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The King Mojo Sheffield

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Not long ago Roy posted a superb article about the Sheffield Esquire which was written by Steve Bellamy...Here is an article from the same person about a 1965 King Mojo Club outing to London...

London had the Scene club and Sheffield had the Mojo and the twain never met. After all why should we go all the way to London (by BR no less) when we had Violet May's record emporium (still regarded as the best Mod record outlet in the UK) Burtons tailors, La Favarita coffee shop, City Hall hairdressers and a plethora of Boots the chemist branches. We were set for life. TV really wasn't something that had any consequence. After all, as far as 'our' music was concerned it was a wasteland. Programs like "6-5 special" "Thank Your Lucky Stars" and the truly horrible 'Top of the Pops' were as blinkered to 'soul' music as Hercules the dray horse on Steptoe and Son.

This all changed in August 1963. For a few months prior to this we heard from some of the groups who played the Mojo about a TV show that was being planned by Rediffusion to be called '3-2-1 Go' that would actually have 'in' bands appearing, playing their records, with hip kids from the London clubs dancing in the studio. In effect it would be the club scene in a TV studio. But not 'our' club scene!

Talk of seeing groups like the Stones, Small Faces and the Who on national TV had us grimacing in disbelieve and suppressed resentment. Honestly, we didn't want the straights - especially Mom and Dad, to find out about what was driving us out of the house on Friday nights. Somebody in broadcast TV down there (London) was really going to do it and we - the 'in crowd' - were going to left out of it. NOT BLOODY LIKELY (deep voiced strong Sheffield accent there)

Eventually, we found out that a was going to be a pilot show shot at a Teddington studio on Tues July 16th with a few local groups and a bunch of kids from the Scene and the Flamingo. What to do, what to do.

Enter Pete Stringfellow. Pete together with his brother Geoff was the owner of the Mojo club in Sheffield. With the notable exception of David Frost, I have never met anybody as determined to be a success as he was. He was an extrovert and entrepreneur extraordinaire and a pretty good soul DJ to boot. He called Peter Croft the assigned director for the show and essential told him that he was the son of a big shot ABC television producer and also co-incidentally owner of the biggest disco in the North of England, the Mojo.

By sheer force of personality he wangled an invite to appear on the show and to bring along a 'few' friends. Forty-eight of us turned up and took over the entire dance studio. Pete grabbed the mike twice straight out of the hands of Keith Fordyce and preceded to do his Mojo DJ spiel for the cameras. Meanwhile we were dancing ourselves silly to Manfred Mann, Freddie and the Dreamers, and Bo Diddley (one for our side at least)

When it was all over and declared a, quote - 'whiz bang success' Keith Fordyce came over to a group of us Yorkshire lads and innocently says 'so you chaps have come all the way from Sheffield on a Tuesday no less. I expect you'll be eager to go home and get back to work, what with the weekend coming up and all.

John Varney, our hometown 'Ace Face' looks at him 'gone out' and says 'are you kidding mate - the weekend starts here' A little light bulb went on in Fordyce's head and a slogan was born. Over the next three years Pete Stringfellow and the Sheffield Mojo crowd were as much regulars on the now renamed 'Ready Steady Go' as Cathy McGowan, Patrick Kerr or even that warm up dancer fella Paul Raven better known now as Gary Glitter.

Such is the stuff of legends. I know, cos I was there

Found this post on the twisted wheel forum

Thought it was interesting

Edited by spike1

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Great read.

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Guest topcatnumpty1 profile photo

loverley stuff-----T.C

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my fav club to go to in the 60ts. what nights we had there lol. mick payne

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