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Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio

DigiTrad:
COPLAS
SCOTCH AND SODA
THEY'RE RIOTING IN AFRICA (THE MERRY MINUET)


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leeneia 03 Dec 23 - 10:23 PM
Thompson 28 Nov 23 - 02:56 AM
Pappy Fiddle 27 Nov 23 - 09:57 PM
The Og 15 Jul 23 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,paperback 14 Jul 23 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Jul 23 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 14 Jul 23 - 07:21 PM
Robert B. Waltz 14 Jul 23 - 06:08 PM
Lighter 14 Jul 23 - 04:02 PM
MaJoC the Filk 14 Jul 23 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,paperback 14 Jul 23 - 02:41 PM
meself 14 Jul 23 - 02:14 PM
Lighter 14 Jul 23 - 01:42 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jul 23 - 02:51 AM
PHJim 14 Jul 23 - 02:04 AM
Stringsinger 01 May 22 - 02:06 PM
John MacKenzie 01 May 22 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,D. Kingsley Hahn 01 May 22 - 09:55 AM
pdq 12 Feb 20 - 04:47 PM
EBarnacle 12 Feb 20 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 11 Feb 20 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,HiLo 11 Feb 20 - 09:35 AM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 20 - 10:07 PM
pdq 10 Feb 20 - 10:00 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 20 - 08:52 PM
PHJim 10 Feb 20 - 07:53 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 20 - 07:39 PM
leeneia 04 Feb 20 - 01:35 PM
Bonzo3legs 04 Feb 20 - 12:13 PM
PHJim 04 Feb 20 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,HiLo 04 Feb 20 - 09:35 AM
Tunesmith 04 Feb 20 - 06:03 AM
pdq 01 Feb 20 - 04:28 PM
GaryG 27 Jun 18 - 09:45 AM
The Sandman 26 Jun 18 - 01:56 PM
gillymor 25 Jun 18 - 09:14 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 25 Jun 18 - 07:27 AM
leeneia 24 Jun 18 - 08:24 PM
pdq 24 Jun 18 - 05:52 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 18 - 12:30 AM
leeneia 23 Jun 18 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Busker On A Budget 23 Jun 18 - 05:20 PM
keberoxu 23 Jun 18 - 12:34 PM
Vic Smith 23 Jun 18 - 11:20 AM
kendall 22 Jun 18 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 22 Jun 18 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,BikeCrone 22 Jun 18 - 03:46 PM
Les from Hull 06 Sep 10 - 06:45 PM
Stringsinger 06 Sep 10 - 10:41 AM
olddude 06 Sep 10 - 10:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 10:23 PM

Even well-fed white men have the right to play the music that touches their souls. It's part of the pursuit of happiness.

Me, I'm mixed Scottish, English and German, but I love the music of South America.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 02:56 AM

Mmm. I was half-watching some American film that happened to be passing on TV the other day. There was a blues band playing, putting their all into it, eyes squeezed shut, emoting like crazy. And they were all plumply well-fed white boys…


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Pappy Fiddle
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 09:57 PM

On the first post in this thread: very enlightening. The idea that they were a "corporate Folk group" makes a lot of sense.

I encountered the Kingston Trio when my brother came home from Stanford with an album. I loved their sound. They had great harmony. I was 7 or 8.

Now, listening, It seems clear to me that someone familiar with choir music, maybe barbershop, planned their numbers and they actually practiced.

It is an odd concept today, a small group of clean shaven, happy young guys who make excellent music and have no agenda or pharmaceutical entanglements.

When the Monkees appeared, I learned that they weren't a garage band or a few friends that somewho got together and did gigs. They were a corporate project: the Directors (during a game of golf I imagine) realized that with the Beatles there was this hearty gold mine and decided to direct some lackeys to go find some teenagers who could carry a tune and hold a guitar and sign 'em up. The concept was ~revolting~ to me.

But on reflection, the Kingston Trio could be thought of as a small choir. There's nothing wrong with somebody organizing a choir/orchestra and putting on concerts, charging for tickets, giving value for value, getting their peeps to learn numbers and attend practices. The peeps aren't the owners of the choir, and from my experience in choirs, have ~zero~ creative control. Still we love their music.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: The Og
Date: 15 Jul 23 - 01:19 PM

In response to DougR...

The Frontiersmen, my first and only venture into folk music, began as a trio that became “professional” (played for money) at The Gallery, a Niagara Falls, Ontario (we were from across the river/border in New York), coffeehouse, in let’s sa they fall of 1963. A guest group (we were the “house band”) from Buffalo, the Shari Vann Singers, I believe, asked us to substitute for them at their regular Sunday night gig on 9 February 1974.

Our first set, prior to the intermission, was well received with audience attention (not rapt, but close), willing participation, and enthusiastic applause. At a pre-arranged signal we closed out in time for the bartender to turn up the volume in time for The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. To our expectation - just a return to a Four Aces/Four Lads/Crew Cuts type group - with the performers providing the instrumentation themselves.

We were wrong! After intermission audience reception/participation/appreciation was vastly more subdued. I don’t think the “death” of folk music occurred that night but a nail was definitely hammered into a ready-made coffin.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 08:42 PM

Excuse me sir, just what is Critical Race Theory? I have no television to inform me and if I searched the World Wide Web I probably wouldn't be able or willing to discern all the, well you know what, so I'm happily clueless but since you brought it up. . .


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 07:26 PM

Re-Read this thread ...
    from the new view point of:
Critical Race Theory


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Azzi has a lovely 'coocoo jams' site.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 07:21 PM

An academic is just another consumer and too few will confess to that Karen Carpenter or The Archies purchase back in the day. Too, their calendars are usually off by a decade or three.

Pop music is a hundred and eleventeen lane, one-way expressway. Folk gets a bin in the record store but no statuette at the awards banquet. Harry Belafonte had the most commercial succe$$. Never was the day he wasn't bracketed in the charts by a younger and hipper Elvis and a younger and squarer Pat Boone.

Rock Around the Clock released in 1954 as mainstream Brill Building rock. The Brothers Four original Greenfields is the only folk offering on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1960. The other 99 are not a lot of rock and roll. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones will both launch as the same sort of cover bands... matching coifs, wardrobes and all... as the Kingston Trio et al.

If there is one thing to say about the change in 1970 Hot 100 chart it's the general rise of the singer-songwriter and modernist lyrics topping out with Simon & Garfunkle at #1…. And right behind at #2?… The Carpenters, still not rock n' roll or folk.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 06:08 PM

MaJoC the Filk wrote (quoting Stringsinger): > "What killed the popularity of folk songs were the academics." Anyone care to explain?

The same way that Eng Lit kills off poetry for most schoolchildren: Once a butterfly can be pinned down (for display or dissection), it's dead.

The flip side of that is, for me at least, I started from the music, and it was so interesting that it caused me to study it to grow closer to it. Most of it can be appreciated on its own, but it comes to mean more the more you learn about it.

So it does go both ways.

Of course, I was a natural academic who didn't know how to be an academic until traditional music came along. :-) And I agree that English Lit classes made it hard for me to appreciate English Lit. I shudder to think what I would have done if I (when I had to choose between pre-1700 literature and post-1700 literature), I'd chosen post-1700. :-)

Lighter wrote: And you never had to read an academic disquisition or hear a lecture before you put the Kingston Trio on the turntable or Peter Paul and Mary or A.L. Lloyd on the turntable.

I mostly agree about Kingston Trio (at least the things I've heard). But PP&M? In the Milt Okun years, maybe. But "Weep for Jamie"? "The Great Mandella"? Seems to me they need a lot more explanation than "Barbara Allen" or "John Henry." :-)


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 04:02 PM

And you never had to read an academic disquisition or hear a lecture before you put the Kingston Trio on the turntable or Peter Paul and Mary or A.L. Lloyd on the turntable.

Fact: once the novelty wore off, the college crowd that was folk's core audience moved on to rock, etc., which they found more entertaining.

Bonus: a big reason why so many kids are turned off by poetry is they've never learned to read it properly or encouraged to use their imaginations in unconventional ways.

I was once in a bookstore with a dad and his seven- or eight-year-old-son. The son wanted more than one kid's book, and dad said sternly, "If you read too much, you'll have to wear glasses for the rest of your life." The kid looked convinced.

I was told something similar, though not as directly. And damned if I don't wear glasses now!

Anyway, certain teachers aren't the sole culprits.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 02:59 PM

> "What killed the popularity of folk songs were the academics." Anyone
> care to explain?

The same way that Eng Lit kills off poetry for most schoolchildren: Once a butterfly can be pinned down (for display or dissection), it's dead.

.... Though in this case, methinks there may be a confusion between correlation and causation. The academics were there all along, both before and after; but the populace moved (or were moved) on to other newer diversions, and the ebbing of the folk revival left us old farts behind as flotsam on the shores of music. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to keep the tradition alive for future generations. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 02:41 PM

Meself, all the problems is Capitol Cities

Adam & Eve were the first folk (singers)
Then that educated Serpent fooled them
Then Cain slew Able then was sent away
To build a city & that Serpent's Academy


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: meself
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 02:14 PM

"What killed the popularity of folk songs were the academics." Anyone care to explain?


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 01:42 PM

These refer to poets whose works popular works supposedly give voice to their national culture:

Morning News (Chicago) (Nov. 25, 1884):

"Even in his own day [Heinrich Heine] was accepted as a folk-singer, and his rhymes found their way to the hearts of the people and the lips of the peasantry."

Sunday Inter-Ocean(Chicago) (July 19, 1896):

"Karl Michael Bellman is Sweden's national folk singer and poet, and lived during the time of...Gustavus III."

Figuratively applied to a famous composer:

Nome Daily Nugget (Dec. 7, 1907): "A Folk Singer of the North...Edvard Grieg."

But now we're getting modern:

Rock Island [Ill.] Argus (Sept. 12, 1908): "Her company consists of Rita Rich, a folks singer of all nations...." [Who presumably sang in an artsy style.]

Boston Morning Journal (Jan. 23, 1912): "Ten whirlwind dancers, musicians and folk singers from Russia.

New York Times (Dec. 2, 1917): "Cecil Sharp Publishes His Finds in the American South....His enthusiasm for his folk singers carries him far."


So as early as 1918 there wasn't much natural agreement on what a "folksinger" sang or how he sang it.

Now that's news! To me anyway.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 02:51 AM

Back in 2014, I took a folk music cruise around Hawaii with Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen. Daniel Boling and his wife were fellow passengers, and we hit it off. Shortly afterwards, Daniel joined The Limeliters, and he had to learn the entire repertoire of The Limeliters in a very short time, while keeping up on songwriting and solo gigs. I learned that the Limeliters revival group is managed together with revival groups of the Kingston Trio and the Brothers Four, and that they occasionally perform together as the Trifecta of Folk. And they're pretty good, maybe even better than the original three groups. As individuals, the current members of the three groups have better folk music credentials than the original members of the groups.
So, whatcha gonna say?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: PHJim
Date: 14 Jul 23 - 02:04 AM

I don't think anyone has mentioned the "Two Tones": Gordon Lightfoot on tenor guitar and Terry Whelan on baritone ukulele. This group was my first exposure to Gord Lightfoot at the 1962 Mariposa Folk Festival. I was not really impressed.



The Two Tones - Dark As A Dungeon


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 May 22 - 02:06 PM

This is obviosly a dated thread. Here's my take on the KT. No Pete, no KT.
No Pete, no Weavers. Pete could have been a pop star. But the pop folk star status
(the Folk Scare) started with Burl Ives. Then the Weavers.

The KT were sued over Tom Dooley. They popularized it more than      
Frank Warner or Frank Profitt. The hiccup was the hook. It would have remained
an obscure folk song. Now lots of people sing it. I believe the KT heard
the Folksay Trio do it. Erik Darling, Roger Sprung and Bob Cary recorded it for
Asch/Stinson. They put in the hiccup. IMHO the hiccup sold the song.

Some folk songs reached pop status in earlier times. Dixie was one.
Hoosen Johnny at the time of Lincoln was another. Jump Jim Crow.
Daniel Emmett was popular on the New York stage.

Popular songs and folk songs have an incestuous relationship.

Alan Lomax used to get mad at performers like Bud and Travis for popularizing
folk music and yet he endorsed the KT.

What killed the popularity of folk songs were the academics.

The kids said FU, rock and roll is more creative. That's what some academics do,
they destroy creativity.

Think about this, folk music is folk music because it is popular in some way, to some people.

Charlie Parker put it this way, "Don't call it jazz, call it music". Can the
same be said for the record bin title called "folk"?

Gotta' give credit to Mike Seeger, Ralph Rinsler, George Korson, Jean Ritchie
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Pete and Peggy, Alan and Bess Lomax, and others who
dedicated their lives to the popularity of folk music. Hell, no folk music or blues (which Is
folk music) no Beatles.

It may have been Carl Sandburg to coin the term "folksinger" like the German
term minnesinger


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 May 22 - 01:55 PM

Alan Arkin, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,D. Kingsley Hahn
Date: 01 May 22 - 09:55 AM

What always seems to be forgotten about the early Kingston Trio, is that they made a conscious decision to record songs that had been written by singers who had been blacklisted, thus providing a nice hefty royalties check to Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, and so on. While Pete was known to complain about the folk stylings of the KT, Lee Hayes responded by joking that the royalties from the Kingston Trio had "kept Pete in beans"!

And, while Pete may have been openly scornful of the KT, it did not stop him from assisting Dave Guard on several song arrangements.

I'm glad that mention had been made of The Easy Riders; but there seems to have been no mention yet of The Tarriers (with Alan Alda and Eric Darling), as well as The Gateway Singers (with Lou Gottlieb and Travis Edmondson). Both groups preceded The Kingston Trio, and were amongst the first pop music groups to feature an integrated ensemble.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: pdq
Date: 12 Feb 20 - 04:47 PM

Both Bernie Krause and Mudcats' own Frank Hamilton are former full members of the Weavers but not founding members.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Feb 20 - 03:36 PM

Although the Weavers are all deceased, I recommend The Work of the Weavers. The lead of the group was pretty much brought up around Pete and taught him. He follows well in the genre. Sorry, but I'm blocking on his name. His son performs with him, too.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 11 Feb 20 - 11:57 AM

Worth noting that the newer younger Kingston Trio,
while not the same individuals,
has some sort of authentic connection --
when Josh Reynolds, son of original member Nick Reynolds,
was in the group, there was a blood-relative connection.

Josh Reynolds has since left.
Of the three men currently known as the Kingston Trio,
one is a Hawaii native
and one was adopted by Nick Reynolds and raised with Josh Reynolds.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 11 Feb 20 - 09:35 AM

Also not mentioned, The Cumberland Three,John Stewarts original group. I felt that they were more talented than most of the others, except for The Limelighters. I don't think anyone mentioned The Chad Mitchell Trio, great political satire.
I do not think that anyone should tour under the name of any band if none of the original members are in it, it seems dishonest to me.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 20 - 10:07 PM

Thanks, pdq. I knew I had forgotten a few important groups. The Easy Riders were a high-quality group, led by the talent and intelligence of Terry Gilkyson, a legendary performer.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: pdq
Date: 10 Feb 20 - 10:00 PM

It looks like all founding members of the Brothers Four are still with us. One, in fact, is married to Loni Anderson.

The Highwaymen, not so lucky. Steve Butts and Steve Trott are still healthy. Trott went to Harvard, got law degree and was eventually appointed by Ronald Reagan to the infamous 9th Circuit of Appeals in California.

I really wish people would include both the Easy Riders and the Country Gentlemen in these discussions. The Easy Riders had a few of their songs covered by the Highwaymen and the Brothers Four. The Kingston Trio actually swiped a major portion of their early material from the Easy Riders.

The Gents, on the other hand, both sang and played circles around the competition.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 20 - 08:52 PM

Well, Wikipedia hasn't reported Alex Hassilev dead yet, but he retired from the group in 2006 and performs with the new members only occasionally. Lead tenor Glen Yarbrough left The Limeliters early on. Red Grammer and Rick Dougherty both held the tenor spot for a number of years, and I think I liked both of them more than I liked Yarbrough. Lou Gottlieb was the bass and "dirty old man" of the group. He was popular, but he made me feel uneasy. I was really impressed by Alex Hassilev, who seemed to be the brains of the group, and he was the longest-surviving member.

The original Brothers Four were Bob Flick, John Paine, Mike Kirkland, and Dick Foley, who met at the University of Washington, where they were members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in 1956 (hence the "Brothers" appellation). It appears that Bob Flick is still in the group.

The original members of the Kingston Trio were Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds, and Dave Guard. John Stewart replaced Dave Guard early on - all four are dead, but a new group of musicians licensed the name and trademark in 2017.

There's certainly a "business end" to all this - but I think the new iterations of the groups generally hire pretty good musicians.

I think my favorite of the "guy groups" of the 1950s-60s, was the Chad Mitchell Trio, who formed in 1959 when they were students and glee club members at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Mitchell left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Henry Deutschendorf, Jr., later known as John Denver. They did some very intelligent music, and lots of good political stuff.

Another "collegiate folk" group was The Highwaymen, best known for "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." This group sued the 1990 "supergroup" of the same name (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson), but they came to an amicable agreement and even performed on stage together.

I can think of one more of these "guy groups," The Journeymen, with John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, and Dick Weissman. Phillips went on to form The Mamas and the Papas, Scott McKenzie went on to be famous for "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", and Dick Weissman was the one who went on to become a true journeyman musician.

"Collegiate folk" is probably a pretty good name for the music performed by these groups. When you listen to ALL of them, it gets to be a bit too much. I confess that I have followed these groups all my days, and I've liked their music. It's singable stuff and it's fun....but yeah, fairly commercial.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Feb 20 - 07:53 PM

Joe's post got me wondering. I don't know about the Brothers Four, but The Kingston Trio and The Limelighters are completely different groups now. None of the original members are in these groups, in fact, the last I heard Alex Hasselev was the only member of either group still living and he'd be in his mid-nineties if he's still alive. Are these really "The Kingston Trio" and "The Limelighters"?

Might we see The Weavers join this tour, even though none of the original members are still with us?


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 07:39 PM

The Kingston Trio, Limeliters, and the Brothers Four are now doing a concert tour together. see here: https://www.mayoarts.org/shows/the-kingston-trio

An acquaintance of mine, Daniel Boling, was recently selected to be a member of The Limeliters, and he has been enjoying the experience. Daniel is a good songwriter in his own right, and built his reputation singing his own songs. No, he's not traditional, but he does good stuff. He's a former park ranger with an interest in history and ecology. He'll do fine.

No doubt, Rick Fielding would have done well as a member of any of these acts.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 01:35 PM

When I was junior-high age, my older brothers commandeered the radio and invariably tuned it to the top 40 station. I already had a classical bent (learned in church), and the top 40 station presented an irritating line-up of pop stars with nasal voices, gravelly voices, men trying to sing soprano, etc.

The Kingston Trio presented a welcome group of nice men singing pleasantly. Their selections had good tunes and were interesting. I still have the albums, and I still sing the tunes around the house.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 12:13 PM

I never liked them until the great Bill Zorn joined!!


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: PHJim
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 11:46 AM

I have been re-reading some bios and am now reading Joan Baez's book. She has much the same story as Rick Fielding wrote in the original post on this thread:

“Before I turned into a snob and learned to look down upon all commercial folk music as bastardized and unholy, I loved the Kingston Trio. When I became one of the leading practitioners of ‘pure folk,’ I still loved them.”


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 09:35 AM

John Stewart replaced, I believe, Dave Gard. Stewart was the best all round musician to have played in the KT. He was involved as singer and arranger for the now forgotten trio, The Cumberland Three, who Made Two Classic albums of Civil War songs. Stewart made a number of solo albums, one of which, "California Bloodlines, is an absolute treasure and contains the iconic song "Mother Country".


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Tunesmith
Date: 04 Feb 20 - 06:03 AM

Well, The Kingston Trio hardly caused a ripple in the UK mainly because British musicians covered their US hits. Think Lonnie Donegan. I have a soft spot for a lot of their recording; indeed, I would really love their Christmas album if it didn't have so much echo/reverb on it.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: pdq
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 04:28 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GaryG
Date: 27 Jun 18 - 09:45 AM

Tom Dooley (Dula) had been sung for years in Johnson County TN and Ashe County NC. That is where Frank Proffitt was from and where Tom was arrested. Grayson and Whitter recorded it in the late 20s. G B Grayson, the fiddle player, was a nephew of the farmer who ratted Tom out.

I realize the KT were competent musically, but it was clearly folk music packaged for the masses. The song that opened my eyes was Greenback Dollar. I had heard it on the radio by the KT and then I saw Hoyt Axton do it. Hoyt's version was raw and real and I was on my way.

Check out Hoyt's version of Asheville Junction. It was on the Greenback Dollar album.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jun 18 - 01:56 PM

they popularised wher have all the flowers gone surely that was a good thing


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: gillymor
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 09:14 AM

They were definitely a gateway drug for me leading to Woody, Pete, Leadelly, the Carter Family etc. and on to folk and traditional music from all over. When I was a kid I remember my Dad singing "It Takes a Worried Man" whenever we'd do a project around the house.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 07:27 AM

I loved the Kingston Trio as a kid, which was when they were in their heyday. Commercialized "folk" was the first thing I came into contact with in that genre, being a middle-class child growing up in a medium-sized California city. So the sanitized radio versions served as an introduction and led me to pursue it, buy records, check albums out of the library (a great way to explore) etc, and then try playing and singing it myself. Pretty soon I came into contact with the real thing, and never looked back.

Similar thing happened with Irish music - sentimental tenors and paddywhackin' shamrockery were all I heard on the airwaves, but I liked the bounce and lilt of the tunes and the cadences of the songs. This led me to search for purer forms, and eventually I found myself living in real Ireland, surrounded by musical riches. So it goes.

For these reasons, commercially popular artists like the Kingston Trio will always have a place in my heart.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Jun 18 - 08:24 PM

Thanks, pdq. It's a good song to sing when you feel sad.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: pdq
Date: 24 Jun 18 - 05:52 AM

"It's only been a year or so, but it seems so long ago.
I packed up my bag and left my home."


It's called "The Wanderer" and is from "Here We Go Again".


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 18 - 12:30 AM

I really liked the Kingston Trio during my teenage years. They added machismo to folk music - and for me as a teenage boy, that was pretty good.
I went to one of their concerts about 15 years ago, and they seemed like a bunch of old farts telling dirty jokes. Bob Shane was the only one left from the original group.

It was disappointing.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 09:28 PM

I was a Kingston Trio fan. Their music was such a welcome change from singers on the Top 40 station. Those singers whined, croaked or whinged, but the Trio sang in tune, sang like men, and blended together. And each album offered variety.

I still sing Kingston Trio songs in the car or around the house:

Buddy Better Get on Down the Line
Darlin Corey
Who's Gonna Hold Her Hand?
Colorado Trail
Tell Old Bill

There was a blues song that Nick Reynolds sang which I still sing today. I don't know the title of it, but it begins like this:

It's only been a year or so, but it seems so long ago.
I packed up my bag and left my home.
Been from Fresno to Maine,
even worked a boat in Spain.
I ain't ever had a bed to call my own.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,Busker On A Budget
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:20 PM

I'd first heard the KT from my father's record collection - PP&M, KT, Chad Mitchell Trio, etc.

To his credit, he also had the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

I can still say I'd rather listen to almost any of those records than the vast majority of what is manufactured for commercial radio, or has been for 40 years or so.

At least most of what they were singing was nominally tradition-oriented.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 12:34 PM

The Kingston Trio figured in the record collections of my parents,
who went to university in the 1950's.
The album I particularly recall is
"The Kingston Trio Sold Out,"
which today is quite the double entendre;
that nuance was lost on me as a small child.

The cover shows a big old concert poster for the KT,
the words Sold Out have been stamped on the poster,
the poster is plastered on a brick wall,
and in front of the brick wall is a ladder
on which a handywoman in cropped trousers is gazing dreamily
at the poster, as though she has a crush
on the three strapping young men photographed there. Ick.

What REALLY made my ears perk up, listening to the album,
were the two songs from TONGA, of all places.
These are sung with guitar, acoustic double-bass, and bongo drum.
And the fellows belt out that Tongan/Polynesian language,
sounding hilariously North American Macho about the whole thing.
Those performances are hard-wired into my brain,
if only because they made me laugh.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 11:20 AM

More than 100 posts in this thread about the Kingston Trio and many mentions for their great hit, "Tom Dooley" but, very surprisingly, only one mention of the man they learned the song from, the great song collector, Frank Warner, and shockingly no mention at all for Frank Proffitt who was person that Warner collected it from. And yet, to these ears, Frank Proffitt's version has everything that the smoothly saccharine treatment that the Kingston's take lacks - involvement with the ballad, authenticity and commitment and many other qualities.

I used to be involved in the technical and presentation side of the multi-media show that Frank Warner's son Jeff used to present all over the UK. In this show, From the Mountains to the Sea, Jeff related some stories that his father had told him about Frank Proffitt showing his droll delivery with a deadpan face. Here's my favourite:-
Warner took Proffitt to one of the early Newport Folk Festivals. The mountain man had heard very few singers outside his own community and he was fascinated by what he heard. One of the things that really caught his attention was the 100mph banjo-picking of Earl Scruggs.
"I wish I could play the banjer as fast as that...." said one Frank to the other, "and then not do so!"


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: kendall
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 07:46 PM

I liked the KT when they first came out, but I never thought of them as my kind of folk music. I still have some of their records, and on rare urges I play them. They are no better than they were then, but at least they dragged up something to take me away from Beryl Ives, and some of the noise that passes for folk music now.

Have you heard Larry Kaplan? his new cd is titled "True enough". This artist is the essence of a folk singer.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 05:46 PM

I heard the KT after I had met Jeannie Robertson and Jimmy McBeath, heard albums by Leadbelly and Washboard Sam and McCol and Lloyd and so much more. The Trio were to me excellent and
nteresting in what they did. Another way of working from the tradition. Ewan


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: GUEST,BikeCrone
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 03:46 PM

Dave Guard left the original Kingston Trio over musical differences. He wanted their music to become more "authentic"; Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane were happy with the sound they had.

Guard then formed the Whiskey Hill Singers, who had more idiosyncratic voices and a slightly Appalachian sound. I recall a rousing sea chanty, but I don't think they lasted very long.

What I have come to appreciate about the Kingston Trio is that their slightly ersatz folk was mixed with "songs" based on early music, including Riu Riu Chiu and the Coventry Carol. They were also pretty funny in their music and their patter.

When I was working on nuclear war issues in the 1980's, my colleagues
were thrilled by The Merry Minuet.

There is worse music to carry around in your head for 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Les from Hull
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:45 PM

Yes, interesting years ago but I wouldn't want to listen now. Coming from a city named Kingston (Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England) I always wondered how they got their name. I think they just thought it sounded right. Perhaps Maggie and I should be calling ourselves 'The Kingston Duo'.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 10:41 AM

They took what they sold from the Weavers. No Pete, no Dave Guard.
They apparently were good entertainers and created a big audience but no, not
for folk music, but for KT music. Folk music was something else and still is.

I never liked "Scotch and Soda" because it seemed like an ersatz popular song of the early Fifties. it was kinda' "wasting away in Margharitaville".

I haven't revised my opinion of the Trio although you can't deny that they entertained many people and made them happy. Just like Walt Disney.


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Subject: RE: Revisionist opinion on the Kingston Trio
From: olddude
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 10:30 AM

I saw them on Ed Sullivan as a Kid, they got me hooked, along with others like the "brothers four" ... yes same as most, then I discovered the real stuff and didn't pay much attention to them but for that I thank them.

Always loved PPM always will ... never really regarded them as folk (I know I know here comes the war) but just a great pop group with their own sound.


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