Lonnie Donegan was known as 'the king of skiffle' The name 'skiffle' was suggested by trumpeter Ken Colyer's brother Bill after the Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the 1930s. Donegan played, along with Chris barber, in Ken Colyer's Jazzmen during the early 1950s.
Colyer left the band in 1954 after which then became the Chris Barber Jazz band. During the intervals of their shows Donegan with Barber on double bass and Beryl Brydon playing a washboard, the trio would play American folk and blues songs by the likes of Woody Guthrie or Leadbelly, as they had done previously with Colyer's jazzmen.
Barber's first recording included the skiffle trio's version of Leadbelly's Rock Island Line which was later released as a single and became a huge success eventuall selling three million copies!
The rest, as they say, is history and Donegan was a major influence on virtually all of the rock or blues musicians who came to prominence in the 1960s.
Compare and contrast: the same guitarist, firstly in a skiffle group:
And secondly in a slightly different group:
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