We were delighted to be part of The Royal Albert Hall’s Summer of Love: Revisited programme, a series of talks, screenings and performances in the Elgar Room celebrating this pivotal moment of cultural history.

For our third event we were joined by Billy Bragg to look back at the importance of skiffle music. Ahead of the event we asked Billy what his Top 5 songs of skiffle and protest music are. Check out his answers below.

1. Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group  – ‘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.”

2. The Chas Mcdevitt Skiffle Group Featuring Nancy Whiskey – ‘Greenback Dollar’

“McDevitt, Donegan’s only real rival in terms of chart places, sings an old anti-capitalist love song.”

3. The Vipers Skiffle Group – ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O’

“The Vipers took their name from a jazz term for someone who smokes marijuana.”

4. 2.19 Skiffle Group – ‘Union Maid’

“The 2.19ers cover Woody Guthrie, who was highly popular with the skiffle crowd.”

5. City Ramblers Skiffle Group – ‘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.”


Watch: Billy Bragg on Skiffle and Protest Music with Classic Album Sundays at The Royal Albert Hall

 

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