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

July 18, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
The Ark
316 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Tickets are $35 dollars, and bundled with a hardcover copy of the book. A Q&A and book-signing will follow the presentation. Please note that this event will not include a musical performance, but a one-of-a-kind oral presentation by one of folk music’s great storytellers.Doors at 6:30.

Skiffle  a do-it-yourself  music craze with American jazz, blues, folk, and roots influences  is a story of jazz pilgrims and blues blowers, Teddy Boys and beatnik girls, coffee-bar bohemians and refugees from the McCarthyite witch hunts. Skiffle is reason 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 the first generation of British teenagers  working class kids who grew up during the dreary, post-war rationing years. Before Skiffle, the pop culture was dominated by crooners and mediated by a stuffy BBC. Lonnie Donegan hit the charts in 1956 with a version of Lead Bellys 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 home grown: 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.

Roots, Radicals & Rockers is the first book to explore the Skiffle phenomenon in depth  Billy Braggs meticulously researched and joyous account shows how Skiffle sparked a revolution that shaped pop music as we have come to know it.

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 mostly span political or romantic themes. Billys music is heavily centered on bringing about change and getting the younger generation involved in activist causes.

Event date:
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – 7:00pm
Event address:
316 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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