Born in London, England, Whyton grew up listening to jazz, blues and folk music, and learned to play first the piano, then trombone, and finally guitar. In 1956, while working in advertising, he formed the Vipers Skiffle Group, which became the resident band at the 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho. After a number of hit records produced by George Martin, including Whyton's song "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O", the group split up in 1960, and Whyton moved into television work.
Subsequently, he was the host of Granada TV's Time For A Laugh. From the 1960s to the 1990s he was a presenter on BBC Radio 2, mainly fronting folk and country music programmes. One of these was "Hello Folk" and another "Country Club".
Despite his busy schedule as a broadcaster, Whyton continued to find time to record. As well as recording an album of Woody Guthrie songs, Children's Songs of Woody Guthrie, he wrote and recorded the conservation anthem, Leave Them a Flower.
The cover of Whyton's "It's Me, Mum!" appeared on Steve Carter's Worst Album Covers Ever Created.