Sunday, May 25, 2008

by MJF #15

The Kingston Trio "All-Time Greatest Hits"
Quality: VBR 183-212

The Kingston Trio was formed in 1957 in the Palo Alto, California, area by Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds, who were just out of college.
Greatly influenced by The Weavers, the calypso sounds of Harry Belafonte, and
other folk artists such as the Gateway Singers and the Tarriers, they were discovered playing at a Menlo College-area club, the Cracked Pot, by Frank Werber, a publicist then working
at San Francisco's hungry i nightclub. He became their manager, and secured them a one-shot recording contract with Capitol Records.
Shane would later tell concert audiences that the group considered itself at first to be primarily a calypso group, and therefore named itself after the capital of Jamaica.

The group's first hit was a catchy rendition of a traditional folk song, "Tom Dooley", based upon the life of the tragic figure, Tom Dula; it earned a gold record in 1958.
It was so popular that it entered popular culture as a catchphrase: Ella Fitzgerald, for example, parodies it during her recorded version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".
It won the trio the first Grammy award for Best Country & Western Performance, at the awards inaugural ceremony in 1959. The next year, the group won the first Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording for the album The Kingston Trio at Large.

At one point in the early 1960s The Kingston Trio had four albums at the same time among the Top 10 selling albums, a record unmatched for nearly 40 years.
In spite of this, they had a relatively small number of hit singles.

The group's music was simple and accessible, with much use of tight vocal harmony, signature riffs (often played on the banjo), and repetitive choruses.
Capitol producer Voyle Gilmore enhanced their vocal sound with reverb and the relatively
new process of doubletracking, in which the performers sang along with their own
prerecorded part to produce a stronger sound than with a single voice, in part due to a natural gap of a fraction of a second between the original recording and the overdubbed part.
At first, pairs of tape recorders were used, then later multitrack recording machines, to produce the effect.

Several of the group's most popular songs were humorous numbers, such as "Tijuana Jail", the tale of an ill-fated trip to Mexico, and "M.T.A.", the saga of a man who "never returned" from the Boston subway system. A concert favorite was the darkly humorous "Merry Minuet",
a tuneful meditation on the prospect of nuclear war.

1. Tom Dooley
2. Lemon Tree
3. Turn Around
4. The Wreck of the John B
5. Wimoweh
6. The Patriot Game
7. Hard, Ain't it Hard
8. This Land is Your Land
9. Raspberries, Strawberries
10. Seasons in the Sun
11. They Call the Wind Maria
12. Scotch and Soda

1. The Tijuana Jail
2. Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
3. Reuben James
4. Scarlet Ribbons
5. The Reverend Mr. Black
6. Zombie Jamboree
7. Try To Remember
8. Greenback Dollar
9. It Was a Very Good Year
10. 500 Miles
11. This Little Light
12. Bad Man's Blunder

1. A Worried Man
2. Across The Wide Missouri
3. Desert Pete
4. Hard Travelin'
5. The River Is Wide
6. Everglades
7. M.T.A.
8. You Don't Knock
9. Blowin' In The Wind
10. Ally Ally Oxen Free
11. South Coast
12. EL Matador



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply BoMbAsTiC FaNtAsTiC!
THANX so much !

25 May, 2008 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This brings back great memories, tooling around in my old Dodge with "Once Upon a Time" playing in the 8-track deck. It was maybe half a dozen years after that album had been recorded at the Sierra Tahoe.

I miss the banter between the songs, though. Hmmm, I see "Once Upon a Time" is still available on CD. The old Dodge is long gone and so is 8-track but ...

OK, I just placed the order.

Lizardson, a million thanks for reminding me of how much fun these guys were. Serious? Hell no, but who cares? Man cannot live on Dylan alone. ;-)

26 May, 2008 15:01  

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