#617: Have A Drink On Me by Lonnie Donegan
Anthony James Donegan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1931. His dad was a violinist in the Glasgow-based Scottish National Orchestra. Donegan became a fan of swing jazz and country music as he grew. When he was fourteen he got his first guitar. In the late forties “Tony” Donegan had learned how to play the banjo. Bandleader Chris Barber heard Donegan and had him audition for his Trad Jazz band. Tony Donegan played with the Trad Jazz band for a few years until he was called up for National Service that included three months of military training. While in the National Service in Southampton, England, Donegan played drum in Ken Grinyer’s Wolverines Jazz Band. In 1952 he began the Tony Donegan Jazzband. On June 28, 1952, Donegan’s band opened a concert for Lonnie Johnson at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Johnson was an American jazz and blues singer and pioneer of jazz guitar and jazz violin. Tony Donegan decided to bill himself as Lonnie Donegan in tribute to Lonnie Johnson.