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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, April 25, 1963

Ballroom, Fairfield Hall, Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey

This "Mersey Beat Showcase" date was arranged by promoter John Smith back in January, before the Beatles had a hit with "Please Please Me" and before Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Big Three had emerged out of Liverpool. Concerned that he might not fill the ballroom for one "house", let alone two, Smith engaged star singer/actor John Leyton to top the bill.

Three months later, however, on the day of the shows, Leyton fell ill and was unable to fulfil the booking. But when Smith posted notices to this effect outside the ballroom's main entrance there was great cheering. No one had come to see him.

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