Skiffle inspired by Sputnik

1. Lonnie gig
My First ever concert. Lonnie Donegan at The Finsbury Park Empire 14th February 1958 by Paul Griggs is licensed under CC-BY

Paul Griggs has sent us in some amazing photos and ticket stubs from the time when Lonnie Donegan was the pop star just about every boy and girl idolised. His mum bought Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O’ in 1956 and he was hooked.

“In 1957 around the time of Lonnie’s next release, the number one hit ‘Putting on the Style/Gamblin Man’, I was in hospital with a serious kidney complaint”, Paul says. “When I got out of hospital I had several months off school and by now all I wanted to do was play the guitar and sing like Lonnie. I pestered my father for a guitar and he, being a woodworker by trade, decided to make me one.”

Paul’s dad made a washboard and a tea chest bass, too, and Paul set up a band called The Satellites. Here they are pictured below in the photo Paul has kindly shared with us – his younger brother Nigel, at just eight years old, is on the washboard, Paul is leading on the guitar, and schoolmate Colin is on the tea chest bass.

1. Satellites

“We called ourselves The Satellites which was a pretty cool name at the time as Russia had recently launched the first ever space satellite called ‘Sputnik 1’.”

Paul has just sent us this photo of him and his brother, still with the original instruments sixty years later…

1. Paul Griggs and brother
‘The Satellites Skiffle Group Reform 12th July 2015’ by Paul Griggs is licensed under CC-BY