Newport Street, Bolton, Lancashire circa 1960.
In 1957, there were still the old original Teddy boys, and girls, from the early '50s. The boys wore grey or pale blue drape suits, with black or navy velvet collars, usually smothered in dandruff and Brylcreem! They had black or white shirts with thin ties or bootlace things with a metal pull-up thingie to adjust them. Some were almost strangled with their own ...ties after the inevitable fights, or risked their legs being broken running for the trolley bus to Farnworth Monaco Dance Hall, and getting their knee caught in the plethora of buttons, sometimes one, sometimes 12, in a space of 6 inches, at the bottom of the jacket! They all had acne, due to the amount of grease they smothered on their D.A.s Brothel creepers completed the outfit.
The gals wore calf-length black tight skirts, white or blackslash-neck sweaters, ridiculously-padded pointed bras, nylon stockings with seams and flat black ballerina shoes. Their hair was like the boys, but they wore big white button earrings. They all slapped on Max Factor Panstick makeup, so consequently most of them also had acne.
The cafes de rigeur were the soda and sarsparilla sweet shop in L.Hulton, and Hurleys Milk Bar on Eccles New Rd. in Salford. They danced a very tight jive, hardly moving, with the girls doing the work, but still quite restrained, except for some nutters, like Lol, afairground worker who wore a red drape suit and just threw himself all over, shaking. Everyone used to stand round him and clap to the beat, but it was not dancing, more like status epilepticus! (Perhaps it was-poor bugger!)
There was also the "Routine", which ONLY the boys were allowed to do, a bit tribal when you look back. It was a bit like the steps The Shadows with Cliff Richard used to make, but 12 of them in a row. Sometomes they used to get a bit carried away doing that, and jump about a bit.
I was one of the Sweet little Rock'n'Rollers, being 14, whilst the older ones were the Rebels Without a Cause. I only had 2 teddy boy-friends, one of them Fred the Ted, from Farnworth. That was a short-lived rapport as I couldn't understand his ees and aars, and he called me "Luv" all the time. Fred disappeared back to the wilds of Farnworth after my Mum waved an umbrella at him, because I was 5 mins late home. (9.05pm!) The other was Tony, who was a "proper" tall, thin, ted. He was dark and greasy and had a scar on his chin from the army.(Think he'd cut himself shaving!) He was the one my Mum thought was wearing an overcoat in Summer, but it was just his mega-longjacket. He had a motorbike, a BSA, but told me he was getting a Norton Dominator, so I stayed with him for a while, until he didn't get theND. Anyway, he was a bit cross-eyed, but quite attractive with it in a strange way, as it went with the gear. My Dad said he was shifty, so I ended it and started going out with Duffy.
Duffy was like me, in mid-1957, one of the new rock kids. He and his mates wore black sweaters with a white stripe down the sleeves and music notes on the front, over a white shirt with the collar turned up, black jeans and black suede beetlecrushers or white tennis shoes.They had "hybrid" haircuts, a bit teddy boy DA and a bit American crew cut. Crew cuts eventually seemed to take over. The girls, myself included, wore rolled-up jeans, white t-shirts and check or white shirts worn outside and open, with white socks and tennis shoes. We wore our hair long, with pony tails and fringes, and chewed Wrigleys Arrowmint whilst riding past the boys on our bikes, with a "proper"bottle of Coca Cola nonchalantly held in one hand, the other on the handlebar.We went to Bolton Palais, the Monaco, The Co-op, and St Edmunds Youth Club, where Father Loran used to come and bop a bit,trying to bond with us.
The dancing changed with the music and the dress, and became more "sophisticated", a bit more restrained, as it was hard to move with the tight skirts and suits, and The Twist evolved with the Italian look. The singers became more like the ones in the early 50s, with no wild childs, or very few, and although the hot Summer of 1959 loosened people up a little, there was nothing of any great note in that year, Bobby Darin,(Mack The Knife,) Marty Wilde, (Teenager in Love,) but some good black American stuff like Ben E. King, Santo and Johnny, and someone called Johnny Tillotson. The music from then on didn't change, and although there were still some old die-hard teds in the dance halls, they were becoming a bit of a joke to the new Italian-suited younger ones of my years. The refreshing person of that year in the UKwas Adam Faith, with "What Do You Want?" which caused a stir by his music style and his dress style.
Nothing changed much, boring singers like Helen Shapiro and Susan Maughan.(Please Don't Treat Me Like a Child, and Bobby's Girl, you get the idea?) Rock'n'Roll had become first, respectable, and was now completely controlled and becoming bourgeois, with rich kids who couldn't sing getting on the bandwaggon. For example, Lesley Gore, a yank millionaire's daughter, sang a puerile song called, "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to," Her father apparently said, that if nobody bought the record, he'd buy a million copies, so that she'd get a gold disc.And she did. The sad thing was that the public bought the song, because there wasn't much else, and the words appealed to teenage angst,to which were devoted a lot of songs in those days, but all false.The only one I can think of hat I like at that time was wonderful, but still poppy, The Shirelles, Will You Still Love me Tomorrow, oh and Blue Moon by The Marcels.