Search - Lonnie Donegan :: Rock Island Line

Rock Island Line
Lonnie Donegan
Rock Island Line
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #3

Full Title - Rock Island Line - The Singles Anthology 1955-1967. The first comprehensive singles anthology for the UK musical pioneer. 86 tracks across three CDs (slimline) in a slipcase box, many appearing on CD for the f...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lonnie Donegan
Title: Rock Island Line
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Castle Music UK
Release Date: 10/7/2002
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Europe, British Isles, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 766489247625


Album Description
Full Title - Rock Island Line - The Singles Anthology 1955-1967. The first comprehensive singles anthology for the UK musical pioneer. 86 tracks across three CDs (slimline) in a slipcase box, many appearing on CD for the first time. All Lonnie's A & B-sides between 1955-67, including his very first hit 'Rock Island Line'. The first time his Decca & Pye recordings have been compiled in the same package. More than 30 UK hits, including three UK #1s. Castle. 2002.

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CD Reviews

Three entertaining discs of Lonnie Donegan's Skiffle music
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My introduction to Lonnie Donegan was a pair of folk songs, "500 Miles Away From Home" and "Farewell (Fare Thee Well," so when I found out that he was considered the definitive practioner of Skiffle music in the U.K. That mixture of jazz and country blues originally developed in the U.S. in the 1930s was the type of music that John, Paul and George were weaned on when the future Beatles first picked up their guitars. In the 1950s it was Donegan's recording of "Rock Island Line" which defined the Skiffle revival and explains why that song gives this 1985 3-CD collection of his singles its title and a testament to the fact that in the 1950s before rock & roll took over the world Lonnie Donegan was having as big of an impact on the youth of Britain as Elvis and Bill Haley would have in the U.S.

Donegan was born Anthony James Donegan in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a classical violinist and when he started playing guitar was fascinated by American blues, which he listened to at the American Embassy in London. He formed the Tony Donegan Jazz Band in 1952 but while playing with blues/jazz guitar legend Lonnie Johnson the announcer told the audience it was "Tony Johnson" on guitar and "Lonnie Donegan" on banjo, and the name stuck. When Donegan recorded a Skiffle album, "Rock Island Line" became a hit because of its infectious rhythm, staying on the charts for 22 weeks, selling three million copies. Playing Skiffle music was pretty easy: all you needed was a guitar or banjo, and washboard for the rhythm section.

This collection brings together 86 tracks recorded by Donegan between 1955 and 1967, which actually makes it the second largest CD collection of his songs (1993's "More Than Pye in the Sky" offers eight CDs, so it is pretty much everything Donegan every recorded). Listening to it makes me think that my introduction to Donegan as a folk singer is pretty much on target, since Skiffle lends itself to lively performances of such traditional songs as "John Henry," "Stewball," "Lonesome Traveler," "Tom Dooley," "Darling Corey," and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore." Donegan also does songs by Woody Guthrie (e.g., "Gamblin' Man") and the Weavers (e.g., "I Wanna Go Home [The Wreck of the John B.]"). But then you will also find a Ray Charles song here ("Leave My Woman Alone"), so the man will definitely exceed your expectations. The same holds true for "The Party's Over," where he take a turn at being a crooner to show he was more than the "King of Skiffle."

As you listen to these three discs I think you will find that you will end up liking the unfamiliar songs more than Donegan's covers of well-known songs such as "The Battle of New Orleans" and "Lemon Tree." But there is something to be said for hearing him do "Over the Rainbow" and "It Was a Very Good Year." Donegan did a few original songs, most notably "Dead or Alive," "Ham 'n Eggs," and "Nobody Loves Us Like an Irishman," which speak to the charm and humor he could bring to singing a song. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Buddy Holly in terms of the energy and enthusiasm he brings to just about every song, although "My Laggan Love" proves that Donegan could sit down with just a guitar to play and sing a plaintive love song to nice effect (so it seems strange when you hear a horn section as he launches into "Chesapeake Bay"). Granted, there are those of you who will be three tracks into these songs and have heard enough of Lonnie Donegan and Skiffle music to last you the rest of your days, but more likely you will get hooked on the sound and his engaging performance as you get to the point where you can explain why all of these songs do not sound alike."
Lonnie Donnegan Anthology
K. Bainbridge | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Could not believe how many tracks I remembered from this three disc Donnegan-fest. All the old favouries plus this some surprising treatments (eg It was a Very Good Year)from this energetic, talented and highly likeable performer."
Rockin' Lonnie Donegan
The Mean Eyed Cat | KNON Dallas, Texas | 02/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fantastic album, all the hits and many, many more. Lonnie's music crosses so many bridges and has influenced so many others. If you enjoy music you'll love this set. An excellent addition to any Rock-A-Billy fans collection. Just Great songs, by a great artisit!

The Mean Eyed Cat
KNON Radio 89.3
Dallas, Texas"