The Viscounts (British band)
|Genres||vocal pop group|
|Associated acts||Morton Fraser's Harmonica Gang|
The Viscounts were a British pop group from London. Its members had formerly been part of a TV ensemble called Morton Fraser's Harmonica Gang. They quit the group and formed The Viscounts in 1958, playing local shows and eventually attracting the attention of manager Larry Parnes. He got them billed to better venues and signed them to Pye Records in 1960.
Their cover version of Ray Smith's hit single "Rockin' Little Angel" became a hit in Australia, and their cover of "Shortnin' Bread" hit number 16 in November that year in the UK Singles Chart. In addition to recording rock/pop numbers, they also did some trad jazz, covering Paul Whiteman for a compilation album. In 1961 their single cover version of "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" reached number 21 in the UK chart, spending ten weeks in the listings. The group toured with Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, as well as sharing a stage with The Beatles in 1963 opening for Chris Montez. In 1964, they moved to Columbia Records, but none of their three following singles charted.
Bandmember Gordon Mills' success as a songwriter soon convinced him to move on, and the group broke up in 1965; soon after, Mills wrote "It's Not Unusual" for Tom Jones. Don Paul became a record producer, and Ronnie Wells went into the restaurant business. Wells died in 2013. Their complete recorded output on Pye Records was reissued on CD in 2001 on Castle Records.
- Don Paul (born Donald Paul, January 2, 1937, Oldham, Lancashire, England)
- Ronnie Wells (born Ronald Wells, August 25, 1939, Farnborough, Hampshire, England - died 22 September 2013)
- Gordon Mills