Item Details

Pompey Pop: A case study of a local music archive

Issue: Vol 12 No. 1 (2019) Special Issue: Lost Musical Histories— Curating and Documenting Local Popular Music-Making in the UK

Journal: Popular Music History

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/pomh.39553


This article provides a retrospective account of the author's long-time involvement with 'PompeyPop', a project uncovering the somewhat neglected history of the impact of popular music inPortsmouth. The article demonstrates how the dedication of the author, a retired employeeof Portsmouth University, to this community initiative has established the importance of popularmusic to this working-class city and, most importantly, how it has challenged notionsof 'mainstream' history. After describing the growth of light entertainment in post-SecondWorld War Portsmouth, it challenges a number of preconceptions, ranging from notions ofnew styles 'sweeping away' their predecessors, to tokenized histories of the post-war periodalways being 'depressed', to notions of the swinging sixties being centred exclusively in certainparts of London. Regarding the latter, the article outlines a methodological problem, wherewriters such as Dominic Sandbrook are regarded as focusing exclusively on archival research, asopposed to also including the oral histories of ordinary people who lived through the period.

Author: Dave Allen

View Original Web Page

References :

Allen, Dave. 1998. Almost: Forty Years of Southsea Rock and Pompey Blues. London: Minerva.

—2009. Here Come the Sixties. Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth.

—2015. ‘Pompey Pop: Documenting Portsmouth’s Popular Music Scenes’. In Preserving Popular Music Heritage: Do-it-Yourself, Do-it-Together, ed. S. Baker, 167–74. New York: Routledge.

—2017. Autumn of Love: How the Swinging Sixties and the Counterculture Came to Portsmouth. Basingstoke: Moyhill.

Allen, Dave, and Mick Cooper. 2011. Dave and Mick’s Pompey Pop Pix. Basingstoke: Moyhill.

Baker, Sarah, ed. 2015. Preserving Popular Music Heritage: Do-it-Yourself, Do-it-Together. New York: Routledge.

BBC News. 2007. ‘MP Slammed over “Fat City” Slur’. BBC News. (accessed 4 November 2018).

Beckett, Francis, and Tony Russell. 2015. 1956: The Year that Changed Britain. London: Biteback Publishing.

Bragg, Billy. 2017. Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World. London: Faber & Faber.

Brown, Ron. 2009a. The Pubs of Portsmouth from Old Photographs. Stroud: Amberley.

—2009b. Cinemas and Theatres of Portsmouth from Old Photographs. Stroud: Amberley.

Brown, Tony. 1953. ‘7,000 See Portsmouth Band Win All-Britain’. Melody Maker, 17 October: 1.

Cross, Robin. 1985. The Silver Lining: Britain in Colour 1945–1952: London: Sidgwick & Jackson.

Feeney, Paul. 2014. A 1950s Childhood in Pictures. Stroud: The History Press.

Fox, Nick. 1989. ‘Leisure and Culture’. In The Portsmouth Region, ed. Barry Stapleton and James H. Thomas, 179–205. Stroud: Alan Sutton.

Frame, Pete. 2007. The Restless Generation. London: Rogan House.

French, Claire. 2014. ‘Portsmouth Workers are Hit Hard by the Recession’. The News. (accessed 7 November 2018).

Grundy, Nigel. 2012. My Back Pages: Portsmouth 1962–1972: Aspects of My Life and the Portsmouth Music Scene. Portsmouth: Southsea Press.

—2017. Cool Days, Groovy Nights: Memories of the 1960s Portsmouth Music Scene. DVD.

Halasz, Piri. 1966. ‘You Can Walk Across it on the Grass’. Time, 15 April: 30–34.

Harrison, M. 2002. Transition: The London Art Scene in the Fifties. London: Merrell with Barbican Art.

Jackson, Joe. 1999. A Cure for Gravity. London: Anchor, Transworld Publications.

Jeynes, Jodie. 2012. ‘Portsmouth is God’s Gift to a Working Novelist’. The News. (accessed 29 November 2018).

Judd, Emma. 2012. ‘Portsmouth is “Most Densely Populated” in England and Wales’. The News. (accessed 18 October 2018).

Kynaston, David. 2014. Modernity Britain: A Shake of the Dice, 1959–62. London: Bloomsbury.

Langham, Chris. 2004. Why I Hate the Sixties: The Decade that was Too Good to be True [TV programme]. BBC.

Lee, Sharon, John Stedman and Katy Ball. 2003. Singing Out: Voices of Portsmouth Rock and Pop Musicians. Portsmouth Museums & Records Office.

Nead, Lynda. 2017. The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Poet-War Britain. New Haven: Yale University Press.

The News. 2015. ‘Portsmouth is Third Highest in Country for Alcohol Deaths’. (accessed 4 November 2018).

Newton, Jennifer. 2018. ‘The Only Map You Need for Your Bank Holiday Getaway! The Places in Britain with the Most Pubs per Square Mile Revealed’. Daily Mail Online. (accessed 14 October 2018).

Reilly, Valerie. 2014. A 1950s Portsmouth Childhood. Stroud: The History Press.

Roberts, David. 2015. Rock Atlas. London: Red Atlas.

Sadden, John. 2009. Portsmouth: A Century of Change. Stroud: The History Press.

Sandbrook, Dominic. 2013. The 70s [TV series]. BBC2. Broadcast October 2013.

—2006. White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties. London: Little Brown.

Shepherd, John, and Janet Shepherd. 2014. 1950s Childhood. Oxford: Shire Publications.

Simons, Helen, ed. 1980. Towards a Science of the Singular. Norwich: Centre for Applied Research in Education, University of East Anglia.

Stake, Robert. 1994. ‘Case Studies’. In Handbook of Qualitative Research, ed. Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, 236–47. California: Sage Publications.

Stedman, John. 1995. Portsmouth Reborn: Destruction and Reconstruction 1939–1974. Portsmouth City Council.

—1999. Portsmouth in the Twentieth Century: A Photographic History. Somerset: Halsgrove.

—2002. People of Portsmouth: The 20th Century in Their Own Words. Frome: Breedon Books.

The Times. 1968. ‘Why Pompey is Under a Cloud’. The Times, 13 November: 10.

Vincent, John. 1997. History. London: Continuum.

Wallis, Steve. 2013. Literary Portsmouth. Stroud: Amberley.

Williams, John. 2018. ‘Beats, Bass and Bars-the Story of Grime’. [TV programme]. BBC4. Broadcast 12 October 2018.

Wills, Clair. 2017. Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain. London: Penguin.