The Vipers Skiffle Group

The Vipers Skiffle Group

The Vipers Skiffle Group

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The Vipers Skiffle Group – later known simply as The Vipers - were one of the leading British groups during the skiffle period of the mid to late 1950s, and were important in the careers of radio and television presenter Wally Whyton, coffee bar manager Johnny Martyn, wire salesman Jean Van den Bosch, instrument repairer Tony Tolhurst, journalist John Pilgrim, record producer George Martin, and several members of The Shadows.


The group formed in the spring of 1956 in central London, originally as a trio of singer-guitarists comprising Whyton, Johnny Martyn (born John Martyn Booker, 1934 - 2007), and Jean Van den Bosch. Later that summer they added a rhythm section, Tony Tolhurst (bass) and John Pilgrim (washboard), and took up residency at the renowned Soho music venue, the 2i's Coffee Bar. There, they sometimes jammed with musician and singer Tommy Hicks, later known as Tommy Steele. In September 1956 they were offered an audition with George Martin at Parlophone Records, and won a recording contract.

Their second single, "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O", produced by Martin, reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart in early 1957.<ref name="British Hit...
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