"King's Heath leads the way in celebrating musical heritage" says Birmingham Mail (Click Here)
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Beatlemania returns to King's Heath after 50 years!

Beatlemania returned to King's Heath on 15 February exactly 50 years after the Fab Four played the Ritz Ballroom on York Road. Over 150 fans crammed into Flechers Bar directly opposite the former Ballroom to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of one of the landmark events in King's Heath's amazing musical heritage. Advance tickets had sold out within a fortnight and fans started arriving at the venue over an hour before the scheduled start to snap up the few remaining tickets that went on sale on the door.

Inside a packed Fletchers, Rich McMahon did a terrific job of compering a nostalgic afternoon's entertainment with audience members sharing anecdotes and memories while listening to unique and individual interpretations of some famous and not so famous Beatles songs.http://www.bornmusiconline.co.uk/beatles-fest-fletchers/

Guest performers included Steve Birkett of Acoustica, Samuel Rogers (see below), Redbird Sky, Rob Peters, Sylvia, Jason Ensa, David Disley-Jones and the Dirty Old Folkers.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who organised the event to promote the King's Heath Walk of Fame said, "We were surprised and delighted by the demand for tickets. Fans from as far a field as Liverpool, Cheltenham and Lichfield travelled to King's Heath to join in our celebration. We want to say a really big thank you to them and also to all the fine and wonderful musicians who turned up to play. We are already planning a similar event for September 14th to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones playing the Ritz Ballroom as well as planning regular monthly music sessions to provide a showcase for the next generation of rock stars"

Samuel Rogers

Click on our "Fame Gallery" link (channels menu left) or click here

Click here for some more great photos on Born Music Online

 
"Follow King's Heath's lead in celebrating musical heritage" says Mail!

"Let's do more to celebrate our musical heritage" urges an editorial in the Birmingham Mail on Saturday 16 September alongside a full page article on King's Heath's 50th Beatles Anniversary Celebration.

The full editorial reads, "As well as producing plenty of home-grown talent such as The Move, Black Sabbath, Duran Duran and UB40, Birmingham has staged gigs by countless up-and-coming bands from elsewhere.

But none come bigger than the Beatles and how fitting we should remember how a modest venue in King's Heath once hosted the Fab Four.

Let's do more to celebrate our musical heritage".

The editorial could also have added that both Duran Duran  and UB40 made some of their earliest recordings at Bob Lamb's Cambridge Road and then Highbury Studio in King's Heath, UB40 played their first ever gig in King's Heath and The Move's Trevor Burton has lived in King's Heath for over 20 years. So King's Heath has played a really pivotal role in the whole city's musical heritage and is now helping to lead the way in promoting that heritage!

 
Triple Celebration planned for King's Heath Cluedo inventor Anthony Pratt

Read the Birmingham Mail article: "Cluedo founder Anthony Pratt has a pavement plaque dedicated to him in the B14 postcode of King's Heath"

      Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker came up with the idea for a 'Kings Heath Walk of Fame' Anthony Pratt, who created the Cluedo boardgame while working in a wartime tank factory in Birmingham, is to be honoured in King's Heath, where he was living at the time. Largely ignored and forgotten when he died aged 90 in 1994 he is to have his life celebrated in three different ways in the Autumn.

Firstly, a pavement plaque commemorating the civil servant is planned for York Road in September as part of the ‘King's Heath Walk of Fame’. Secondly, a presitigious Blue Plaque is to be placed on the wall of 9 Stanley Road where he and his wife were living during the second world war when he invented the hugely popular boardgame. And thirdly, author Jonathan Foster's book (featured here) on one of King's Heath's most famous residents will be published entitled: "The Cluedo Story; How Anthony Pratt invented the game of Murder Mystery"

Anthoy Pratt invented the famous boardgame, with the help of wife Elva, during the war years – a time he spent making tank components in a Birmingham factory. Originally titled ‘Murder’, Pratt had it patented in 1944. Waddingtons bought the overseas rights nine years later, paying Pratt only £5,000.

“Once you start looking,” said Ken Whittaker and Bob Prew who came up with the idea of creating King's Heath's very own  Walk of Fame, “it is amazing how many famous people have links to King's Heath. We hope to honour at least 20 of them. The project is going from strength to strength and we have more and more names. 1948 Olympic cycling Bronze medalist Tommy Godwin lived and owned a shop  here, Frank Skinner and UB40 started their careers here...There is so much more. We can’t just let the memories fade away.”

Bob and Ken

Picture of Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker, and article - both courtesy of at the Birmingham Mail

For more on Anthony Pratt, click here

 
Rock Legend Trevor Burton to be next star on Walk of Fame
Rock legend Trevor Burton who has lived in King's Heath for over 20 years is to be celebrated with a star on the Walk of Fame on Monday 3rd June 2013. The award was announced when Adrian Goldberg interviewed Trevor on his programme on BBCWM95.6 on Thursday 21st March.TrevorMadeInBrum


Trevor was a founder member of The Move alongside Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, Carl Wayne and Chris Kefford.

They were formed after a young David Bowie suggested to Trevor that he gather together all the best musicians in Birmingham into a supergroup and come down to London to play.

The Move went on to score nine Top 20 hits in the 1960's including "Flowers in the  Rain" which was the first ever single played on Radio One on 30  September 1967. The song, which reached No.2 in the charts, generated  controversy after the band were sued by Harold Wilson - the Prime  Minister - for libel. Their manager, Tony Secunda, had produced a  postcard to promote the single that portrayed Wilson in bed with his  secretary Marcia Williams with whom he was rumoured to be having an  affair. The group lost the court case and all royalties from the record  had to be donated to a charity of Wilson's choice.

After firing Tony Secunda as manager, The Move went onto have further hits including  "Fire Brigade" and "Blackberry Way".

When Trevor left in 1969 he went on to play with many of this  country's iconic rock musicians and bands including Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant and Steve Gibbons.

His induction will come shortly after he finishes starring in a sell-out tour of leading Midlands venues compered by Jasper Carrott. Both The Move featuring Trevor Burton and Bev Bevan and The Trevor Burton Band will play a special concert at the Hare & Hounds in King's Heath on the evening of Monday 3rd June as part of his induction into the Walk of Fame.

Ticket prices have been kept deliberately low so that as many fans as possible can attend this intimate and historic gig.

Tickets are priced at only £7 and are available from the Hare & Hounds pub directly here

Trevor Burton said, "To have been chosen to be given a star on the King's Heath Walk of Fame is fantastic and I would like to thank all those involved for making it happen. It's over 40 years from when I first played at the Ritz Ballroom in King's Heath with The Move and I remember it as being one of the top gigs on the Birmingham circuit. It's great that it's being remembered as it will bring back a lot of memories for people who rocked there back in the sixties".

Bev Bevan, drummer with The Move and ELO said, " Trevor is a fantastic blues guitar player. He left The Move to persue his love of blues music and went on to play with Jimi Hendrix and many other great musicians. His star is a great reward for all his amazing guitar playing".

Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who created the Walk of Fame said, "We are delighted to be able to honour Trevor on the Walk of Fame. He formed the first major group to come out of Birmingham in the 1960's and has now lived in King's Heath for over 20 years. He is still a really influential figure on the rock and blues scene inspiring a whole new generation with his guitar playing".

 
The Beatles in King's Heath 50th Anniversary Celebration ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD OUT!

Top local musicians and DJ's will be playing their favourite Beatles songs in a sell-out event to celebrate the 50th. anniversary of a Beatles concert at the Ritz Ballroom (now Cash Converters) on King's Heath's York Road.

Fletchers bar on York Road directly opposite the former ballroom will host the event from 12.30 to 4.30 p.m. on Friday 15 February 2013 exactly 50 years after the appearance of The Beatles at the ballroom.

Due to exceptional demand, all advance tickets for the event sold out within less than a fortnight. Only a very limited number of tickets will be available on the day so arrive early to avoid disappointment!

The Beatles appeared at the Ritz Ballroom - one of 4 venues run in the 1950's and 60'sby legendary Irish Couple Ma and Pa Regan - on 15 February 1963 shortly after releasing their second single "Please Please Me". Originally scheduled to appear on 11 January, they were prevented by blizzard like conditions from making the 11 mile journey to King's Heath from one of the Regans other venues - the Plaza in Old Hill.

Beatlemania was now really taking off and the Beatles were only able to enter and leave the Ritz by climbing over the rear fence in Milford Place.

"Tell them to turn that racket down" is what Pa Regan is rumoured to have shouted while they were practising! But he was a very happy man really. He had persuaded Brian Epstein to agree to them performing for their previously agreed fee even though they were now No. 1 in the charts!

After their performance, Paul McCartney and George Harrison wrote a personal message to one of their fans in her autograph book, "To Janet, love from the Beatles", signed their names and followed this with three kisses. 43 years later these autographs were auctioned at Christie's in London.

A great day's entertainment will help celebrate this truely historic event in King's Heath's musical legacy.

Any local musicians or DJ's who would like to appear at the anniversary event should contact:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Read the Birmingham Mail's article on this event by clicking on this link:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/music/gig-remembers-night-50-years-1289969

 

 
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