Billy Bragg – Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World

Posted: July 25, 2017 in Videos
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Great lecture by Billy Bragg, recorded July 21, 2017 at the Library of Congress. Presented by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.

Billy’s talk is about skiffle, a catchy name for a do-it-yourself music craze that swept Britain in the 1950s, primarily influenced by American jazz, blues, folk, and roots music. Skiffle is the main reason the guitar came to the forefront of music in the UK, and in this sense led directly to both the UK folk scene and British rock and roll, including the British Invasion of the US charts in the 1960s. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, and David Bowie — not to mention Martin Carthy, John Renbourn, and the Watersons — all got their start playing skiffle. Bragg has spent several years researching and writing about skiffle in an exciting new book, Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World.

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