1950's - Before the parkas
know much about music in the 1950's. We always had a
piano in the front room, where it was played at Xmas
time and at parties. I took it for granted that Mum
and Dad played the piano and that Dad was a musician.
At that time, he and Uncle Ron (who played double bass)
use to go off gigging the same as we do now.
There wasn't much on TV and the radio only played Frank
Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and the "Big
Hands". Nothing of much interest to me at that
time. There was always a lot of sheet music about and
I was curious about all the dots and squiggles, but
that was all.
We had a
wind up record player 75 rpm, playing lots of orchestras
and bands and the one I liked was "March of the
Tin Soldiers". ( I don't count it as one of my
In 1954/55 my Uncle Jim was living with us at 22 Shirley
Avenue, Portsmouth. One day I could hear something different
playing and went up stairs to find out where this music
was coming from. He was playing "Rock around the
Clock" on his 75 rpm record player. That was the
start of something special for me. It was something
which was to stay with me for many years to come.
way I heard the latest hits of the day was when the
older kids use to whistle or sing the songs in the street.
Looking back it seems unbelievable now!
Being two years older than me Keith was getting into
football at this time.
The 1950's were drawing to a close.
up to the 1959 when a few of the street gang including
Keith, decided to go to St. James Youth Club. We should
have been members of the Sunday School but sneaked in
any way. That was the first time I saw and heard records
being played on a Dansette 45 record player. All the
hits of the day coming out , Buddy Holly, Cliff Richrads
etc, and I remember them playing the song "Here
Comes Summer". We were all singing along - "Here
we got thrown out!!! Happy Days.