Only soft drinks were served and initially just traditional jazz was presented at weekends. Then skiffle was presented each Wednesday and Modern Jazz each Thursday.
Nigel Wally, who was managing John Lennon's group the Quarry Men played golf with Dr Sytner at the Lee Park Golf Club and persuaded him to get his son to book the group at the club.
They made their debut there on August 7 1957, although Paul McCartney didn't appear with them at the time as he was on holiday.
Sytner had a policy of allowing only skiffle to be played by groups as he hated rock 'n' roll. Although aware of this, John Lennon an Elvis freak at the time, launched into 'Hound Dog' and 'Blue Suede Shoes.'
An angry Sytner sent them a note warning: "Cut out the bloody rock!"
Although Paul hadn't appeared with them that night, over thirty years later, he sent a note to Sytner: "Dear Alan, I'm still playing that bloody rock."
By 1959 Sytner had got married and moved to London, leaving the running of the club to his father.
Financially, the Cavern wasn't faring well and Sytner decided to sell. He found a buyer close to home - Ray McFall, the Sytner's family accountant, who had been financial adviser to the Temple Jazz club and acted as cashier twice a week at the Cavern.
Ray purchased the club on October 1 1959 for £2,750. Music had always been a leading interest in his life and his tastes ranged from the classics to all forms of pop music.
Yet the Cavern had been run strictly on the lines of a jazz club - with no rock 'n' roll polluting the atmosphere. The only bands apart from jazz bands to be employed were skiffle groups.
When Rory Storm & the Hurricanes appeared under the guise of a skiffle group, rock 'n roll was banned. In January 1960 the group were still including a number of skiffle songs in their repertoire and appeared at the Cavern on a bill with the Cy Laurie Jazz Band on Sunday January 3 and the following Saturday were appearing there again supporting the Saints Jazz Band and Terry Lightfoot's New Orleans Jazz Band.
On Sunday January 10 1960 Ray McFall began his Liverpool Jazz Festival in an attempt to put Liverpool and jazz on the map. During that week top Trad bands such as Acker Bilk appeared, together with Modern Jazz outfits, country music bands and skiffle groups. When Rory Storm & the Hurricanes appeared again on Sunday January 17, on a bill with Micky Ashman's Jazz Band and the Swinging Bluejeans, they began their set with 'Cumberland Gap. Then they decided to switch to a rock 'n' roll set and played 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Going' On' The jazz fans were furious and started pelting the group with copper coins. The Hurricanes continued the show but were drowned out by a booing audience. When they came offstage, a furious McFall fined them 6/- for daring to play rock 'n' roll music in the Cavern. The group was able to collect all the coins off the stage, which more than compensated for the fine.
However, the times were changing and McFall began to alter the club's policy. In the early summer of 1960 a radical departure from previous jazz club policy appeared - rock 'n' roll. Ray decided to take a chance and pioneer lunchtime sessions. From Tuesday to Friday they featured one day of jazz and three days of rock 'n' roll. Although the sessions were successful, Tuesday jazz performances lacked the audiences of the other days. In January 1961 the Tuesday jazz was replaced by rock and the Tuesday lunchtimes picked up. In March 1961 the lunchtime sessions were extended to Monday.
Experiments in evening sessions had begun on Wednesday, May 25 1960 when the first rock 'n' roll evening was presented with two top local bands, Cass & the Cassanovas and Rory Storm & the Hurricanes.