The band was formed in the summer of 1956 by Kitson 'Kit' Keen (vocals & guitar) who recruited fellow Dover Grammar School pupils Brian Scotcher (drums) and Bob Hopkins (guitar) to join him as its first members. They were soon joined by Pete Piddock (guitar) and Ronnie Hambrook (bass). Initially a skiffle & blues band, the Rolling Stones rapidly made the transition from skiffle to rock 'n' roll, becoming one of the first groups in the south of England to abandon the improvised instruments of skiffle for electric guitar, bass and drums.

When Pete Piddock left to go to univeristy in 1959, he was replaced by Johnny Smith who shared guitar duties with Bob Hopkins.

The following year (1960), the band's founder Kit Keen also left the band, going to live and work in London. Pat Cahill (later Neil Landon) joined on vocals and guitar, bass player Ronnie Hambrook took over as lead vocalist and Bob Hopkins changed to playing bass. When Pat Cahill departed at the end of the year to join the Cheetahs, Mick Morris joined as lead guitarist. Johnny Smith left in the summer of 1961 and Pete Inwood joined to play rhythm guitar.

With the line up now once again settled, 1961 was a busy year for the Dover-based band. They played more than sixty gigs, mostly in the Dover, Deal and Ashford areas and their popularity was such that the band had to lay on special buses to transport their fans to and from 'out of town' gigs. STV studios 1961

They also recorded two TV appearances and a single, (‘When My Little Girl Is Smiling’ b/w ‘Summertime’), produced by popular TV guitarist Wout Steenhuis and began to play as support to visiting name artistes including Joe Brown, Sounds Incorporated, The Barron Knights, Screaming Lord Sutch and Shane Fenton (later Alvin Stardust). When they opened for the 'Spotniks' at the Strand Palais, Deal and played 'Orange Blossom Special' (because the Spotniks themselves couldn't play their own hit live!), the Swedish groups's manager wanted to sign them there and then saying they would be 'huge in Sweden'. The band also played alongside Cliff Bennett at the Garrison Theatre, Canterbury - Cliff's manager wanted to book them into the Hamburg clubs - but the band turned down both offers. That year also the band started the popular friday night 'Teen Beat' dances at Dover's Town Hall which were a massive success and continued for several years. An approach from a Folkestone-based group suggesting a series of 'exchange gigs' led to the Rolling Stones appearing regularly at Folkestone venues including the Empress Ballroom and Tofts Jazz Club. The band also took part in the final of a national rock group competition at St. Pancras town hall, London where Tom Jones and his group the Esquires were also finalists.

Nov 25th 1961 Folkestone Herald - Visiting Folkestone Teenage Club tomorrow in place of resident band 'Sundowners' This is the 3rd time they have appeared at Folkestone. A semi-pro group who spend time touring Kentish teenage clubs and play regularly at Dover Town Hall. Dec 2nd 1961 - The Rolling Stones were such a success at Folkestone Teenage Club when they played there a fortnight ago that the organisers have decided to ask them back again tomorrow. Nearly 300 teenagers turned out to see them at The Empress Ballroom, Grace Hill the last time they performed. On Christmas Eve, res. band The Sundowners will feature with The Doltons and The Lonely Ones.

Dec 30th 1961 - Were seen and heard on Southern Television Talent Contest "Home Grown" on Thurs. last week. The were not placed. Song was called "Sway

"Pic March 1962 Were supporting group to Joe Brown and The Bruvvers at The Empress Ballroom Easter Monday.

(John Atkins says the band appear to be using Burns Duosonic and a Fenton Weill)

Shortly after this, the existence of a newly-formed, London-based band using the same name was brought to their attention. According to lead guitarist Mick Morris, “ …. (I remember that) there was some brief discussion among us as to whether we should object or not. It was well documented that we'd been playing under the name for years and if we had acted quickly they might well have had to find another name, but to be honest we were beginning to think it was time for a change anyway, so we didn't bother and the rest is history. But I must admit I have often wondered what would have happened if we had!”

Around the same time in the summer of 1962, Ronnie Hambrook decided to leave the band and singer Dave English was brought in to replace him. Bob Hopkins and Brian Scotcher were now the only remaining members of the original Rolling Stones. After six years as one of the busiest and most popular groups in the South East, the Rolling Stones decided to change their name and became the Playboys.


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