It’s 60 years since an unknown band took to the stage of Alloa Town Hall and began a musical revolution, finds Sandra Dick
For excitement-starved young people in one of Scotland’s sixties industrial heartlands, the invitation for a night of dancing and entertainment at Alloa Town Hall must have been tempting.
The Beat Ballad Show on offer in 1960 featured Liverpool-born Johnny Gentle, a “crooner” with an Elvis-style quiff who had flirted briefly with chart success, alongside his band and a support act.
And surely after a week working in the town’s breweries, glass factories or surrounding coal mines, the chance to gather until 1.30am for the princely sum of just 4/- would have been hard to resist.
Still, the young folks of Alloa who gathered to be entertained by the smooth vocals of Johnny Gentle and his hastily-arranged backing group on Friday, May 20, 1960, could not for a moment have realised they were about to bear witness to the birth of one of the world’s greatest bands.