The Roots of Lonnie Donegan

Various Artists

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The Roots of Lonnie Donegan Review

by Steve Leggett

Lonnie Donegan created "skiffle" in Britain in the mid-'50s by adding a strong backbeat to traditional American folk tunes, setting the stage in that country for rock & roll. This collection offers some of the source recordings for Donegan's arrangements, and it makes for a delightful set. Included are songs by Josh White, the Carter Family, the Weavers, Lonnie Johnson, Leroy Carr, and Hank Williams. Also included is Grayson & Whitter's original 78 recording of the murderous Appalachian ballad "Tom Dooley," tracked some 30 years before the sanitized hit version made famous by the Kingston Trio. Check out "Ole Riley," by Leadbelly, to hear the template Donegan used to break skiffle in England.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Lead Belly 01:00 Amazon
2 Lead Belly / Woody Guthrie 02:24 Amazon
3 The Weavers 02:25 Amazon
4 The Weavers 01:57 Amazon
5
Sonny Terry 02:48 Amazon
6 Woody Guthrie / Sonny Terry 02:38 Amazon
7
Lead Belly 02:32 Amazon
8 Lead Belly / Sonny Terry 02:35 Amazon
9
Lead Belly 02:52 Amazon
10
Josh White 03:00 Amazon
11 Lonnie Johnson 02:56 Amazon
12 Lonnie Johnson 03:00 Amazon
13
Lonnie Johnson 02:54 Amazon
14 Leroy Carr 03:01 Amazon
15 Leroy Carr 02:58 Amazon
16 Blind Willie Johnson 03:11 Amazon
17 Bunk Johnson 03:17 Amazon
18
Grayson & Whitter 03:09 Amazon
19 The Carter Family 02:58 Amazon
20 The Carter Family 02:50 Amazon
21 Jimmie Rodgers 02:59 Amazon
22 Hank Snow 02:17 Amazon
23 Hank Williams 02:55 Amazon
24 Hank Williams 03:01 Amazon
25 Sister Rosetta Tharpe 02:51 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick