Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour
Lonnie Donegan, born Anthony James Donegan on 29th April 1931, is known as the ‘King of Skiffle’. He is considered the first real British pop superstar. His first track, 'Rock Island Line' attained international fame in 1956 and crossed sales of 3 million copies, giving Donegan his first gold disc and was a Top 10 hit in the UK and the US.
Lonnie launched a somewhat craze, which resulted in the emergence of more than 50,000 skiffle groups in United Kingdom alone. For more than six years every single he released entered the Top 10. He chalked up 24 successive Top 30 hits and was the first British male to score 2 US Top 10s. His next single, 'Diggin’ My Potatoes' was banned by the BBC for its suggestive lyrics but gave Donegan a slight veneer of rebelliousness. His next single, 'Lost John' reached No.2 in the UK charts.
His other successes include, 'Gamblin’ Man', 'Puttin’ On The Style', 'Cumberland Gap' and 'Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Over Night)', which was one of his 2 US hits. He continued appearing in the charts until 1962 when he succumbed to the arrival of The Beatles and beat music.
He spent a decade as a record producer at Pye Records. 1997 saw Lonegan presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ivor Novello Awards, where he sang with long time fan, Van Morrison.
Donegan died in November 2002, aged 71, after suffering a heart attack midway through a UK tour. Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler released a tribute song to Donegan entitled “Donegan’s Gone”.
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