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The Sound Of The Kingston Trio

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Album Review

The first-ever compilation of the Kingston Trio's work, issued as part of Capitol's Starline series, was also one of the better of numerous assemblies of their hits and notable songs that have appeared across the decades. Originally a 12-song LP (but reissued as a ten-song platter in 1980), the content ranges across the group's history, not in strict chronological order but encompassing the highlights of both the original trio (Dave Guard/Nick Reynolds/Bob Shane) and the second lineup (with John Stewart replacing Guard). Starting with "Tom Dooley," the material takes us right up to "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" — which was sort of a re-establishing hit for the group early in 1962 — and even finds room for the group original "Take Her Out of Pity." The latter wasn't a hit single, but was an immensely popular song among younger listeners at summer camps, and its presence here demonstrates just how thoroughly the trio had woven itself into American popular culture — and how prepared Capitol Records was to embrace this side of their appeal — by 1962. What's here may not be as loud as some of the rock & roll that more people remember from the years 1958-1962, but it tells us just as much about what was on the mind of white, middle-class America in that era. And it's still great listening and a fine introduction to the group, beautifully understated where it needs to be and boisterous and fun at the right moments. And it wouldn't have made a bad CD, either.


Formed: 1956 in Palo Alto, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

In the history of popular music, there are a relative handful of performers who have redefined the content of the music at critical points in history -- people whose music left the landscape, and definition of popular music, altered completely. The Kingston Trio were one such group, 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...
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The Sound Of The Kingston Trio, The Kingston Trio
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