The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22522   Message #244343
Posted By: MikeofNorthumbria
19-Jun-00 - 07:59 AM
Thread Name: Donegan: Puttin' on the style- officially
Subject: RE: BS: Puttin' on the style- officially
Great news about Lonnie - pity it took so long, but better late than never.

For millions of ordinary strummers, and for a long list of star names in Rock, Folk, and whatever-you-like-to-call-it-music, he is "The man without whom..."

Youngsters (and non-Brits) may not be aware that in early 1950s Britain, "popular song" usually meant a man in a tuxedo, with greased-down hair, and a plastic smile on his face, telling us all about "Luaaaaarve!". (Often accompanied by a band that sounded like the Glen Miller Orchestra under heavy sedation). Lonnie - with a little help from his friends - blew all that away.

After hearing him, millions of youngsters said "I'd like to try that", and nagged their parents into buying them guitars. Quite a few (Martin Carthy, John Lennon and Eric Clapton, for example) went on to achieve great things. Most of the rest had a thundering good time, even if we never got beyond three chords and "play something with a chorus everyone can join in".

And though I didn't always agree with the way Lonnie interpreted a song, I've never, ever, heard him give any performance less than one hundred per cent commitment. In that sense, he is still an example to us all. (And maybe that's why he got called back for five encores at Glastonbury festival last year - by an audience young enough to be his grandchildren.)

Rock on Lonnie!