In the beginning

Cliff Richard was not actually discovered at the legendary 2I’s Coffee Bar at 59 Old Compton Street, Soho as many people think. Jazz Drummer Raye Du-Val reminds us “Of course the guys who were discovered there (at the 2I’s) are legendary but as I remember it, Cliff wasn’t one of them. Initially, he played across the road at the ‘Act 1 Scene 2 Coffee Bar’.

Making their second appearance at the Gaumont Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush in June 1958, the Drifters decided to invite an agent that they’d randomly chosen out of an entertainment newspaper. The agent they chose was George Ganjou who they knew nothing about, but who had started off his showbiz career as one part of a cabaret act called the Ganjou Brother and Juanita. He knew nothing about rock’n’roll and proudly referred to himself as ‘square’.

Despite his disinterest in Rock’n’Roll he cancelled a weekend of golf to come and see the shows, and liked what he saw enough to suggest that they cut a demo record.

After John Foster’s parents put up the then substantial sum of £10, the Drifters then went about the business of cutting a demo record early the following week in a small studio above the HMV record shop in Oxford Street. They recorded Elvis’ Lawdy Miss Clawdy and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Breathless. The line up for that demo was Cliff Richard (vocals, guitar), Ian Ralph Samwell (lead guitar), Norman Mitham (guitar), Ken Pavey (Guitar) and Terry Smart (Drums).