Girls on Top in King’s Heath

Concert on Sunday 4 August will celebrate the great 1960s female pop stars who performed at former Ritz Ballroom.


Helen Shapiro


A citywide search has been launched to find new musical talent to perform at an event to showcase and celebrate the work of the female legends of music.

Starting at 4 p.m. the 3 hour event on Sunday 4 August, at Fletchers in King’s Heath, is the latest in a series of sessions to commemorate the heritage of the Ritz Ballroom where many of the 1960’s pop legends performed before they were famous.

Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Helen Shapiro and Cilla Black all appeared  at the former Ritz Ballroom in King’s Heath at the start of their careers.

Dusty Springfield was an icon of the swinging ’60s who had 16 Top 10 singles including “I Only Want To Be With You”, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and “Son of A Preacher Man that was to be hit for a second time after featuring in the cult film “Pulp Fiction”. Her soul album “Dusty in Memphis” has frequently been voted one of the greatest albums of all time. She sadly died in 1999 but her musical legacy continues to live on.

Sandie Shaw was renowned for performing barefoot and had a string of hits including “(Always) Something There To Remind Me”, “Girl Don’t Come”, “Long Live Love” and “Puppet On A String” with which she won the European Song Contest despite allegedly not liking the song!

Helen Shapiro was only 14 when she had her first hit single, “Don’t Treat Me Like A Child” which was followed by the No. 1 hits “Walking Back To Happiness” and “You Don’t Know”.

She topped the bill when The Beatles made their first nationwide tour. Lennon and McCartney then wrote the song “Misery” for her but her record company refused to allow her to record it.

Cilla Black was the biggest selling act from Liverpool in the 1960s after The Beatles. She had eleven Top Ten hits including “Anyone Who Had A Heart” and “You’re My World”.

Top and emerging local musicians are being sought to give their own unique interpretation of their favourite girl artists’ songs as well as performing some new songs of their own.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who are organising the event said, “We already have some great musicians lined up to play but would like to hear from a few more. We were delighted that over 100 fans turned up at our first Lazy Sunday Afternoon music session celebrating the music of The Kinks and hope for an even better turn out on 4 Aug to celebrate the major contribution girl singers made to the music of the 1960s. We are determined to keep the spirit of the Ritz Ballroom alive.”

Advance tickets for the event called “Girls On Top” are now on sale and cost just £2.50 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road or £2.75 from  Any remaining tickets will cost £3 on the day.

Musicians interested in playing should contact [email protected]