As part of our Summer of Love: Revisited season, popular record club Classical Album Sundays will present four special events celebrating the music of this pivotal moment of cultural history, featuring Laura Mvula, Billy Bragg, Jazzie B and The Zombies.
On 6 June, Classic Album Sundays’ Colleen Murphy will be joined by Billy Bragg to explore the history, impact and legacy of skiffle. Featuring vinyl picks of classics from the likes of Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Lonnie Donegan, Ewan MacColl, Alan Lomax, Chas McDevitt and Peggy Seeger, they’ll explore Britain’s first indigenous pop movement, and how it inspired the British artists who would later steer Sixties counter-culture.
Ahead of the event, Classical Album Sundays asked Billy to pick his Top 5 songs of skiffle and protest music:
Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group’s ‘Rock Island Line’
“This is the track that kicked skiffle off in January 1956, when Lonnie Donegan became the first British artist to get into the charts playing a guitar.”
The Chas Mcdevitt Skiffle Group Featuring Nancy Whiskey’s ‘Greenback Dollar’
“McDevitt, Donegan’s only real rival in terms of chart places, sings an old anti-capitalist love song.”
City Ramblers Skiffle Group’s ‘Round And Round The Picket Line’
“The City Ramblers were genuine radicals, playing benefit gigs for both CND and the anti-racist movement in 1958.”
The Vipers Skiffle Group’s ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O’
“The Vipers took their name from a jazz term for someone who smokes marijuana.”
2.19 Skiffle Group’s ‘Union Maid’
“The 2.19ers cover Woody Guthrie, who was highly popular with the skiffle crowd.”
Billy will also be signing his new book, Roots, Radicals and Rockers; How Skiffle Changed the World, which will be available to purchase on site.