Various Artists

Freight Trains, Last Trains and Rock Island Lines

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    8
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The term "skiffle" first popped up in America in the 1920s, but it wasn't directly a musical term referring to the various folk, blues, and street jazz jug and string bands then popular across the country. It was instead a slang term for a house rent party, as in "we're having a skiffle this Friday night." The term vanished from use in the 1940s and most likely would have stayed gone except for its revival in 1950s Britain as a word to describe the music played by various jug and string band-like groups influenced by American blues, folk, and New Orleans street jazz. Largely through the hitmaking ability of Lonnie Donegan, whose chart-topping version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line" in 1955 established skiffle as both a style and a commercial viability, the style swept through the U.K., setting the stage for the first true British blues and rock & roll bands, whose arrival doomed skiffle to the back porch of pop history. This set traces the British skiffle craze across two discs, and features classic tracks from Donegan, Don Lang, the Vipers, and Alexis Korner, among others.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:30
2
2:29
3
2:46
4
2:51
5
3:29
6
2:57
7
2:49
8
2:27
9
2:51
10
3:11
11
2:22
12
2:13
13
2:44
14
2:27
15
2:33
16
1:37
17
2:31
18
2:11
19
2:24
20
3:04
21
2:56
22
2:05
23
2:46
24
3:01
25
2:09
26
2:52
27
1:55
28
1:59
29
2:18
30
2:29

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:59
2
3:11
3
2:22
4
2:16
5
2:23
6
3:18
7
2:30
8
2:34
9
2:19
10
2:58
11
2:54
12
2:24
13
2:35
14
2:35
15
1:57
16
2:49
17
3:30
18
2:35
19
3:02
20
2:41
21
2:12
22
2:56
23
4:09
24
1:27
25
2:28
26
2:15
27
2:23
28
2:21
29
3:33
30
1:55
blue highlight denotes track pick