Roots, Radicals and Rockers

Roots, Radicals and Rockers

How Skiffle Changed the World

by Billy Bragg

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 24/04/2018

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Against a backdrop of Cold War politics, rock and roll riots and a newly assertive generation of working-class youth, the songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg charts the history, impact and legacy of skiffle Britain's first indigenous pop movement.

Roots, Radicals & Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World is the first book to explore this phenomenon in depth a meticulously researched and joyous account that explains how skiffle sparked a revolution that shaped pop music as we have come to know it.

It's a story of jazz pilgrims and blues blowers, Teddy Boys and beatnik girls, coffee-bar bohemians and refugees from the McCarthyite witch-hunts. Billy traces how the guitar came to the forefront of music in the UK and led directly to the British Invasion of the US charts in the 1960s.

Emerging from the trad-jazz clubs of the early '50s, skiffle was adopted by kids who growing up during the dreary, post-war rationing years. These were Britain's first teenagers, looking for a music of their own in a pop culture dominated by crooners and mediated by a stuffy BBC. Lonnie Donegan hit the charts in 1956 with a version of 'Rock Island Line' and soon sales of guitars rocketed from 5,000 to 250,000 a year.

Like punk rock that would flourish two decades later, skiffle was a do-it-yourself music. All you needed were three guitar chords and you could form a group, with mates playing tea-chest bass and washboard as a rhythm section.

ISBN:
9780571327751
9780571327751
Category:
Rock & Pop music
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
24-04-2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
Faber & Faber, Incorporated
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
448
Dimensions (mm):
197.99x129.01x26.01mm
Weight:
0.01kg
Billy Bragg

Stephen William 'Billy' Bragg is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist.

His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, with lyrics that span political or romantic themes. His music is heavily centred on bringing about change and getting the younger generation involved in grass-roots activist causes.

His book Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize, and was a Rough Trade, Mojo, and FT Book of the Year 2018.

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