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Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals

Andy M 02 Jan 19 - 08:52 AM
GUEST 02 Jan 19 - 05:33 PM
Mark Ross 02 Jan 19 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 03 Jan 19 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 03 Jan 19 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Andy M 03 Jan 19 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 03 Jan 19 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Trevor Sheridan 04 Jan 19 - 01:46 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Jan 19 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Hootennanny 04 Jan 19 - 02:47 PM
Andy M 05 Jan 19 - 03:43 AM
Vic Smith 06 Jan 19 - 06:19 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jan 19 - 06:36 AM
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Subject: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals'
From: Andy M
Date: 02 Jan 19 - 08:52 AM

Anyone else reading this wonderful Book? After seeing him present and talk about it at Sidmouth '18 I'm now well into Billy's book. As a 20something, though I preferred the folk clubs, I'd go to the Salutation Jazz Club in Birmingham. The connection between the two strands (folk & trad jazz) now make much more sense and I wish I remembered more about seeing and hearing Ken Colyer et al. I realise that the Colyer New Orleans idea linked to Leadbelly, Guthrie and what became 'skiffle' and seeded much of the folk revival, as far as guitars are concerned! I have new admiration for Chris Barber, Lonnie Donegan and more in this meticulously researched exploration of skiffle the main focus of the book.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 19 - 05:33 PM

Not being a "fan" of Billy Bragg's music I took a chance and bought this book when it was published. I must admit that he or whoever did the research did a pretty good job. I enjoyed it very much. I did however note a couple of incorrect identities in photographs. On page 168 the photograph taken at the Round House in Wardour Street the person playing the 12 string guitar labelled as Cyril Smith of all people is Actually Cyril Davies who deserves much more recognition for being a founder of the Rhythm and Blues - mainly blues movement in the UK. Sadly he died too young to reap much reward for his efforts. Sitting far left and unidentified is Jazz,Folk and Blues record shop owner Doug Dobell. The specialist shop in the West End. Jimmy Asman's shop was close second and of course Collet's. On page 248 clarinettist Bruce Turner is incorrectly identified as Sandy Brown. Page 251 also identifies the clarinettist as Sandy Brown.
If you weren't around at the time this book captures things pretty well.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: Mark Ross
Date: 02 Jan 19 - 11:18 PM

I was very impressed with the scholarship and the writing. It makes a good addition to my collection of music books.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 04:03 AM

The GUEST post above was from me apologies for omitting it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 06:59 AM

It was an unexpected Fathers' Day present from one of my sons last year (rather than the usual bottle of wine) and it was a brilliant choice. As someone who lived through that era, playing in skiffle groups, then trad bands and eventually folk groups, Bragg's account of a musical 'revolution'is pretty much as I remember it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Andy M
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 11:10 AM

Surprised by the comment from Guest (Hootenany?) above. My copy contains no typo naming Cyril Smith (!!) and the book details more than I've ever read before about the great Cyril Davies. I regret parting with my EP along with other vinyl gems a few years ago. To counter your faint praise I'd say again - brilliant!


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 05:30 PM

No faint praise at all Andy. I merely pointed out a couple of errors. Read what I wrote again. Please check the caption beneath the photograph taken at The Roundhouse with Jack Elliott and a back view of Big Bill Broonzy. Is the 12 string player identified as Cyril Davies ? If so then this must be a newer edition. I wouldn't think that the first printing has sold out but I could be wrong. I did mention the errors to one of the guys at Faber when we were playing together some months back and we did agree that no matter how hard you try shit still happens.

If you want to know more about Cyril Davies for whom I once handled bookings and used at the Ballads and Blues Club. Keep your eyes open. There is a book in the works. NOT by me.

As I said in my post above If you weren't around at the time this book captures things pretty well. Perhaps I should add "even if like me you were.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Trevor Sheridan
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 01:46 AM

It's a marvellous book. Couldn't put it down till finished. Very well written and researched and congrats to Billy Bragg


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 03:46 AM

Mudcatter FatB*****d kindly passed his copy on to me and as I lived through that era as well I enjoyed it. Thanks again, Charlie.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: GUEST,Hootennanny
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 02:47 PM

Andy M,

Further to your comment re my "faint praise" and my reply:

Billy's book has been discussed here before briefly.

I did start a posting about this book and one by Peggy Seeger back in October 2017. On 16th October I stated even then how much I enjoyed it and recommended it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: Andy M
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 03:43 AM

Meant nothing by it H; the book (which I am still halfway through...Red Sullivan appears) makes me a a little emotional, recalling events at the end of this period of 'Hidden Ground'. Several comments of "I lived through it", but no stories.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: Vic Smith
Date: 06 Jan 19 - 06:19 AM

Well written, fascinating, informative and thoroughly enjoyable.


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Subject: RE: Review: Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jan 19 - 06:36 AM

I agree with most of the comments above. I read it about 18 months ago and found it both readable and informative about events before my involvement with folk music.

Mick


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