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Book Review: Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed The World by Billy Bragg

Features/Book Review: 30 May 2017, 10:55
Josh Cogley[1]

Book Review: Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed The World by Billy Bragg

Folk-rocker and activist Billy Bragg gives a superb account of the music that was the precursor to British rock and roll in this finely crafted labour of love. The author traces what was a uniquely British take on jazz to the early ’50s, identifying its roots in the American music heard by young Brits on Armed Forces Radio during WWII. A generous section is devoted to pioneer Lonnie Donegan, who popularised the guitar and washboard sound that was to inspire countless young people in Britain to buy guitars.

Skiffle ultimately lead to the British Invasion of the ’60s, with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones both cutting their teeth in the movement.

This is a detailed and intelligently written study of a fascinating and important period in musical history.

References

  1. ^ Josh Cogley (www.hotpress.com)

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