For most of the 1950s, the resident ensemble was Fred Williams & his Music. It was a ‘busking’ band; in other words they did not read written arrangements. The leader/drummer Fred Williams was dubbed ‘Fred The Foot’ because the impact of his foot pedal on the
bass drum could be heard far across town!
In the picture above standing by Fred is bass player Arthur Leon. In the front row, left to right, are Maurice Seager (accordion & piano), Hughie Neal (alto sax & other reeds), Bill Conroy (Hawaiian guitar), Mike Habesch (piano, later organ), John Vine (vocalist/compere). The photo is from Mr Vine’s collection.
In 1960 the Regent split into two ballrooms; one allowed jiving and the other didn’t. Eventually bingo was introduced. Lots of local and Liverpool pop groups played at the venue. On Saturday 14 July 1962 a scruffy but promising young Merseybeat group called The Beatles played there.