Remember When? Toe Tapping Beats

Yesterday was World Music Day and during this week’s Remember When? we take a look at the toe tapping beats created in Oldham.

Oldham has a rich heritage of music spanning back to the 18th century. From famous composers, to operatic divas, from folk groups to pop groups the list is endless. Here are just a few of the names: William Walton the composer; the folk group Oldham Tinkers; organist and keyboard player Wayne Marshall; the opera singer Eva Turner; Mark Owen from Take That; the group Inspiral Carpets; and British house and techno record producer and DJ, Carl Cox.

Mark Owen’s shirt from Take That

Over the years Oldham has also been a hot-bed of local music-making such as the Oldham Symphony Orchestra, Oldham Amateur Operatic Society, and various local choirs, brass bands, and not forgetting the legendary Oldham Music Service based in the Lyceum Building.

Perhaps the most famous musical event to have occurred in Oldham is the appearance of The Beatles on 12 February 1963 at the Astoria Ballroom, now known as the Gaumont on the corner of Union Street and King Street. Nearly 2,000 teenagers ‘stormed’ Oldham’s Astoria Ballroom to see the group. However, only 800 were admitted.

Protected by a bodyguard of attendants, the Beatles began their act, but excited fans swarmed towards the stage and struggled to get onto the stage. One shrieking teenage girl was handled off the stage with her dress almost torn from her back. As the assistant ballroom manager Mr S Rose said 12 hours after the ‘battle of The Beatles’: We expected this enthusiasm from the teenagers and were prepared for it’.

Watch this clip of The Beatles at the Astoria.

If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at our online exhibition Rock Against Racism.