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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Doctor John Skiffle (37) RE: Skiffle 12 Jan 00

Before Lonnie Donegan brought Rock Island Line to the UK there were very few folk music USA recordings available here. It was illegal to import USA records so there was nothing by Woody, Cisco, Pete Seeger etc and just a few sides by Lead Belly issued by fairly obscure jazz labels. I think L. D. heard and developed this music when on national service in Germany. Many pop musicians started as skifflers but more importantly so did Martin Carthy and others. Bert Lloyd, Ewan McColl and the rest existed without skiffle but without it they would probably have remaining in quaint obscurity. Then Melodisc started to release Woody and Lead Belly LP's when skiffle was at its height and when it had faded the ban was lifted and in came the Folkways recordings. And so did Jack Elliot, Pete Seeger, Cisco Houston, Sonny & Brownie to show us how it should be done; I think Jack Elliot was the most important influence here so without him and Lonnie Donegan folkmusic UK would have had a very different story. That's a brief history as I remember it. Dr John

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