Artist picture of Lonnie Donegan

Lonnie Donegan

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My Old Man's A Dustman Lonnie Donegan 03:20
Rock Island Line Lonnie Donegan 02:29
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour Lonnie Donegan 02:34
Pick a Bale of Cotton Lonnie Donegan 02:54
Bring A Little Water Sylvie Lonnie Donegan And His Skiffle Group 02:27
World Cup Willie Lonnie Donegan 02:47
I'd Love It Chris Barber's Jazz Band 03:30
Have A Drink On Me Lonnie Donegan 02:51
Putting On The Style Lonnie Donegan 03:38
Wabash Cannonball Lonnie Donegan And His Skiffle Group 01:57

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The British skiffle boom of the late 1950s was desperately short-lived, but its influence ran deep, with many stars from The Beatles to Van Morrison inspired to pick up instruments by skiffle's do-it-yourself ethos and specifically Lonnie Donegan. The son of a professional violinist, Donegan was born in Glasgow but raised in East Ham, London, learning guitar at 14. He was in his teens when he joined Chris Barber's jazz band though his career was interrupted in 1949 when he was called up for National Service. When he left the army Donegan formed the Tony Donegan Jazz Band, changing his name to Lonnie after playing support act to blues musician Lonnie Johnson at London's Royal Festival Hall. It was with Ken Colyer's Jazzmen that he introduced a skiffle segment using household utensils to play blues songs at breakneck speed in the style of poor black musicians in the 1930s. It proved so popular that he recorded Leadbelly's Rock Island Line and his first LP An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs. The huge success of Rock Island Line in 1956 ignited the skiffle boom as more hits followed and teenagers all over the country adopted makeshift instruments to form skiffle groups. The craze soon faded but Donegan adapted his style to score Number 1 hits with the comic My Old Man's A Dustman (1960) and World Cup Willie (1966), and remained a popular concert act for four decades. He was still on tour when he died of a heart attack in 2002.