NOSTALGIA: Tragic US star plays Gliderdrome in 1963 and chef rubs shoulders with Steps, All Saints, and George Michael in 1998

St Bede's during the Singaplayathon in 1998.
St Bede's during the Singaplayathon in 1998.
  • Teens turn out for Memphis-born star in 1963
  • Sutterton chef rubs shoulders with Steps, All Saints and more in 1998

This week (November 21 edition) in 1963 ...

* Less than a year before his tragic death in a boating accident at the age of 30, American singer-songwriter Johnny Burnette played Boston’s Gliderdrome.

Another scene from the St Bede's Singaplayathon.

Another scene from the St Bede's Singaplayathon.

Memphis-born Burnette had scored two top 10 hits in the UK in 1960 and also enjoyed success with tracks he penned for others, including teen idol Ricky Nelson.

During his visit he took time out to sign autographs, but also answer questions from the Standard, including ‘what makes a good pop song?’.

“That’s a difficult question,” he said. “In my book anything different is good – the sort of song that lasts forever.”

He was also asked for his thoughts on The Beatles, who at that point had just scored their second UK number one.

I’m afraid I don’t know much about your Beatles. All I can say is that they must be awfully good to be Number One over here right now.

“I’m afraid I don’t know much about your Beatles,” he said. “Of course, we’ve got boys like these all over the States. All I can say is that they must be awfully good to be Number One over here right now.”

* Boston’s new fire station was officially opened.

Ald Lt Col G. A. Grounds, chairman of Holland County Council, said: “I can assure you that this station has cost a lof of money, but none of this has been spent without serious consideration by committees.”

This week in 1998 ...

* Pupils at St Bede’s launched their school’s music suite appeal in spectacular style – raising £1,000 in the process.

The ‘Singaplayathon’, as it was known, began with a 10 hymn assembly followed by six hours of continuous music.

This involved all key stage three pupils in choirs, the woodwind group, the brass group, and the whole school band.

The next fundraiser in aid of the suite was to be an auction of music-related items.

* The Standard caught up with chef Kevin Bateman, of Sutterton, following his visit to the glitzy MTV awards in Milan.

Kevin had won tickets to the event in a competition run by Channel 4’s Big Breakfast show.

The trip proved star-studded from start to finish. On the flight over, he found himself sat inches from hit band Steps and further up the plane was George Michael.

At the party, Kevin snapped up Ronan Keating from Boyzone for an autograph and got two members of All Saints – Natalie and Shaznay – to pose for a picture.

He said: “The party was fantastic. There was so much going on you didn’t have time to stand because there was so much to see and do.”