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“Got a Match”

Cabot 122


No. 39    July 7, 1958



“NO OTHER BABY” Capitol 3673

No one gets outta here without having an influence on others. Such was the case with John, Paul, Ringo,

and George…and Pete and Stu The Vipers Skiffle Group was active for a handful of years in the ’50s.

Formed in 1956 in central London they were initially a three-some.   There was Wally, Johnnie, and Jean.

Soon they added a washboard and a bass and were making sounds at the 2i’s Coffee Bar.


Tommy Steele–a wanna be rock’n’roller and Britain’s first teen idol–would often sit-in with them.  Within

months they were given the offer to audition for George Martin–soon the famed producer for the Beatles.

Realizing that Skiffle–as a form–was becoming popular recordings were made.

The Vipers second 45 “Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O” went top ten in Britain.  The tune was a variant on “Sail

Away Ladies” a tune popularized in the 20s by the Grand Old Opry’s first star ”The Dixie Dewdrop,” Uncle

Dave Macon.  Next out was the tune that caught an ear—either John’s or Paul’s.  It was “Maggie Mae,” a dirty

little tune banned by the BBC Radio.


Despite it all…The Vipers for a extended moment in Brit time were second only to Lonnie Donegan–known

in the States primarily for “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose it’s Flavor on the Bed Post Over Night.” But

skiffles days…were soon yesterdays.  George Martin was later to comment that the experience he had with

the “informally trained though enthusiastic” noise makers was to assist him when he had to deal with

Ringo, George and the other two Late in the Vipers active days, Hank Marvin, Jet Harris, and Tony Mee

Han were members.  The three were to become Cliff Richard’s backup, the Drifters, following this acclaim

by years of success and health as the Shadows, Britian’s answer to the Ventures and Duane Eddy.  Of

incidental note,  in 1999, Paul McCartney returned to the Vipers’ recordings to cover their “No Other Baby”

for his retro album, Run Devil Run.