Live: Great Pop Prom, Royal Albert Hall, London

2.00pm, Sunday 15 September 1963 (50 years ago)

On this day The Beatles headlined the Great Pop Prom, an afternoon show at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The prom was an annual fundraising event for the Printers’ Pension Corporation, promoted by the teen magazines Valentine, Marilyn and Roxy. Eleven other acts appeared on the bill, and the compère was DJ Alan Freeman.

The Beatles also did a photo session behind the Royal Albert Hall with The Rolling Stones. This was the only time the two groups performed at the same show.

Standing up on those steps behind the Albert Hall in our new gear, the smart trousers, the rolled collar. Up there with the Rolling Stones we were thinking, “This is it – London! The Albert Hall! We felt like gods!

5 Responses to “Live: Great Pop Prom, Royal Albert Hall, London”

  1. Alan Simpson

    I was at the Great Pop Prom and am trying to remember all the other acts that took part. I know Susan Maughan was one of them. Does anyone know who the others were?

    • Sid Hayden

      I was a staff member of Valentine Magazine, and wrote under the name of Davy the Rock n Roll Office Boy. I spent most of the time backstage at this Great Pop Prom (managed to secure The Beatles’ autographs). Other acts on that occasion were The Brook Brothers, Billie Davis, Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) and The Fentones, Clinton Ford, Lorne Gibson Trio, Arthur Greenslade and the Gee Men, Kenny Lynch, Susan Maughan, The Rolling Stones, The Vernons Girls and The Viscounts, compereed by Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman. I attended all the Pop Proms and had a wonderful time!
      Sid (Davy)

      • Sylvia McMaster

        Sid – Davy – how are you? Wondered whether you were still around. Guess you won’t remember the kid from Farnham in Surrey who ran dances and came to see your band. Sylvia

        • Sid Hayden

          Yes, I remember you well, Sylvia. Did you at one time work for a coach company in Farnham?
          I now live with Jackie in Hailsham, East Sussex – celebrated our Golden Wedding recently. Still sing and play guitar – all the old stuff; doing a 60th birthday gig next week. Am still in touch with my good friend Harvey Hinsley; lead guitarist with Hot Chocolate. He’s been with them for the best part of 40 years!
          Best wishes,
          Sid (alias Davy of Valentine)

          Me e-mail address is


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