Beat Summers 1964 – 66

a  closie in Elgin, Scotland along the High Street

a closie in Elgin, Scotland along the High Street

Moondance [15 Sep 95] inspired by a Van Morrison tune] Copyright DJ Dills [aka D Star]

Moondance [15 Sep 95] inspired by a Van Morrison tune – Copyright DJ Dills [aka D Star]

Teenagers growing up in small communities in the north of Scotland during the 1960s were not lacking when it came to music thanks to Bonici and his associates. He brought in acts from around Great Britain to play in small towns and villages in the north of Scotland.  In Elgin, in addition to the Two Red Shoes, Albert Bonici leased the Assembly Rooms and Elgin Town Hall for dances and special features. He also featured music venues at the  Longmore Hall, Keith, Ballerina Ballroom, Nairn, and Fisherman’s Hall, Buckie on a regular basis throughout 1950’s – 70’s.  His organization included bus service from Inverness, MacDuff, Huntly, Lossiemouth, Burghead, Kenloss, and Forres to and from the dances…

By June of 1964, Elgin’s Two Red Shoes had gained a reputation as a happening scene though Bonici was regularly booking bands in halls around north-east Scotland. The Beatles’ appearance 18 months earlier had made an impact on the small dance hall and several jazz and beat groups helped to forge it’s reputation throughout the’60s. The ballroom owner/promoter Albert Bonici was featuring local bands and signing groups to perform around Scotland through his London contact besides performing artists provided by Brian Epstein of Liverpool. The summer of ’64 was a “beat” summer in Elgin and surrounding towns with Assembly Hall and Two Red Shoes dances plus large concerts Bonici booked at Elgin Town Hall [besides large venues two hours down the road in Aberdeen].

1964 was a period of growth in post “Beatlemania” music industries. Several small record companies sprung up [see ] and Albert Bonici was determined to do his best recording various music artists in Scotland. With Norco Records, Johnny And The Copycats recorded a hit from ’58, “I’m A Hog For You Baby” and organized The Alex. Sutherland Band to meet up in Aberdeen for a one day recording of twelve songs used in The Two Red Shoes Album.

On Thursday, 7 Jan 1965, Two Red Shoes Ballroom sponsored a “Special Teenage Dance… Beat Away The New Year’s Blues” one of several designed to capitalize on young fans of “beat” music it continued to grow in popularity with British beat bands coming of age.

Between 1964-66, several young musicians would play in Elgin, Moray and small towns in Scotland as their built a following with young audiences that often extended beyond the shores of the UK. Albert Bonici brought the Rolling Stones to Aberdeen for a “pop package” performance in May’64 along with several other groups; The Kinks played with The Copycats 20Oct64 in Elgin Town Hall Copycat clippings:; and The Moody Blues performed 11Feb65 in the Two Red Shoes

16 was old enough to attend the dance halls around Scotland and the age most finished high school. Though many of the music venues featuring special guests were on a Thursday night, Bonici could often fill a hall with a well placed advert. The Two Red Shoes was open for business January through December and provided great memories for those who came for entertainment and to hang out with friends. Some would hit the taverns before a show though many would stop at the Park Cafe next door for an ice cream or a walk in the park. Summers in the otherwise quiet community were likewise filled with entertainment after a day of labour or study for young people in the 1960s.

According to newspaper adverts, here are some highlights of summer line ups in Elgin ’64-’66. Note: there were occasional cancelations though managers were expected to be reliable when setting up bookings. Abbreviations: [TRS] Two Red Shoes [ETH] Elgin Town Hall

-summer 1964- 28May [TRS] Johnny Anger and The Wild Ones
4 Jun [TRS] Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders
18Jun Lulu And The Luvvers plus The Puppets
Jun 25 TRS “Another Mod Be In” featuring The Animals
9Jul [ETH] The Hollies
Jul 30 Johnny And The Copycats
13Aug [TRS] Neil Landon And The Burnettes
Aug 20 Robb Storme & The Whispers
10Sep Malcolm Clarke And The Cresters

-summer 1965-

6May [TRS] “I Can’t Explain” Group The Who–K5928M
27May[TRS] The Searchers plus The Rats
3Jun The Measles
24Jun [TRS] The Four Pennies
Jul 15 TRS “Night Of The Beat People”

-summer 1966- 26May [ETH] Freddy and The Dreamers 16 Jun [TRS] The Mindbenders and The Drovers 2Jun [ETH] Small Faces 7July [ETH] The Yardbirds 4 Aug [TRS] The Overlanders and The Copycats


My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. With a fascination for the beat music era that took place throughout the UK, my research investigates the late '50s through early 1970s. Relying on interviews, the Albert Bonici archives, and other resources, I continue to gather materials to tell the story of a special time in music in the mid 20th century. Scottish promoter, Albert Bonici, brought many of the top beat music acts to Scotland which delighted music lovers during the early days of the beat music era. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and remembers the contributions of promoter, Albert Bonici, a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in 1960's pop music

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: