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May 06 , 2011

Lonnie Donegan and the Birth of British Rock & Roll


When Lonnie Donegan first burst onto the scene early in 1956, his energetic brand of skiffle galvanised a generation and transformed the face of music. Before Elvis Presley, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, there was Lonnie, guitar in hand, ready to kick-start the British pop and rock scene. From the traditional jazz bands of his early career to the blues and folk songs that secured his popularity, the sound of Lonnie Donegan was immediate and infectious, a long-awaited call to arms for those coming of age after the dark days of the Second World War. During a successful seven-year run, Lonnie racked up twenty-six Top 20 singles, became the first British act to have an LP enter the charts, the first to have a hit EP and the first ever to have a single enter the charts at no. 1. Here was a talent to emulate - and the youth of the 1950s did just that. Including exclusive interviews with music royalty, from Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Mark Knopfler to Brian May, Bill Wyman and the late John Peel, as well as Lonnie's first wife and daughter, Patrick Humphries reveals the extraordinary story of the skiffle king and godfather of British rock & roll.

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