The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172901   Message #4192223
Posted By: Joe Offer
23-Nov-23 - 02:12 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Coast of California (Kingston Trio)
Subject: RE: Origins: Coast of California
Hi, Pappy -

The YouTube recording has good notes which contend that the song is fictitious, and I'd tend to agree:

Here are the liner notes (click) from the album Goin' Places (1961): "COAST OF CALIFORNIA There's a strong Spanish flavor to this dark and moody ballad which tells a tale of adventure, piracy, and hidden gold. As students of early California history will agree, the story has a strong factual basis."

I think of this song along with South Coast, which has a similar feel to it. I've always loved the area inland from the Central Coast of California, and these are two of many songs that remind me of this Steinbeckian location - Another is Kate Wolf's "Pacheco/Redtail Hawk."

Whatever the case, there's not much history in either "Coast of California" or "South Coast," but they're great songs and they convey the mystery of this area to me. I was there just a few weeks ago, visiting Mission San Antonio de Padua on the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation - once the property of William Randolph Hearst.