Lonnie Donegan

Original Hits of the Skiffle Explosion

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It could be argued that Lonnie Donegan had as much to do with the rise of rock & roll as Elvis Presley did, at least in Britain. As early as 1954, Donegan was playing what was essentially folk-rock, reconfiguring American folk tunes and supporting them with one hell of a backbeat. Termed "skiffle," Donegan's energetic folk arrangements provided the groundwork for a whole generation of rockers, many of whom, like members of the Beatles, began in skiffle groups. This three-CD box set has two discs of Donegan tracks and a third disc that features sides from Dickie Bishop, Ken Colyer, the Vipers Skiffle Group, Chas McDevitt, and Johnny Duncan as well as early skiffle recordings from Alexis Korner and Cliff Richard, all of which gives this set a nice feel and sweep. Donegan gets his due, while the third disc hints at skiffle's gradual evolution into blues-rock on the one hand and bluegrass on the other.

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