"King's Heath leads the way in celebrating musical heritage" says Birmingham Mail (Click Here)
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Notice
Beatles Fest on Sunday 16 February 2014 is a sell-out!

Above: From left to right George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon photographed in 1963 outside one of the Regan venues

Our concert to celebrate the 51st. anniversary of the first ever Beatles gig in Birmingham at the Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road is a sell-out.

Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the former ballroom will be packed to the rafters from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday 16 February.

All tickets were sold within less than 5 days of them going on sale as Beatlemania returns to King's Heath after 51 years.

The Beatles appeared at the Ritz Ballroom - one of 4 venues run in the 1950's and 60's by the 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 had been 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.

When they did eventually make it on 15 February Beatlemania had really started to take off and the Beatles were only able to enter the Ritz by climbing up a ladder from Milford Place. In fact, the Fab Four almost had to appear as the Fab Three after George Harrison arrived late by taxi and was trapped by screaming fans.

"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 their manager Brian Epstein to agree to them performing for their previously agreed fee even though they were now No. 1 in the charts! They performed the rescheduled gig at The Ritz during a break from The Helen Shapiro Tour on which they started off as only 4th out of the 11 acts on the bill!

Autographs of the four Beatles signed at the Ritz Ballroom were sold at Christies auction house on 24 June 2010.
According to the vendor she was picking up her coat from the coat room after the concert when she met Paul McCartney coming out of the toilets. After giving her his autograph she followed him into the bar where he called her over to meet the rest of the band who gave her their autographs too. She then took up Paul's kind offer of a lift back into town in their van where she sat on his lip and shared a kiss!!!

Those lucky enough to secure tickets should have a great afternoon's entertainment as we celebrate a landmark event in King's Heath's musical heritage

A great line-up of top local musicians has already been lined up but any other musicians who would like to appear at the anniversary event should contact:                                 

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Clockwise: Autographs of John Lennon, Paut McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

signed at the Ritz Ballroom that were auctioned at Christies on 24 June 2010.

 
Join us for our XMAS XTRAVAGANZA on Sunday 1st December

Get the festive season off to a great start by coming along to our Xmas Xtravaganza at Fletchers on Sunday 1st December featuring some of the most popular musicians from our 2013 Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions.

Included in the line-up will be the very young and talented Harriet Harkcom who brought the audience to their feet at our Rolling Stones Fest with her version of "Wild Horses", the sensational SwiftBeat who performed a rousing set at our Rock 'n' Roll Revival event, the amazing 6-5 Specials skiffle band, the great Mr Apollo playing fantastic roots rock and the irrepressible Dave Diz so this should prove to be another really enjoyable afternoon in King's Heath.

The show will start at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m.

Advance tickets cost just £2.50 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or www.wegottickets.com (plus 25p booking fee). Tickets on the door will cost £3.


 
Rock 'n' Roll Revival on Sunday 6 October will end Summer Series of Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions

Jerry Lee Lewis Image - Great Balls of Fire"Great Balls of Fire" will be one of the many classic songs sung at a special event to commemorate all the famous rock 'n' roll artists of the 1950's and 60's who played at the former Ritz Ballroom  gutted by fire earlier this year.

On Sunday 6 October top local groups including SwiftBeat rock 'n' roll band, The 6-5 Specials, Mr Apollo and World of Fox will perform their favourite rock 'n'roll songs in a 3 hour session starting at 3 p.m. at Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the former ballroom.

Tickets cost just £2.50 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe also on York Road or www.wegottickets.com or £3 on the door.

"Great Balls of Fire" was a number one hit for Jerry Lee Lewis. When he first performed at The Ritz Ballroom his chauffeur had to be shown the way to King's Heath from another Regan owned venue - The Plaza in Handsworth - by a fan travelling on his mate's motor bike.

When Gene Vincent played the Ritz Ballroom on 21 June 1963 he was supported by a band called The Outlaws" featuring Ritchie Blackmore later of Deep Purple and Rainbow fame.

Internationally famous Bill Haley is also known to have played at the Ritz Ballroom as well as up and coming British rock 'n' roll acts including the very young Joe Brown and Cliff Richard!

This event will be the last in the Walk of Fame's very popular summer series of Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions that kicked off on 7 July with "All Things Kinky" celebrating the music of The Kinks.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker said "We have been really delighted that so many people have come along to all the sessions to continue to celebrate King's Heath's amazing musical heritage. The name for the sessions was taken from a hit single by The Small Faces who also performed at the Ritz Ballroom. We will be having a short break in November before returning on 1st December with a Best of 2013 show".


 
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