February 12, 2011

Kingston Trio circa 1961 - or, The John Stewart Years as it came to be known.

Dipping into some early 60's vintage Americana this weekend with the legendary Kingston Trio, recorded live at The Hollywood Bowl during the Summer of 1961. This was the first Hollywood Bowl appearance of the new Trio lineup, with John Stewart having joined after the exit of founding member Dave Guard in April of that year. It's interesting because I ran sometime back a Hollywood Bowl concert featuring Dave Guard's Whiskey Hill Singers, which was the Hollywood Bowl debut of that band also in 1961. I also ran the first part of this concert a few weeks ago as part of Newstalgia Downbeat as it featured opening acts The Dave Brubeck Quartet along with Keely Smith (also making her Hollywood Bowl solo debut).

This is solidly in that period of time when Folk music had taken on massive popular appeal and many groups made the crossover from strictly Folk music to a sort of Folk/Pop hybrid that would eventually morph into Folk/Rock some years later.

The popularity of the Folk genre would fade over time, particularly at the onset of The British Invasion in 1964. But elements were rescued when Folk/Rock emerged with a whole different set of practitioners. But just about every one of them took their nod from The Kingston Trio.

So here they are with the complete set as it was recorded - never available commercially or even thought to have existed. Rescued from the dumpster a couple of decades ago, and preserved to let you know what it actually sounded like.

It's 1961 all over again - at least for the next hour.


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