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What is Skiffle?

09 Sep 01 - 12:09 AM (#545480)
Subject: What is Skiffle?
From: GUEST,Nick

I have a copy of Stan Hugils Book Shanties from the 7 Seas. In it he talks about "Skiffle " bands reviving some sea shanties. There is a Jug & Skiffle band thread active on the board.

What pray tell is Skiffle, and what is a "Skiffle" band? The term is new to me. Sociable! N


09 Sep 01 - 12:34 AM (#545489)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: wysiwyg

CLICK HERE for some, Nick.

~S~


09 Sep 01 - 02:17 AM (#545501)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Metchosin

that link will tell you a lot about jugbands, but Skiffle, although related, came out of the UK, with Lonnie Donnegan the annointed king and also included a lot of English Music Hall tunes in the repetoire. Putting Lonnie Donnegan in the Forum Search should give you a lot more info.


09 Sep 01 - 03:55 AM (#545515)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: GUEST,Ned Ludd

I've been in two english medicine show/jug stle bands and we always get called Skiffle. I think the difference is where you were brung up.Skiffle is playing rythmic music on anything tou can get a tune out of, following a long english tradition of 'rough bands' but taking much of its influence (and tunes) from the USA.


09 Sep 01 - 04:14 AM (#545519)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Metchosin

Here's a good link


09 Sep 01 - 08:51 PM (#545904)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: GUEST,Nick

Thanks all Nick


09 Sep 01 - 11:39 PM (#545946)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: GutBucketeer

I just found this great site!

http://www.glass-artist.co.uk/music/skiffle/skiffax.html

If the link doesnt' work here is what it said (there is even more on the site).

WHAT IS SKIFFLE?

The term "SKIFFLE" has a variety of meanings but always refers to informal, good time music, usually using home-made or improvised instruments such as the washboard, wash-tub or tea-chest bass, kazoo, cigar-box fiddle, comb and paper etc.

Depending on your age and country you might define skiffle as:

1) The spasm bands, usually children, seen on the streets of New Orleans around 1900.

2) Rent-party music in 1920s and 30s USA involving piano, guitar, fiddle, but rarely the washboard.

3) The jug bands of Louisville and Memphis 1920s and 30s.

4) Novelty Jazz Bands of the 1940s and 50s using clarinet/sax mouthpieces on bamboo or wooden pipes, plungerphone, funnel with trumpet mouthpiece, washtub bass etc.

5) A mixture of USA folk music, tin-pan alley, and music-hall played as pop music in Britain in the late 1950s, typically using guitar, washboard and tea-chest bass. Lots of famous British rock stars got started by playing in skiffle bands, e.g. the Beatles, Van Morrison (who made a skiffle CD with Lonnie Donegan in 1999) Although they will probably have never heard of Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie, for a lot of British people over a certain age this music is part of their pop music nostalgia.

6) Current bands playing jug-band, Leadbelly songs etc. or "British" skiffle i.e. songs recorded by British artists in the 1950s, but all generally copying originals thus extending the life of this music

7) Current bands making their own music or adapting popular songs so the music lives and changes

The word "SKIFFLE" was probably first used by pianist Hersel Thomas (who died in 1926) to describe the music played at a house rent party (also called "skuffle" music). A record called "Hometown Skiffle" was released in 1929 featuring featuring Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Will Ezell, Charlie Spand, The Hokum Boys and Papa Charlie Jackson.

"SKIFFLE" was later used to describe American black folk bands who mostly had to improvise traditional African instruments by using household implements. The bent sapling with cord tied to a skin over a hole in the earth became the washtub bass. (Tea-chest in UK). The gourd became a jug and the scraped ass's jaw became the washboard. The kazoo developed from an African instrument using an animal skin as the membrane (often built into a mask and used for religious ceremonies).


10 Sep 01 - 12:12 AM (#545959)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: wysiwyg

Well, I dunno. I play washboard in secret but I don't see any scraped asses around here.

~S~


10 Sep 01 - 01:17 AM (#545995)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Amos

Maybe you're looking in the wrong direction?

:>)

A


10 Sep 01 - 02:17 AM (#546011)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Mark Cohen

It only happens when you slide down the washboard. Also when sliding down your cellar door...but that's a different song entirely.

Aloha,
Mark


10 Sep 01 - 11:00 AM (#546253)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: wysiwyg

Thanks, I knew SOMEBODY would come along and add a line. It's fun to be a straight man. Woman. If a bit twisted... and that's how I slide down the washboard. And if I twist around just far enough... Amos, yer right!

~S~


10 Sep 01 - 06:47 PM (#546628)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: McGrath of Harlow

It's all really skiffle when you get down to it. People making music together using whatever they have, and worried more about how it feels like than how it sounds.


23 Nov 01 - 09:37 AM (#597995)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: catspaw49

Well finally he's done it, but on another thread of course..........

THE BELOW COMES FROM OUR OWN ROGER THE SKIFFLER AND IS REPOSTED HERE ....so I can find it in the the future...

**********************************************************

WHAT IS SKIFFLE?

The term "SKIFFLE" has a variety of meanings but always refers to informal, good time music, usually using home-made or improvised instruments such as the washboard, wash-tub or tea-chest bass, kazoo, cigar-box fiddle, comb and paper etc. Depending on your age and country you might define skiffle as:

1) The spasm bands, usually children, seen on the streets of New Orleans around 1900.

2) Rent-party music in 1920s and 30s USA involving piano, guitar, fiddle, but rarely the washboard.

3) The jug bands of Louisville and Memphis 1920s and 30s.

4) Novelty Jazz Bands of the 1940s and 50s using clarinet/sax mouthpieces on bamboo or wooden pipes, plungerphone, funnel with trumpet mouthpiece, washtub bass etc.

5) A mixture of USA folk music, tin-pan alley, and music-hall played as pop music in Britain in the late 1950s, typically using guitar, washboard and tea-chest bass. Lots of famous British rock stars got started by playing in skiffle bands, e.g. the Beatles, Van Morrison (who made a skiffle CD with Lonnie Donegan in 1999) Although they will probably have never heard of Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie, for a lot of British people over a certain age this music is part of their pop music nostalgia.

6) Current bands playing jug-band, Leadbelly songs etc. or "British" skiffle i.e. songs recorded by British artists in the 1950s, but all generally copying originals thus extending the life of this music

7) Current bands making their own music or adapting popular songs so the music lives and changes

The word "SKIFFLE" was probably first used by pianist Hersel Thomas (who died in 1926) to describe the music played at a house rent party (also called "skuffle" music). A record called "Hometown Skiffle" was released in 1929 featuring featuring Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Will Ezell, Charlie Spand, The Hokum Boys and Papa Charlie Jackson.

"SKIFFLE" was later used to describe American black folk bands who mostly had to improvise traditional African instruments by using household implements. The bent sapling with cord tied to a skin over a hole in the earth became the washtub bass. (Tea-chest in UK). The gourd became a jug and the scraped ass's jaw became the washboard. The kazoo developed from an African instrument using an animal skin as the membrane (often built into a mask and used for religious ceremonies).

RtS (got the kazoo, just need the mask- and I mean need! "a face made for radio, a voice made for mime")

**********************************************************

And there ya' go folks..........Right from the orifice of the horse.

Spaw


23 Nov 01 - 09:46 AM (#597996)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

I hate to mention it, Pat but Gutbucketeer posted the same defiinition to this thread already! I didn't see the original, I musta' been in Greece at the time!
RtS (the ass's ass)


23 Nov 01 - 11:09 AM (#598007)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: catspaw49

Geeziz.....I just remembered the thread and didn't read it (my own pet peeve) this second time!!! What an asshole!!!!

Greece you say? Hell Skiff, I'm obviously fried!!!!!!

Spaw (needing some time at the NYCFTTS)


23 Nov 01 - 02:41 PM (#598046)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Cappuccino

Lonnie Donegan is still playing, and is still brilliant; the live skiffle album he made with Van Morrison, which also featured a certain Dr. John on keyboard (because, apparently, he just happened to be playing a show down the road and wandered up to see what was happening) is an absolute classic of relaxed skiffle-meets-blues-meets-folk.

- IanB


25 Feb 05 - 04:00 AM (#1420373)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Roger the Skiffler

The sub-title to a recent CD called Skiffle Revival says it all really:
"Songs about trains, women, alcohol and death" !! A good enough definition for the blues,too,really!

[Chas McDevitt claims on the sleeve "The Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the late 1930s and 1940s gave their name to the genre" but quotes above give an earlier usage.]

RtS
(I'll skiffle off now!)


25 Feb 05 - 05:08 PM (#1421031)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Big Al Whittle

love skiffle! How sad that somebody has to ask what it is. Didn't skiffle happen in America?

You oughta try it.

I remember Frank Zappa saying at a gig. Hello Bristol! Have you guys heard of a dance called The Twist, I think Bristol's just about ready for it.....

Surely America's ready for skiffle...


25 Feb 05 - 05:35 PM (#1421048)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: PoppaGator

As you may know:

The kids in Bristol are sharp as a pistol
When they do
The Bristol Stomp
.

Of course, that was Bristol, Pennsylvania, just outside Philly, back in about 1958-59 or so.

And no, WLD, sadly enough, Skiffle did not happen in the US. Closest thing we had was the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, just one small part of the folk revival (or "Folk Scare"). Great stuff, surely, but not nearly enough of it...


08 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM (#1990460)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Roger the Skiffler

Dan Burley was a boogie woogie piano player and journalist who hosted skiffle parties (rent parties) paying skiffle piano. His recordings including the two (Skiffle Blues and Skiffle Jam)which led to Ken Colyer adopting the term are available on an Austrian CD South Side Shake 1945-1951 Wolf WBJ 008 (available from Amazon US quicker than from Amazon UK). Dan Burley's Skiffle Boys included at times Sticks & Brownie McGhee, Pops Foster, Tiny Grimes and Danny Barker among others.
In his "jiver's bible" glossary he describes Skiffling and scuffling as "feverish activity". (I particularly like the phrase: Like the farmer and the 'tater,plant you now and dig you later defined as: I must go but I'll remember you)
Doc Pomus in the CD booklet talks of playing at one of Dan's skiffle parties and " I never heard the word "skiffle" again until years later when an English folk singer(sic) by the name of Lonnie Donegan played something he called "skiffle music". It sounded british or scottish or something in between, but it had nothing to do with what used to go on Monday nights at the Baby Grand in Harlem, new York".

RtS


08 Mar 07 - 12:53 PM (#1990629)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Wesley S

Roger - What's the state of Skiffle music in England right now? Active? Dormant?


09 Mar 07 - 09:21 AM (#1991442)
Subject: RE: What is Skiffle?
From: Roger the Skiffler

Still some diehards around, I used to get to an annual multiband gig with some other 'Catters but it didn't run last year or this. Mostly in pubs rather than stadia! The Lonnie D musical, Donegan Sons' band and Peter Leegan LD tribute band still tour.

Rts