Artist picture of The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio

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Be Bop a Lula / Personality / Ain't That a Shame / That'll Be the Day / Come Go with Me / Tom Dooley Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Gene Vincent, The Kingston Trio 05:24
Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio 03:16
Two-Ten, Six-Eighteen The Kingston Trio 02:55
Sing We Noel The Kingston Trio 02:03
Greenback Dollar The Kingston Trio 02:45
El Matador The Kingston Trio 02:29
They Call The Wind Maria The Kingston Trio 04:32
Dodi Lii The Kingston Trio 02:12
Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio 03:00
Santy Anno The Kingston Trio 02:17

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Formed in Palo Alto, California in 1957, the Kingston Trio pioneered and inspired the folk music revival in the late 1950s, changing the landscape of American popular music and inspiring a legion of groups to follow in their footsteps. Originally focused on playing nightclubs in the San Francisco Bay Area, the original line-up was comprised of high school friends Dave Guard (guitar, banjo, and vocals) and Bob Shane (guitar, banjo, and vocals) along with Shane’s college friend Nick Reynolds (guitar, percussion, and vocals). Influenced by folk and calypso music, the group had gone through several musical and line-up changes before finally settling on folk music and the name Kingston Trio. Discovered by publicist / manager Frank Werber, the three members were encouraged to rehearse for up to eight hours a day. This strategy worked and the group signed to Capitol Records, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1958. The album was a big success and reached Number 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The single “Tom Dooley” was also a success and sold more than six million copies. The single reached Number 1 on the singles chart and earned the Kingston Trio a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording. The group’s next album was a live release, …from the Hungry I (1959), which hit Number 2 on the charts. The trio then hit Number 1 with four albums in a row: At Large (1959), Here We Go Again! (1959), Sold Out (1960) and String Along (1960). Their popularity paved the way for many other folk groups including the New Christy Minstrels, the Brothers Four, the Cumberland Three, and Peter, Paul, and Mary among others. The new folk movement also enabled artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and other singer / songwriters to garner more attention and eventually achieve great commercial success. While the folk music boom continued to invade the charts, the Kingston Trio scored more hits like “Scotch and Soda” and “Worried Man.” However, tensions within the three members were so strong that Dave Guard left the group in 1961 and was immediately replaced by singer / songwriter John Stewart (from the Cumberland Three). The Kingston Trio continued to release Top 10 albums and were nearly as successful as their days with Dave Guard, but when the British Invasion arrived – more specifically the Beatles – in 1964, their popularity began to wane. By the late 1960s, the group had decided to pursue other interests and went on hiatus in 1967. Various versions of the group would come together and try to revive the group’s fortunes – including Bob Shane’s New Kinston Trio – but the group no longer had commercial pull and the many different formations of the group since the 1970s were back to playing small clubs again. As of 2021, there was a version of the Kingston Trio still performing live although the line-up included no original members. Although the group fell out of commercial failure in the late ‘60s and they’ve been largely overlooked in the history of rock music, their legacy continues with reissues of their original albums and many fine compilations including the excellent four CD set The Capitol Years (1995). Dave Guard passed away on March 22, 1991.John Stewart died on January 19, 2008. Nick Reynolds died on October 1, 2008. Bob Shane passed away on January 26, 2020.