Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bob Torrison Retrospective V The Music 4 The Kingston Trio

As we moved from dixieland to jazz and rock BobTorrison and I loved folk music. We moved from Leadbelly and Josh White to Bob Dylan and  Joan Baez via The Kingston Trio. The group included Dave Guard, Bob Shane and 
Nick Reynolds. They started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act. They had a huge impact   transforming folk music into a hot commodity and creating a demand—where none had existed before—for young men (sometimes with women) strumming acoustic guitars and banjos and singing folk songs and folk-like novelty songs in harmony. On a purely commercial level, from 1957 until 1963, the Kingston Trio were the most vital and popular folk group in the world.  In a 2001 Rolling Stone interview, Bob Dylan remembered: " I never really was an elitist. Personally, I liked the Kingston Trio. I could see the picture...the Kingston Trio were probably the best commercial group going, and they seemed to know what they were doing." Even some staunch traditionalists from both the urban and rural folk music communities had an affinity for the Kingstons' polished commercial versions of older songs. In her memoir And A Voice To Sing With, singer and activist Joan Baez recalled that "Traveling across the country with my mother and sisters, we heard the commercial songs of the budding folk boom for the first time, the Kingston Trio's 'Tom Dooley' and 'Scotch and Soda.' 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…"

Here is my original cover of their first album. When I spent the summer of 1960 in Honolulu "working"at St. Francis Hospital we were singing Kingston Trio songs on the beach in the evenings and later even one moonlit night hanging from the mast of John Nasse's sailboat drinking San Miguel.

And this is the original Sloop John B.

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