Monday, April 15, 2013

Lonnie Donnegan - Voice Your Choice

Anthony James "Lonnie" Donnegan was born April 29, 2931 in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland, into a family with a musical father. His dad was a professional violinist with the Scottish National Orchestra.

According to Wikipedia, "In 1952 he formed his first group, the Tony Donegan Jazzband, which found some work around London. On one occasion they opened for the blues musician Lonnie Johnson at the Royal Festival Hall.Donegan was a fan of Johnson, and took his first name as a tribute to him. The story goes that the host at the concert got the musicians' names confused, calling them "Tony Johnson" and "Lonnie Donegan", and Donegan was happy to keep the name."

He eventually teamed up with jazz musician Chris Barber and together they formed Chris Barber's Jazz Band and scored an international hit with the instrumental Petite Fleur.

In 1955 he released an uptempo version of Leadbelly's Rock Island Line, which became a huge hit and went to #8 on the UK chart. He later recorded a song which would become his signature hit, at least in North America. And this week we're going to feature them both for you.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents Lonnie Donnegan with two of his biggest hits. Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice Page for either Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight) or Rock Island Line. I'll play the winning song in the 3rd hour of next week's show.