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Them and Now: Van Morrison Celebration to take place on Sunday 4 May

Them featuring Van Morrison were one of the many top 1960's groups who appeared at the Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road now sadly burnt down. Come and listen to a great line-up of top local musicians play their favourite Van Morrison songs at a special Lazy Sunday Afternoon session to celebrate this event.

Formed in Belfast in April 1964, Them scored Top Ten Hits with the double A side “Gloria”/ ”Baby Please Don't Go” and then “Here Comes The Night”. Morrison quit the band in 1966 to persue what was to turn out to be a phenomenally sucessful solo career starting with the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” and a string of critically acclaimed albums beginning with “Astral Weeks” and “Moondance”.

Still regularly touring worldwide, “Van The Man” has become a true music legend collaborating on albums with The Chieftains, John Lee Hooker and Tom Jones. His recording with The Chieftains of “Have I Told You Lately” won him one of many Grammy Awards.

Don't miss King's Heath's tribute show to the “Belfast Cowboy”.

Compered by Irish singer songwriter Rich McMahon, the show will be headlined by Paul Murphy who played with Van in Belfast in the 1960's and nowadays fronts the 14 piece band The Destroyers, Micky Greaney, Tom Martin, Rob Peters and Blue Shire.

Advance Tickets cost £3 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3 plus booking fee from www.wegottickets.com/event/264174

Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the door.

Below: Advert from Midland Beat for Regan's Dances including Them appearing at the Ritz Ballroom on Feb. 28th 1965



 
Special Concert will commemorate First Anniversary of Ritz Ballroom Fire

ABOVE: West Midlands Fire Service photo of the fire on 27 March 2013

A special concert is to be held on Sunday 6 April 2014 to commemorate the first anniversary of the fire that destroyed the former Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road.

The Ballroom hosted legendary performances by top rock 'n' roll artists like Bill Haley, Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis, reggae star Jimmy Cliff and all the major groups of the 1960's including The Beatles, The Move, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Pink Floyd.

After the death of owners Ma and Pa Regan, the Ballroom was converted into a Cash Converters store before it was gutted by fire early on the morning of 27 March 2013.

Starting at 3 p.m. a special 3 hour commemorative concert will now be held on Sunday 6th April at Fletchers Bar directly opposite the burnt out ballroom featuring the award winning West Midlands group Out of The Shadows who will perform some of the greatest pop songs and instrumentals from the late 1950's onwards.

Expect to hear a great collection of covers of classic pop songs including Eddie Cochran's “Summertime Blues”, Cliff Richard's “I Could Easily Fall In Love With You” and Dire Straits' ”Walk Of Life” along with a string of top instrumental hits including “Cavatina – Theme From The Deer Hunter" and The Shadows' “Apache” and “Wonderful Land”

Hailing from Stourbridge, Out of The Shadows have regularly been voted Top Club Act by local club entertainment officers and audience members.

Out Of The Shadows will be supported by the young and very talented school student and singer/songwriter Harriet Harkcom.

Advance tickets cost £3 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3 + booking fee from www.wegotickets.com/event/264172

Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the door.

 
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:                                 

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

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.

 
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