George Harrison once observed,
"If there was no Lead Belly, there would have been no Lonnie Donegan; no Lonnie Donegan, no Beatles. Therefore no Lead Belly, no Beatles.”
For those who don't know Lonnie Donegan -- he was a British musician who, as a side project, started performing American folk music, which started the Skiffle movement. He was hugely successful for a time and influenced a host of young teenagers in England to put together bands. Often they were poor and played homemade instruments. This is how the Quarrymen got started, with John Lennon at the helm, and the Quarrymen evolved into The Beatles.
Lead Belly also influenced Bob Dylan.