Lonnie Donegan - Just About As Good As It Gets: Vol 1 (CD)

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U0417-SCCD1123
More by accident than design, Anthony 'Lonnie' Donegan became the first international British star during the Rock 'n' Roll explosion of the mid '50s - in fact the ONLY international star, the only British artist to hit in America when the USA was invading the UK charts at the time. He was also arguably the prime catalyst for sparking off the subsequent British beat boom of the '60s, inspiring legions of young wannabees across the nation - including The Quarry Men, evolving into The Beatles - to pick up guitars and form groups.
Donegan first recorded for Storyville in 1953 as a featured member of Ken Colyer's Jazzmen,
and the following year for Decca in a similar role with The Chris Barber Jazz Band, in both instances fronting the rhythm section of the bands on Skiffle recordings. The 1954 recordings formed part of a 10" LP that year but nearly two years later "Rock Island Line" from the album rocketed Donegan to stardom as an unexpected smash hit single. At which point he was immediately signed to a solo contract by Pye Records
More by accident than design, Anthony 'Lonnie' Donegan became the first international British star during the Rock 'n' Roll explosion of the mid '50s - in fact the ONLY international star, the only British artist to hit in America when the USA was invading the UK charts at the time. He was also arguably the prime catalyst for sparking off the subsequent British beat boom of the '60s, inspiring legions of young wannabees across the nation - including The Quarry Men, evolving into The Beatles - to pick up guitars and form groups.
Donegan first recorded for Storyville in 1953 as a featured member of Ken Colyer's Jazzmen,
and the following year for Decca in a similar role with The Chris Barber Jazz Band, in both instances fronting the rhythm section of the bands on Skiffle recordings. The 1954 recordings formed part of a 10" LP that year but nearly two years later "Rock Island Line" from the album rocketed Donegan to stardom as an unexpected smash hit single. At which point he was immediately signed to a solo contract by Pye Records.

There have of course been Lonnie Donegan compilations before. The beauty of this 50 track, mid-price double is that it covers his recordings for all three labels and presents Lonnie in his true vintage Skiffle days, with none of the cabaret knockabout stuff he veered towards later in his career.
Disc One: Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O / Wreck Of The Old '97 / Lost John / Rock Island Line (1954 version) / Midnight Special (1955 version) / Railroad Bill / I'm Alabamy Bound / Worried Man Blues (featuring Dickie Bishop) / Wabash Cannonball / Diggin' My Potatoes / When The Sun Goes Down / John Henry / Jesse James (featuring Dickie Bishop) / Stewball / I'm A Rambling man / I Shall Not Be Moved / Bring A Little Water Sylvie / Ol' Riley / Stackalee (featuring Dickie Bishop) / How Long Blues / Dead Or Alive / Frankie & Johnny / New Burying Ground / Nobody's Child (1956 version) / Bury My Body.
Disc Two: Rock Island Line (1956 version) / On A Monday / Midnight Special (different 1955 version) / When I Move To The Sky (featuring Ottilie Patterson) / On A Christmas Day / Spanish Blues / Take My Hand Precious Lord / Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad (featuring Dickie Bishop) / John Henry (different version) / Lost John (different version) / In The Evening, When The Sun Goes Down / Railroad Bill (different version) / Wabash Cannonball / St. Philip Street Breakdown / Leavin' Blues / New Burying Ground / Midnight Special (1954 version featuring Ken Colyer) / Harmonica Blues / The Passing Stranger / Nobody's Child (1955 version) / Take My Hand Precious Lord / Hard Time Blues (1953 version) / You Don't Know My Mind (1953 version) / Midnight Special (1953 version featuring Ken Colyer) / Nobody's Child (1953 version).
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