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Lonnie Donnegan died yesterday, aged 71.
He was for me, as for countless others of my generation, a musical inspiration who showed that music was not just for the elite few - anyone could play and sing enough to enjoy themselves. If others enjoyed your efforts well enough to pay you to do so, even better.
The number of "skiffle groups" which were formed in the late 1950s are without number; those who went on to make a carreer in popular music are cosiderably less, but they include some of the most famous names in recent musical history, as shown in the article below.
He was my hero - and I mourn his passing today.


skiffle


Some biographical information on Lonnie Donnegan:


Lonnie Donegan was a very influential member of the pop music scene in the United Kingdom in the 50's and 60's, and is best known as the individual who launched the skiffle movement.
He was born Anthony Donegan in Glasgow, Scotland in 1931. He learned to play a guitar and became a singer. He sang and played in Ken Colyer's group and in Chris Barber's Jazz Band in the early to mid-50's. Donegan was a great admirer of country, folk, and blues music from the United States, to such an extent that he changed his name to Lonnie as a tribute to bluesman Lonnie Johnson.
Between sets he would play onstage using a washboard, a tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar. He gave the impression that anyone could do it, and had a lot of fun. He used the musical legacy of artists such as Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie to come up with song ideas. This style came to be known as skiffle music, a style originated by Lonnie Donegan. Successful songs included "Cumberland Gap", "Gambling Man", and "My Old Man's A Dustman".
In 1956 Lonnie had a huge hit with "Rock Island Line", which reached number eight on both the USA and UK charts. Send-ups of the song were recorded by Jim Dale in the UK and Stan Freberg in the USA. "Lost John" was a minor hit on the USA charts in the same year.
Lonnie Donegan's skiffle music was very influential on younger musicians who would become prominent in the music world in the years to come. He put more than 30 songs in the top 30 on the UK charts from 1958 to 1962, and became a favorite on the early pop music TV shows in the UK, such as "6.5 Special" and "Oh Boy". A song that had been a top ten hit in the 20's for Ernest Hare & Billy Jones, "Does The Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?", was re-done by Lonnie as "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor [On The Bedpost Overnight]?" and was released in March, 1959. Two years later it went to number five on the USA charts. He has exercised his considerable discernment in business affairs, such as when he purchased the copyright to the Moody Blues' "Knights In White Satin" in the 60's.
Among the many artists who cited the influence of Lonnie's music on theirs were the Beatles, and when they rose to popularity in the 60's, Lonnie's popularity itself went into decline. He began to play the cabaret circuit. He had a profound influence on others as well, such as Dave Cousins of the Strawbs. His comeback LP in 1977 served to show how he had affected such pop music performers as Brian May of Queen, Ringo Starr, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Rory Gallagher, Elton John, Ron Wood, and Albert Lee. Another album released in 1978, Sundown, did not fare as well.
Lonnie Donegan has suffered heart attacks in recent years ...

source:-
[link]www.harbour.sfu.ca/~hayward/van/glossary/skiffle.html[/link]



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thanks, Rhubarb Commando.

the term skiffle is not well known on this side of the pond. we curious use [ib]Mo-town, and R & B, soul, rock, metal, heavy metal, but have no term what you call skiffle. folk was used for woody guthey, and sometimes folk rock, for what in the UK was skiffle (if the music mix was very county, it sometimes gets dubbed rock a billy.) but artist, Dylan, Joan Baez, simeon & garfunles, arlo guthrey, did a mix, that is not folk or traditional music, not country, and not rock.. but a blend.. there were artist like johny cash, who had 'cross over hits' -- their music generaly fell into what is commonly called country, but we never really had a special name for it.

the term skiffle never quite made it cross the pond. nor did many of the UK artists. the same type of music was popular here (and continues to have a following) but the artist never much crossed over the way rock stars did.


#85684 11/05/02 02:31 PM
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Lonnie Donegan was a pivotal figure in the development of popular music in that he produced accessible music that fused genres together effectively.
Putting his music hall persuasions aside, Donegan produced some fine music - "Ramblin' Round", "The Comancheros", "Cumberland Gap", "Whoa Buck", "Grand Coulee Dam", "Bring A Little Water Sylvie", "Have A Drink On Me" and "Battle Of New Orleans."
You are right in saying that he will be missed as he was an asset to the course of popular music and has inspired some giants in British music.

A dollar is a dollar and a dime is a dime and he'd sing another chorus but he hasn't got the time........

Welwyn Garden City - An Island In The Setting Sun

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As you rightly say, helen, skiffle was never the big thing in the states that it was over here. However, Donnegan did have quite a popular following in the US - his Rock Island Line sold over a million records there in 1957.


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he purchased the copyright to the Moody Blues' "Knights In White Satin" in the 60's.

..which was a major hit on several occasions once the Arthurian association had been replaced with a nocturnal one.

I have to say I find it unbelievable Justin Hayward and/or the Moody Blues would have failed to appreciate the quality of "Nights in White Satin", let alone that they would have been desperate enough to sell the copyright. It's very clearly the star track on Days of the Future Passed, and also the Moody Blues' star track up to that time.

Mind you, stranger things have happened!

Son of a resurrected Prog-Heavy-Folk-Rock-Blues-Ambient-Trance Man








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>stranger things have happened!

like, fer instance, Michael Jackson buying up rights to the Beatles songs, and selling the rights to "Revolution" to Nike, fer instance?


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Michael Jackson buying up rights to the Beatles songs, and selling the rights to "Revolution" to Nike, fer instance?

You ain't kidding, nunc.

So who got the rights to "My Old Man's a Dustman"?
The Moody Blues?

Probably not a bad swap, as it turns out.




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Has there ever been a bidding war for any Mike & The Mechanics songs?

Thought not.

Lonnie Donegan worked with Van Morrison a couple of years ago I hear. Never heard any of the stuff - is it any good?


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Lonnie Donegan worked with Van Morrison a couple of years ago I hear

My old man's a dustman
Dustma-an, dustma-a-a-an
Yea-uhhhhh
Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-a-an




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Not bad, shona, not bad!! - but you hold the tune better after a pint or two



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