My friend Scott once let out an hilarious, profanity-laced tirade about Lonnie Donegan while I had been playing a compilation of Donegan's early hits in my store. Scott didn't care that without Donegan there'd be no Beatles...sorta. He just hated what he was hearing. And I wasn't enjoying the compilation that much either, so I didn't mind Scott's tirade. Too much skiffle music can bring out the profanity in anyone. But to this day, I can't think of one without the other. Not Scott without Lonnie. Not skiffle without profanity.
Long story short, I hated the record. No amount of superstars was going to help me through 40 minutes of skiffle. But I always remembered the first track, a rerecord of Donegan's most famous song, "Rock Island Line," with Rory Gallagher on lead guitar. My friend Phil would rave on about Rory, and I just never got it. But the playing on this track, the tone of the guitar...sucked me right in.
I just recently found a sealed copy of "Puttin' On The Style" for $4. Whatever bothered me, doesn't now. This album is a blast, and it seems like everyone is having fun, probably because, like The Beatles, all involved cut their rock and roll teeth on early Lonnie Donegan records.
I didn't realize it was released on CD with bonus tracks. It's HERE if you want it.