Why Britain Rocked – Elizabeth Sharkey

Why Britain Rocked: How Rock Became Roll and Took Over the World by Elizabeth Sharkey travels deep into Britain’s history to trace the events that led to its twentieth century musical explosion.
Completely rewriting the history of British pop music, Why Britain Rocked argues that The Beatles’ arrival that so surprised the world really shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.

From the Celts and the Quakers, to Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson, Why Britain Rocked breaks out of British pop history’s twentieth century confines. Instead, Sharkey starts the story in Celtic Britain and follows the migration of the peoples who carried their music from the British Isles to the southern states, laying the foundations of America’s folk music and
ultimately, rock n’ roll.

Back on British shores, Sharkey reveals how Henry VIII ensured Britain’s art colleges became feeder schools for Top of the Pops; she identifies the Celtic inheritance of superstars from Lonnie Donegan and The Beatles, to David Bowie, John Lydon, Kate Bush, Johnny Marr, Noel Gallagher and Ed Sheeran; and completes the story with the enduring power of British balladry and the Marxists, who liberated the voices of England’s working
class, inspiring a revolution of British singer songwriters.

About Elizabeth Sharkey

Elizabeth Sharkey is an actress and voice over artist who grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, first discovering music at the age of five when she secretly played her father’s jazz records.
But it was on first hearing The Beatles’ ‘Something’ around the same age that she was hooked. This book is a love story, not just for British pop, but for her father, for it was through his love of music that she began her own.

“This book will lovingly hold your hand as it takes you through the sociological history of our islands and their music, accompanied by an absolutely banging playlist and an extensive online archive that accompanies every chapter” Eliza Carthy

“It’s certainly a new spin on the age-old origins of British rock and roll and with such an erudite book as this one, it will be interesting to see where Elizabeth Sharkey goes next. For now ‘Why Britain Rocked’ should be on every music fans literary radar. Prepare to be enlightened.” Louderthanwar

‘”An unexpected treasure trove of exploration, academic rigour and a welcome, bold attempt at re-framing the history of British pop music’” Classic Rock

Running Time – Approx 90 mins including Q&A

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25 09


8:00 pm



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