Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World

Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World

Billy Bragg
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Author:  Billy Bragg
Condition:  New
Format:  Hardback
Pages:  448
Publisher:  Faber & Faber
Year:  2017
ISBN:  9780571327744

Emerging from the jazz clubs of the early '50s, skiffle - a uniquely British take on American folk and blues - caused a sensation among a generation of kids who had grown up during the dreary post-war years. These were Britain's first teenagers, looking for a music of their own in a culture dominated by crooners and mediated by a stuffy BBC. Sales of guitars rocketed from 5,000 to 250,000 a year, and - as with the punk rock that would flourish two decades later - all you needed to know were three chords to form your own group, with your mates accompanying on tea-chest bass and washboard.

Against a backdrop of Cold War politics, rock and roll riots and a newly assertive working-class youth, Billy Bragg charts - for the first time in depth - the history, impact and legacy of Britain's original pop movement. 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, who between them sparked a revolution that shaped pop culture as we have come to know it.