Stage / Top of bill and record breakers

Early in 1965 an important decision had to be made for the future of The Bachelors. Do they join other pop acts on endless one nighter tours or jump on the variety/family entertainment train which was widely predicted to be heading for the scrap yard?

A paragraph in their spring tour brochure read;

 ‘You will notice that there are no Rock and Roll acts supporting The Bachelors on this tour.

What we have tried to do is give good value family entertainment and hope, when you have seen the show you will agree it was the right choice.’ 

Spring tour brochure 1965
Spring tour brochure 1965

 It turned out to be a wise decision by their Management and set the scene that would keep them at the very top of their profession for the next 19 years.

After the Spring tour they made a flying visit to New York for the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ as ‘Marie’ began to climb the charts over there.

Full page US music press ad
Full page US music press ad

They returned headlining in ‘Holiday Startime’ at the ABC theatre in Great Yarmouth for the summer where they broke all box office records.  This was followed by their first Australian tour, supported by Gene Pitney and undertaken in response to their popularity and huge volume of record sales ‘down-under.’

ABC Blackpool 1966
ABC Blackpool 1966

Christmas/New Year 1965/66 saw them headlining the pantomime at the Bristol Hippodrome, immediately followed by a UK Spring tour, Coast to coast TV dates in the USA to promote their ‘Hits of the 60’s’ album, countless TV dates in the UK as ‘The Sound of Silence’ hit the top ten, then straight into a long summer season in Blackpool.

 Their 1966 summer at Blackpool’s ABC Theatre with Cilla Black as ‘guest star’ broke every record in the book, including ‘standing room‘ tickets. That record still stands today, but sadly, the theatre doesn’t!

Other records for ‘bums on seats’ were established in Great Yarmouth, Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Scarborough, Manchester, Liverpool, Paignton and even Stockton on Tees!  

The Bachelors were, without doubt, the hottest ticket in British variety theatre.

Continue reading this section: Stage / Blackpool Opera House

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