1st – The Channel Crossing / Royal Daffodil

Blackmore The Outlaws Jerry Lee Lewis flyer

A fascinating concept; you leave Southend at 9.00am in the morning, and rock, twist and jive your way across the English channel and back, docking in Southend again at 9.30pm. A dozen or so acts all compered by Radio Luxembourg DJ Ted King.  This took place on Whit Saturday and headliners were The Outlaws with Ritchie Blackmore, who also backed Jerry Lee Lewis – the star attraction.  Not cheap either, 57/6d was a lot of dosh in 1963. Great flyer. “All aboard the HMS Royal Daffodil…” Thanks to Keith Gardner and Audie Philips.

I’ve posted some more info on tyhe boat via a posting, so may as well add this here as well.

The boat, the MV Royal Daffodil, had an interesting life, and helped rescue people from the beaches at Dunkirk too. In later years it was hired in the 1960s by the boss of the 2Is club in London, who though he could make money by sending it over to France on beat band day cruises. One added attraction for ticket holders was that in those days of restricted licensing hours, once outside UK waters the bars could stay open. The set up varied, sometimes the headline band would play on board, at other times they would play a show once they got to France.
Jerry Lee Lewis (“America’s popular singing star”) was booked for just such a 24 hour trip on Whit Saturday, June 1963, under the Rock Twist Jive Channel Crossing trip from sunny Southend to Boulogne. And he took The Outlaws and Ritchie Blackmore with him.
It wasn’t a cheap do, 57/6d in 1963 was a wedge, but you did get up to a dozen bands for that, though I must admit many of them are not names I recall.
Sadly the Jive trips did not prove to be a money spinner and the Jerry Lee event turned out to be one of the last. The ship was sold soon after and scrapped.

2 Responses to “1963”

  1. Mick Worsfold Says:

    I was on this trip as a 16 year old TEDDY BOY, more than a weeks wage for each ticket . I met Jerry Lee on deck waiting to land in Boulogne, music had to stop before landing. Great experience and memories.

  2. Scott W. Says:

    I will wish Ritchie a Happy 70th Birthday here as when this show happened, I was merely less than a year old! How long can he go on..? I hope for many more years!

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