Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Kingston Trio Story - Wherever We May Go|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
In 1958 three young men known as The Kingston Trio recorded a simple folk tune called "Tom Dooley." In less than a year, they were major stars with the best-selling album in the country. The Kingston Trio Story: Wherever W... more »
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Great Musical History of the Trio
H. Silver | Park Forest, IL | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this on PBS (interrupted by all their pledge drives). With this DVD, you can watch it straight through, start to finish. It transported me back 45+ years when I first heard the Trio as a young man. It has brief interviews with Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds (who, sadly, seems to have had a stroke), John Stewart, and others, interspersed between many vintage clips of their classic songs (and a few 7-Up commercials). There many songs with the Guard Trio, some discussion of the break-up, songs with the Stewart Trio, plus some songs with Shane's latter-day Trios, plus songs from the 1981 Reunion. Most of the clips seem to be from old TV shows (e.g., Andy Williams) of the day.
The songs sound great, and the brief interviews gave very interesting insights into what they were going through behind the scenes. The DVD also contains some extra interviews, comments/history on some of the songs (e.g., Bob Shane joking about how Hollywood had made a bad film version of "Tom Dooley" with Michael Landon -- the hokey movie trailer is included), and much more. A must for every Trio diehard."
First rate documentary on an underated musical giant
Robert G. Daugherty | Los Angeles, CA | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's about time "The Kingston Trio" got the attention and respect that they deserve. Not only were they aruguably the most influential act in musical history, they were also one of the most successful. At one point, the group had 4 albums in the Top Ten simultaneously, a feat that even The Beatles failed to accomplish. In addition to being a great album band, they were a great singles band as well. "Tom Dooley", "MTA", "Greenback Dollar", "Tijuana Jail", "A Worried Man" and countless others were MONSTER sellers.
I feel that their place in musical history has been ill-served by their record company, Capitol Records, a company that was arguably built on the success of the Kingston Trio. The company is as "corporate" as they come. They have no sense of music history. They are only interested in what can make them a ton of money in the here and now.
The Beatles catalogue is a case in point. They have refused to remaster the UK catalogue and give Beatles fans their first four albums in Stereo. I guess that project would not be "commercial" enough for their tastes.
Similarly, they have only released the first two Trio albums as a "TwoFer", further denigrating this band's status as the world-beating ground-breakers that they were. The only reason we have the Trio's albums are on CD is that Collector's Choice and Bear Familiy licensed them from Capitol!
The label that made so much money on The Kingston Trio in the late 50's and early 60's won't even release their albums on CD! The company clearly has no understanding of musical history and pays no respect to its stellar roster of artists. If they can't treat The Beatles with respect, how can we expect them to treat the Kingston Trio with respect?
At any rate, the whole British Invasion folk/rock thing was caused by the folk boom started by the Kingston Trio in the late fifties. After all, the Beatles were originally a "skiffle" band--skiffle bands turned up all over England in the wake of the American folk boom.
When the Americans responded to the "British Invasion", the first responders were all folk artists influenced by the Kingston Trio. The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas, Lovin' Spoonful, Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were all transplanted "folkies", born and bred in the musical millieu created by the Kingston Trio.
And, of course, Bob Dylan. He, too, followed in the Trio's footsteps. He cites them directly in his autobiography. Groups popped up all over the place emulating the Kingston Trio, much as British bands popped up to in England to capitalize on the Beatles success. Peter, Paul and Mary, Ian and Sylvia, The New Christy Minstrels (with Barry McGuire and Gene Clark), the Chad Mitchell Trio (with John Denver and Roger McGuinn), the Journeymen (with John Phillips) all owe their careers to the Kingston Trio.
Even folkies Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were influenced by the Trio. They are even cited on the "Buffalo Springfield Again" as musical influences and prime movers.
And, as the documentary points out, even the Beach Boys were heavily influenced by the Kingstons.
The Kingston Trio also introduced a ton of classics that have now become part of our musical vernacular. Songs such as "Wimoweh" (better known as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), "The First Time" (made famous by Roberta Flack), "It Was a Very Good Year" (Frank Sinatra), "Sloop John B" (the Beach Boys) "Shady Grove ("Quicksilver Messenger Service") and many others were introduced to the American public by the Trio.
So, the legacy of the Kingston Trio has sadly been grossly neglected by the music industry that owes them so much. This documentary is a welcome addition to any music lovers collection but it will do little to change this perception.
In my view, the Trio is the "missing link" between the musical progression from Elvis to the Beatles. If Capitol Records had not been their label, I believe the Kingston Trio would be regarded as highly as those other two musical giants, as they surely deserve to be."
Georgia Pat | Atlanta | 12/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was devastated to have missed this on my local PBS station. I promptly ordered it and have watched it twice since it arrived yesterday. This music is woven through so many of my memories of the 50's, 60's and 70's (when I was fortunate enough to see Bob Shane and the New Kingston Trio a couple of times). We were big fans of the Smothers Brothers' music, and I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to live and work in San Francisco in those days.
It's absolutely worth it to own the DVD. I'm a little disappointed that it didn't include "The Merry Minuet," but it's full and rich and a "must have" for Kingston Trio fans.
Bob Shane is still hot."
Less Than I'd Hoped For
J. F. Thompson | Glendale, CA USA | 03/02/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When you're doing a piece on an iconic band like the Kingston Trio, I think there's a responsibility to tell the whole story. This DVD doesn't, unfortunately. That's why I give it just three stars.
We get a lot of material from founding Kinston Trio member Nick Reynolds and from his son; we hear from former hiree John Stewart; we also hear a lot from founding member Bob Shane. But we hear nothing at all from members of the late Dave Guard's family, or from anyone else who might represent his part of the story. That's terribly unfortunate, and here's why.
What this DVD fails to recognize is that the Trio was Guard's band, born out of a prior group called Dave Guard and the Calipsonians, and that with his departure, it went into stasis, and then decline. That's because of the huge impact Guard's leadership had on the band. It's also because of the enormous influence of David "Buck" Wheat, the band's bass player, who left the band with Guard. This DVD makes a big deal out of calling manager Frank Werber the fourth member of the trio. I think that's a distortion. One can argue, perhaps more forcefully, that it was Buck Wheat who was the fourth member. That's where, for instance, some of the modern harmonies the Trio used came from.
More telling is that the reasons for Guard's departure from the Trio are ignored in this DVD. I think the story tellers had a responsibility to tell the whole story. The reasons for his departure were several - he wanted tighter, more studious musicianship, to be sure, while Shane and Reynolds apparently resisted that; but there also was a controversy over whether royalty monies had been misappropriated. So when, in the DVD, Shane recounts a meeting in which Guard tells the others that certain things have to be fixed or he'll leave, I'd imagine that these two things were, at least in part, what he was talking about. This DVD presented an opportunity to reveal what was really going on behind the scenes. It failed, unfortunately, in spite of the fact that Shane repeatedly refers to bad blood between he and Guard. What bad blood? Why? Why did it continue even until the reunion concert? The film makers apparently put their curiosities on hold when it came to exploring these questions.
Additionally, an ensemble called "The Kingston Trio" is still touring, something made clear by this DVD. It would have been nice to have heard from some of them - banjoist George Grove, especially, on if, why and how the current group is maintaining the original group's legacy.
So what we have here is a failure of journalism. It's a fanzine, not a studied look at this great ensemble. It's got some nice musical footage, but is light on some important things. And that's too bad. I put the thing on last night and, as a long-time rabid fan, really wanted to completely enjoy it. Its flaws preclude that, unfortunately. I'm waiting for somebody to do this right.