them out as a single at 6/8d a time, with a B side track as a bonus. Or there was the I’ll Keep You Satisfied EP – four tracks for 10/6d. (Six shillings and eightpence is 33.3p, and ten shillings and sixpence is 52.5p. The value of ten shillings then has been calculated as equivalent to over £7.50 today https://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/relativevalue.php accessed 24 Feb 2017)
True, Billy hasn’t exactly been a chart-topper for a while – Trains and Boats and Planes didn’t even make the top ten. And admittedly, his discs - with that distinctive Parlaphone green centre label - don’t even seem to be in the record shop any more. But never mind – it was still exciting to see even a slightly-less-than-up-to-the-minute turn to perform at the Winter Gardens. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a fashion show by the Dolly Mixture boutique as well. So perhaps shopping plans, and fervent calculations in pounds, shillings and pence, are helping to keep Morpheus at bay.
Later today, will some of those same “youngsters” that were twisting and shaking at the Wints last night, be taking part in the first Cornish inter-school chess tournament? Pupils of Humphry Davy Grammar School- are you confident? You have reason to be. Heamoor School team – are you ready for disappointment? You are about to lose six matches, and not win a single one. I hope it won’t ruin your weekend.
Shall we focus on entertainment, though? We can’t expect the big stars every day, but there’s plenty of local talent. Thursday, the Midrod Ends are at the Barn, Eastern Green! Next Friday at the Wints, Max Baer and the Chicago Setback! And on Saturday, the Ray Alan Band! 1968: surely the best of times to be young.
Cornishman 28th March 1968 p 4
Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas discography accessed 24 Feb 2017
We are interested in any first-hand accounts of visits to the Winter Gardens and similar venues during the 20th century. Please contact Linda Camidge