THIS WEEK IN 1972: The band who are happy in their work 

Chief Musician Earl Benge conducting the concert by the band from the USS carrier Intrepid.
Chief Musician Earl Benge conducting the concert by the band from the USS carrier Intrepid.

The fact that it was a pedestrian precinct failed to stop Commercial Road shopping centre getting jam-packed when the USS Intrepid band came to town.

The Ambassadors, the band of the US aircraft carrier, chose Commercial Road to set up their music stands and entertain shoppers and workers with their own blend of up-beat music. 

They had little in common with any British Service band. The music ranged from dance numbers, through country and western, to hard rock, complete with vocals. 

An 11-man rock group, Fly In The Soup, led by vocalist Tom Dale, may have looked more at home in the kind of gear usually favoured by a musician, rather than short hair and black uniforms.

But that didn’t stop them swinging. 

The band was one of six which go to sea on a rota basis with American ships. When in port, the bands liked to give their music an airing ashore and The Ambassadors were given a warm reception.

They also played to the football crowd when Pompey played at Fratton Park that evening.