Famous Acts on Wigan ABC Ritz Cinema

Started by: billyshym (745) is compilling a list of famous acts who appeared there right up to its demise...

Email: (Yes, double 'i')
or Lo-call 08450 94 87 95


Started: 19th May 2010 at 12:23

Posted by: jackdog (580)

Billy, I think you might get more response if you asked people to post on here rather than e-mailing.
I will start it off (if that's ok) with some I saw at the Ritz:-

Walker Bros
Dave Dee, Dozy etc
Gene Pitney
Roy Orbison,
Cilla Black,
Rocking Berries,
Everly Bros (best show of the lot)
Billy J Kramer
and others...

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 16:33

Posted by: fossil (6856)

Buddy Holly and the crickets were on at the Ritz

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 16:53

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Cliff Richard when it was "Cliff Richard and the Drifters", not The Shadows. I was only about eight and my grown-up brother's girlfriend took me.

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 17:40
Last edited by irene: 19th May 2010 at 17:41:05

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Hi jackdog and all WWorlder's

Thanks for the advice to post your answers above on Wigan World... but. There are copyright issues invoved.

What you post on here is technically belonging to you and WW. So that's why I ask for emails...

I need your kind permission and WW's too... I know it's muddied area but I don't fancy a summons in breach of WW copyright. WW are aware of my activities but they too admit they're unsure about it. I posted something on the thread 'Local 'pop' groups of years ago'. Please look it up... Pheeeeww.

Best wishes


Replied: 19th May 2010 at 17:41

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Fossil... Are you sure. Buddy was booked at the Ritz but he got killed in a car crash??? That's my understanding. Please correct this matter WW's out there...


Replied: 19th May 2010 at 17:49

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

A few more: The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Rolling Stones, Beatles, T Rex ...

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 18:09

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Hey Banksy

I don't think the Stones did the Ritz: Wigam Emp it was. Thanks for the others Bob-on...


Replied: 19th May 2010 at 19:26

Posted by: nokomis (768)

Buddy Holly and the Crickets were on at the Ritz 1958
Des O'Connor was their warm up act (not that they needed one). It was one of his first appearances. I was there and it was great!!! Sadly Buddy was killed in an air crash 1959 along with Big Bopper. I still love Buddy Holly

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 20:11

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Thanks nokomis...

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 20:51

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

Wikipedia (I know not always correct) says:
Rolling Stones
16/09/1964 Wigan, ABC Theatre (2 shows)


Also says 2 shows at the ABC in 1965:
02/10/1965 Wigan, ABC Theatre (2 shows)

Replied: 19th May 2010 at 23:13
Last edited by -banksy-: 20th May 2010 at 09:45:17

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

I'll check this out Banksy

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 00:03

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

Beatles - Thursday 28th Ovtober 1965: The End of `Star Scene '65' tour, at the ABC Cinema, Wigan.

November 1965:
Gene Pitney, Peter & Gordon, The Rockin’ Berries and Lulu & Luvvers appeared at the ABC, Wigan


Also on the motown revue tour at the ABC was Martha and the Vandellas & Georgie Fame.

Wigan born Mick Bolton from Mott the Hoople wrote:
On April 9th 1965 I attended a show at the ABC cinema in Wigan at which there were rows and rows of empty seats. I suppose it could have held 1500 or more but on that night there were no more than 100. It was the Tamla Motown Revue - the first time that Tamla acts had toured Britain and I'm happy to say that I was among the first to see them. A few months later the same line-up would have packed the place out. It was Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, Martha And The Vandellas - all backed by the superb Earl Van Dyke Band. Georgie Fame was the guest artist. Despite the poor turnout they all sung and played their hearts out and I can still see in my mind's eye the whole cast strung out across the stage at the end of the show singing the Smokey Robinson song Mickey's Monkey. As there were so few people there I was able to sit anywhere I chose, so I sat alone in about the tenth row right in the centre. The rest of the audience were all scattered behind me so it felt as though all these great acts were playing just for me.

Cliff Richard 1959 Ritz fliers:

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 10:23
Last edited by -banksy-: 20th May 2010 at 12:35:27

Posted by: bobbygal (29)

Billy, I saw the Shadows together with Frank Ifield and Ike and Tina Turner, in 1961/62. Great show. Bobby G.

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 10:53

Posted by: fossil (6856)

I also went to the concert and it was 1958 that Buddy Holly appeared at the Ritz,and if my memory serves me right Cliff Richard and the Drifters were on the same bill.
Cliff had a pink jacket on and sang"Move it"

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 11:27

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Hey you guys & Gals

I hope I can get your permissions to reproduce your items above on ?

Just say yeh... or email them to me at

Brill stuff.


Replied: 20th May 2010 at 12:50

Posted by: nokomis (768)

Hi Billyshym I say Yes
Cant agree with Fossil though about Cliff being on same bill as Buddy. I only remember Des O'Connor who came on first, then Buddy + Crickets. There was an interval, then more Buddy. I'm only sorry I haven't got the programme. If you use your mouse to point to my user name, you'll see I still have the records. Good luck with lankybeat

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 20:07

Posted by: owd dave (4318) 

i remember seeing marty wild sometime in the late fifties.

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 21:14

Posted by: dave b (1312) 

Engelbert Humperdink was on in the early 60s Lance Pericval was the compere it was a full house .

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 21:53

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Thanks nokomis

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 23:04

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

No prob Billy, Good luck with the website mate ...

Do you add new Wigan bands to your site?

Replied: 20th May 2010 at 23:16

Posted by: bentlegs (4684)

I saw the Kalin twins at the Ritz also the magquire sisters, I think they were on with Buddy Holly,

Replied: 21st May 2010 at 00:02

Posted by: jackdog (580)

yep billy permission granted...

Replied: 21st May 2010 at 11:27

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

To Banksy

"Do you add new Wigan bands to your site?"

ANS: At the moment I am attempting to produce a definitive history and record of mainly the 60s RnR era in Lancashire (not just Wigan) of which there is oh too little info anywhere. I am putting this right by using

Lanky Beat is now straying into the 70's as many bands/musicians continued to play on, and some - like my band ex Shyms/Tynfoil - are playing still.

I also know there are dozens of new bands around like 'Boomer' who I rate very highly.

There is a web site called North West Bands It's good!

I will put this link on Lanky Beat

Best wishes


Replied: 21st May 2010 at 23:22

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Many thanks jackdog.



Replied: 21st May 2010 at 23:24

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

Cheers Bill ....

Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 08:42

Posted by: nokomis (768)

billyshym Just googled Buddy Holly UK tour 1958

Quite a bit of info on there. Wigan show 18th March 1958

Liverpool Phil 20th March 1958 Poster relating to Liverpool show says supporting acts Des O'Connor, Gary Miller, The Montanas, The Tanner sisters and Ronnie Keene Orchestra. Prices 4 shillings to 12 shillings

Obviously I only had eyes and ears for Buddy (+ Des) as I dont remember seeing the others

Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 16:26

Posted by: mamvee (108)

iwent to see cliff and the shadows when Frank Ifield supported.It was a good show.The Dallas boys were also on the bill.

Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 17:26

Posted by: billyshym (745) 


What a coincidence. I have just been given the same poster (photocopied) by Barry Warmsley of Wesley Music, Wesley St, Southport. He was in a 60's band. Lead Guitar: Rythym & Blues Incorporated. They recorded the The Kingsmen's classic Louie, Louie.

When you're in S/port drop in Barry's shop for a chat... he loves reminising and he has some great 60's memorablilia on the walls. Open 7 days.


Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 22:02
Last edited by billyshym: 22nd May 2010 at 22:46:11

Posted by: chatty (8565) 

Flash Gordon

Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 22:32

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Yupppp... :-)

Replied: 22nd May 2010 at 22:44
Last edited by billyshym: 22nd May 2010 at 22:44:39

Posted by: jacks (364) 

Watched King Crimson in either 1971 or 1972 there.

Replied: 23rd May 2010 at 14:37

Posted by: fossil (6856)

Apologies Cliff and the drifters were the opening act,when the Kalin Twins were on at the Ritz!

October 7TH 1958 to be precise!
Nationwide Tour

The Kalin Twins
Eddie Calvert
Cliff Richard & The Drifters
The Most Brothers
The Londonaires
Tony Marsh (compere)

October 1958

05 - Hanley (Victoria Hall)
06 - Blackpool (Odeon)
07 - Wigan (Ritz)
08 - Glasgow (St. Andrew's Hall)
10 - Manchester (Free Trade Hall)
12 - Liverpool (Empire)
14 - Leicester (De Montfort Hall)
15 - Sheffield (City Hall)
16 - Newcastle (City Hall)
17 - Birmingham (Town Hall)
18 - York (Rialto)
19 - Bristol (Colston Hall)

Replied: 23rd May 2010 at 15:34
Last edited by fossil : 5th Feb 2019 at 12:12:04

Posted by: trish (716) 

I saw Billy Fury at the Ritz, 1963 I think it was.

Replied: 23rd May 2010 at 22:50

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Good stuff trish


Replied: 24th May 2010 at 00:24

Posted by: veteran (1602)

Shucks missed all those acts as i was stationed in Northern Ireland sounds as tho you all enjoyed yourselves while I was playing Last post and Reveille

Replied: 26th May 2010 at 12:57

Posted by: rio caroni (5077) 

Nowt to do with Rock and Roll but I saw Mike Harding at the Ritz, would have been round about 1976?

Replied: 26th May 2010 at 21:53

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

I bet he sung 'Uncle Joe's Mint Balls...'


Replied: 26th May 2010 at 22:30

Posted by: sweetbaby77 (inactive)


Replied: 27th May 2010 at 10:32

Posted by: process (1535)

I had tickets to see PJ proby, then he split his pants and the replacement they got was someone called TOM Jones. I had never heard of him so got my money back!!

Replied: 27th May 2010 at 20:28

Posted by: mick5813374 (201)

isaw the wombles and got Toblamory's autograph (beat that)

Replied: 28th May 2010 at 17:12

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Nothing will beat that mick...


Replied: 28th May 2010 at 22:34
Last edited by billyshym: 28th May 2010 at 22:34:28

Posted by: peterdylan (2) 

I saw my first concert there, very early 70's - Curved Air with the lovely Sonja Kristina. Remember it to this day, such excitement. Was this one of the last concerts there?


Replied: 29th May 2010 at 08:44

Posted by: pieman (51)

saw Emerson Lake and Palmer there , probably 1970 or 71. Also saw a package tour in the late 60's with Amen Corner , Herman's Hermits , Dave Berry and the Paper Dolls , among others

Replied: 7th Jun 2010 at 20:54
Last edited by pieman: 8th Jun 2010 at 09:40:37

Posted by: donny (48) 

I remember tommy steele and lonnie donagon

Replied: 8th Jun 2010 at 09:46

Posted by: -banksy- (86)

Rolling Stones at the ABC (posted by anita maijer-schrot)

Wigan World Image 1

Wigan World Image 2

Replied: 16th Jun 2010 at 09:05

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Hi banksy

These news cuttings are fab... I wonder if you would care to send them to Lanky Beat for publishing? Can you give more info regards Anita Maijer-Schrot.

Best wishes


Replied: 21st Jun 2010 at 21:58

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

Barry Tarbuck has sent me his personal account of a Wigan 60's Weekend of Night's Out. Called "Give Us A Lick Of Your Lolly Luv." it will feature on from Thursday 1 July. Not to be missed!


Replied: 28th Jun 2010 at 16:52

Posted by: acr47 (59)

Hi. Do you know if the Barry Tarbuck you mention above, used to live in Kay St, Wigan, when he was a lad?

Replied: 17th Jul 2010 at 12:19

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

I'll email him for you acr47



Replied: 17th Jul 2010 at 12:22

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

To acr47

Barry Tarbuck sent this to me...

"The answer to the question is I lived at number 8 Kay street till I was 15.



Replied: 17th Jul 2010 at 19:51

Posted by: billyshym (745) 

To acr47

I have acr47 down as ANN ROSE from the wirrel but cant find her post as there has been only 2.
The only Ann I would have known was ANN TURNER who had a sister called Barbara they lived just round the corner in Every St
I would be interested to know if acr47 id that person as her mother looked after me sometimes, I think she would be in her 60s.
So if you have her e-mail could you send mine to her, if not post on your web site my e-mail so as she can get in touch not to worry about any funny e-mail to me as I will block any funny ones.

Another thought
acr47 is the Monika I bet it is Ann C Rose and 47 his her age.
Now then there was another Ann who lived in Every st and her name was ANN TODD and she was younger then me so it could be this ANN. A little bit of a Mystery dont you think

Barry Tarbuck

Replied: 18th Jul 2010 at 20:14
Last edited by billyshym: 18th Jul 2010 at 20:15:27

Posted by: saintpat (786)

i too saw the rolling stones at the ritz i also saw them at the emp and to tarby ann todd was a great friend of mine she was killed in air crash going to spain

Replied: 27th Aug 2010 at 18:51

Posted by: Jeddan (15)

The stone was on at the ritz October 2 nd 1965 I watched them plus other dates

Replied: 30th Jan 2019 at 18:42

Posted by: SoniaB (114)

Yes, The Stones were on at the Ritz, Oct 2nd 1965, I remember my cousins coming later on to a family party.Unfortunately, I was deemed too young to go.

Replied: 31st Jan 2019 at 16:14

Posted by: ianp. (711) 

Glad to hear everything is still going fantastically, Bill.

As you stated: '...straying into the 70's...', two members of my family saw a few acts at the cinema and I definitely know they went and watched T.Rex/Marc Bolan in the very early seventies - possibly around 1972/3.

Watched the films: 'Slade in Flame', 'Stardust' etc there

Replied: 31st Jan 2019 at 16:28

Posted by: fred mason (2832) 

I do remember watching some good films there in the early sixties, but mainly remember the dance hall above where I took my girlfriend on a Saturday night, after a work.

Boy, what energy we had back then..aged 16.

Replied: 5th Feb 2019 at 20:48

Posted by: bentlegs (4684)

The Ritz should never have been knocked down, It was a great place to go but money talks i suppose ,It could have been left & built around,

Replied: 19th May 2019 at 16:30

Posted by: bentlegs (4684)

The Ritz should never have been knocked down, It was a great place to go but money talks i suppose ,It could have been left & built around,

Replied: 19th May 2019 at 16:32

Posted by: fairpaul (25)

T Rex. 10th Nov 1971, Curved Air May 1972, Emerson, Lake & Palmer+ Judee Sill 1st April 1971. In the sixties, not sure of the date I'm guessing 1966 all on one show Nashville Teens, Barry Ryan, Paul Jones, The Hollies, Small Faces. I'm pretty sure I saw the Four Tops there at some point?

Replied: 17th Jul 2019 at 21:44

Posted by: fairpaul (25)

More info on the 1966 show at the ABC, I did still have the flyer for it after 40yrs but foolishly sold it for an offer I couldn't refuse. Anyway it was 2nd Nov 1966. In addition to the acts named above were Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers, Robb Storme and The Whispers (although I really can't remember those) Paul & Barry Ryan not Barry on his own.

Replied: 17th Jul 2019 at 22:01

Posted by: Salmon & Ball (665) 

I think Slade played in Wigan once. I seem to recall.
Was that at the ABC?.

Replied: 18th Jul 2019 at 19:03

Posted by: TerryW (6623)

No. Wigan Casino April 1st 78.

Replied: 26th Jul 2019 at 18:15


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