Since its publication in 2003 Leigh's book has received universal acclaim; it even received a whole page in the high brow political weekly The Spectator (6/12/03) in which Roy Kerridge wrote: 'This biography is definitive ... Leigh's style is deadpan and wry, full of quiet humour'. Country Music People editor Craig Baguley gave it a full page (3/O4), writing: 'The affection that Leigh shows for his subject shines through ... extremely detailed as to what went on at recordings and shows ... a cornucopia of interesting facts ... a hugely enjoyable read'. Another editor, Peter Doggett wrote in Record Collector (2/04): 'Leigh paints a portrait which is unashamedly honest, barbed, but always affectionate ... (his) entertaining and informative text is supported by fascinating period cuttings and photos from JOhn Firminger's remarkable collection'.
In Now Dig This (8/03) Keith Parkinson wrote: '(He) delivers facts in a breezy, non-academic manner. There are no signs of hero worship even through Leigh's respect for Donegan's musicianship is apparent throughout. When a Donegan recording is outstanding or a performance is notable we are told why it is highly rated. When Donegan loses the plot there is no cover up ...the appendices will please the anoraks ... There are a couple of other Donegan biographies in the works, but they will not be able to equal Spencer Leigh's documentation'.