I was never a fan of the Kingston Trio. I knew who they were, of course, but I never owned any of their records or went out of my way to listen to them. Until I left home in the mid-60’s the extent of my music listening was hard-core country. When I did leave home I was more into the emerging groups like Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, Ian and Sylvia and solo acts like Dylan and Lightfoot and Tom Paxton. And, being the mid-60’s, there was also the psychedelics like the Airplane and Hendrix and the bad boys like the Stones. And there was always the Beatles. The Kingston Trio were never on my radar screen.
In July of 1969, I heard my first song by John Stewart. THEN I listened to the Trio to see what I had missed. I still wasn’t convinced. I didn’t know enough about music to know that the harmonies were staggering and I wasn’t quite quick-witted enough to pick up on the humor. (I thought I was but I really wasn’t). But I knew that the music was good and the connection with Stewart made me listen to their old songs. And I found that I liked it a little more every time I listened.
So, in 2001, January in Alexandria, Virginia, the Birchmere and the WFMA Tribute to John. On stage was the Trio. Bob Shane, the Man of a Million Strums, and twice as many jokes, and a voice that was the best in folk or most other kinds of music. George Grove, a master banjo player and Bobby Haworth who added harmonies to Bob and George’s strong voices.Here they are doing a song written by John Stewart and John Phillips.