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2CD Set: RHGB23

BC: 827565058778

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FREIGHT TRAINS, LAST TRAINS AND ROCK ISLAND LINE

The History Of Skiffle

CD1
LONNIE DONEGAN & HIS SKIFFLE GROUP Rock Island Line
THE CHAS MCDEVITT SKIFFLE GROUP ft. NANCY WHISKEY Johnny-O
THE VIPERS SKIFFLE GROUP It Takes A Worried Man
BERYL BRYDEN’S BACKROOM SKIFFLE Rock Me
THE CHRIS BARBER SKIFFLE GROUP ft. JOHNNY DUNCAN Doin’ My Time
THE DELTA SKIFFLE GROUP Pick A Bale Of Cotton
THE KEN COLYER SKIFFLE GROUP Midnight Special
DICKIE BISHOP with LONNIE DONEGAN’S SKIFFLE GROUP Precious Memories
THE 2.19 SKIFFLE GROUP Railroad Bill
THE WORRIED MEN This Little Light Of Mine
LORRAE DESMOND & HER REBELS You Won’t Be Around
BOB WALLIS’S WASHBOARD BEATERS Crawdad Hole
LONNIE DONEGAN & HIS SKIFFLE GROUP Lost John
JOHNNY PARKER’S WASHBOARD BAND Up There
THE STATION SKIFFLE GROUP Steamboat Bill
THE DON LANG SKIFFLE GROUP Whiskey
THE BRIAN NEWEY SKIFFLE GROUP Toll The Bell Easy
THE EDEN STREET SKIFFLE GROUP Raise A Ruckus Tonight
ALEXIS KORNER’S BREAKDOWN GROUP ft. CYRIL DAVIES Kid Man
THE AVON CITIES SKIFFLE GROUP ft. RAY BUSH Green Corn
JIMMY JACKSON’S ROCK’N’SKIFFLE California Zephyr
CHRIS BARBER SKIFFLE GROUP ft. DICKIE BISHOP Can’t You Line ‘Em?
THE CHAS MCDEVITT SKIFFLE GROUP New Orleans
THE CITY RAMBLERS SKIFFLE GROUP Boodle-Am-Shake
LES HOBEAUX SKIFFLE GROUP Mama Don’t Allow
ALEXIS KORNER’S BREAKDOWN GROUP ft. CYRIL DAVIES Roundhouse Stomp
THE BOB CORT SKIFFLE GROUP Six-Five Special
LONNIE DONEGAN & HIS SKIFFLE GROUP Wabash Cannonball
THE VIPERS SKIFFLE GROUP Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O
JOHNNY DUNCAN & THE BLUE GRASS BOYS Last Train To San Fernando

CD2
THE CHAS MCDEVITT SKIFFLE GROUP ft. NANCY WHISKEY Freight Train
LONNIE DONEGAN & HIS SKIFFLE GROUP Diggin’ My Potatoes
JOHNNY DUNCAN & THE BLUE GRASS BOYS Blue Blue Heartache
JOHNNY CHRISTMAS & THE SUNSPOTS (I’m Gonna) Sing, Sing, Sing
LORRAE DESMOND & HER REBELS Preacher, Preacher
BERYL BRYDEN’S BACKROOM SKIFFLE Casey Jones
THE KEN COLYER SKIFFLE GROUP Sportin’ Life
THE VIPERS SKIFFLE GROUP Streamline Train
LES HOBEAUX SKIFFLE GROUP Oh Mary Don’t You Weep
DICKIE BISHOP & HIS SIDEKICKS No Other Baby
THE DELTA SKIFFLE GROUP K.C. Moan
THE WESTCOTT SKIFFLE GROUP Good Mornin’ Blues
THE CHAS MCDEVITT SKIFFLE GROUP Badman Stackolee
JOHNNY PARKER’S WASHBOARD BAND Canine Stomp
ALEXIS KORNER’S BREAKDOWN GROUP ft. CYRIL DAVIES Skip To My Lou
THE CITY RAMBLERS SKIFFLE GROUP 2.19 Blues
BOB WALLIS’S WASHBOARD BEATERS It’s Tight Like That
THE KEN COLYER SKIFFLE GROUP Down By The Riverside
THE 2.19 SKIFFLE GROUP Union Maid
JOHNNY CHRISTMAS & THE SUNSPOTS Mr & Mrs Mississippi
THE WORRIED MEN Fraulein
THE LEA VALLEY SKIFFLE GROUP I’m Gonna Walk & Talk With Jesus
THE STATION SKIFFLE GROUP Hugged My Honey
THE DON LANG SKIFFLE GROUP By And By
BERYL BRYDEN’S BACKROOM SKIFFLE This Train
JIMMY MILLER & THE BARBECUES Sizzlin’ Hot
JOHNNY DUNCAN & THE BLUE GRASS BOYS Footprints In The Snow
THE ORIGINAL BARNSTORMERS SPASM BAND Stormin’ The Barn
LONNIE DONEGAN & HIS SKIFFLE GROUP Puttin’ On The Style
THE VIPERS SKIFFLE GROUP Cumberland Gap

When Lonnie Donegan’s frantic ‘Rock Island Line’ burst into the Top 20 in January 1956, “The Establishment” recoiled in collective horror. The UK music industry was appalled to its very core - “Skiffle Is Piffle” squeaked one Melody Maker headline - whilst the nation’s parents/guardians/MPs/clergymen/schoolteachers/ scoutmasters/etc clasped their foreheads in dismay, convinced that the world was about to be overrun by knife-wielding Teddy Boys. Conversely, the UK’s teenagers embraced Skiffle with almost indecent enthusiasm. So much so that within just weeks, virtually every club, hall and coffee bar in the country was presenting Skiffle groups, and sales of scrubbing boards were soaring! An almost exclusively British phenomenon, Skiffle had its roots in three distinct strands of Americana - Delta Blues, Folk and New Orleans Jazz - and one of the genre’s initial appeals was that it required very little financial investment. Bottom-of-the-range acoustic guitars were fairly inexpensive; a stand-up tea chest bass cost nothing and was simple to assemble; every scullery in the UK possessed a spare washboard; and you could buy a kazoo in Woollies for a couple of shillings. It certainly paid off. The UK’s traditionally staid, stodgy record companies were unusually prompt to jump on the bandwagon, Radio Luxembourg was quick to exploit its teen appeal and for once, even the BBC got the message. However despite its initial impact, during which it (briefly) gave the newly-emergent Rock’n’Roll ‘craze’ a run for its money, Skiffle had a shelf-life of less than two years.
It had grown out of the UK Jazz scene, the major pioneers being Ken Colyer, Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan. Colyer was very much its founding father, having instigated what he initially called either ‘Spasm’ or ‘Breakdown’ sets with The Crane River Jazz Band back in 1949, and in 1953, he, Barber and Donegan linked up to form Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. But personality clashes led to Colyer quitting after just a few months, whereupon they continued as Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. In July 1954 the Barber band famously recorded the 10” LP New Orleans Joys, featuring Lonnie’s version of ‘Rock Island Line’, which generated considerable attention and radio airplay. Eventually, the record company wised up and in November 1955, belatedly issued it as a single, credited to The Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group. The disc stayed in the Top 20 for five months, peaking at No.6 and selling an estimated half a million copies; it very nearly repeated the trick in the United States, where it reached No.8, pushing worldwide sales over the million and earning Donegan his first gold disc.
1957 was Skiffle’s Big Year. First to follow Lonnie into the Hit Parade were The Vipers with ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O’ and ‘Cumberland Gap’ - although they lost out to Donegan, who covered both, taking the latter to No.1 (Lonnie would top the charts again in ’57, with ‘Puttin’ On The Style’). They also charted with ‘Streamline Train’ and came close with a slew of other fine releases.

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RockHistory.co.uk is an on-going historical project to record the background stories and the anecdotes from the people who participated in greatest British musical explosion that started back in the 1950s and that went on to reverberate right round the world. Tales about the origins of the songs, the roots of the groups and the front of the performers. These CD releases are part of a series of multi-media release that are all linked via the www.RockHistory.co.uk

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