Social media stars sail away with sea shanty record deals

London (AP) — The long forgotten sea shanty has been enjoying a renaissance on social media and is now moving into popular music with two U.K. artists landing record deals, following their online performances. Scottish postman Nathan Evans and Bristol folk band The Longest Johns signed record deals last week. Evans even had a No.1 record in the U.K. with his recording of “Wellerman,” which he originally performed on TikTok. Sea shanties were work songs developed on 19th century sailing vessels. They have a call-and-response structure so sailors could sing in unison while performing physically demanding tasks. and Professor Gerry Smyth, author of “Sailor Song: The Shanties & Ballads of the High Seas” points out that chart-topping single “Wellerman” isn’t technically one.