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Kingston Trio to perform at Rockefeller Arts Center
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kingston Trio 2007
The Kingston Trio, from left, Bill Zorn, George Grove and Rick Dougherty, will perform in concert on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m., in King Concert Hall. It will be a DFT Communications Pops Series event as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

They’ve created a sound and style that has captivated music lovers for half a century. Now, The Kingston Trio will bring their catalogue of American folk music classics to the State University of New York at Fredonia for a special one-night-only holiday concert.

“Christmas with The Kingston Trio” is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. in King Concert Hall at Rockefeller Arts Center. The concert is a DFT Communications Pops Series event and is part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

It was 1957 when The Kingston Trio emerged from San Francisco’s North Beach club scene. The trio was formed in the Palo Alto, Calif., area by Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds. They were discovered playing at a club called the Cracked Pot in northern California and secured a recording deal.

With a sound characterized by acoustic guitars, banjos and simple yet memorable vocal melodies, the group revolutionized popular music, reawakening America to its own rich folk music heritage.

The Kingston Trio scored its first hit single with “Tom Dooley,” a rendition of an old-time folk song based upon the life of the tragic figure Tom Dula. The song quickly soared to number one on the singles charts. The recording went gold in 1958 and earned The Kingston Trio its first Grammy in 1959. Another Grammy followed in 1960 for the album “The Kingston Trio at Large.”

Milton Berle, Perry Como, Dinah Shore and Patti Page all signed the trio to appear on their shows and in the next four years, The Kingston Trio recorded 10 albums. As their career took off, the group created a catalogue of memorable songs including “This Land is Your Land” and “Wreck of the John B.”

Some of The Kingston Trio’s most popular songs are humorous numbers, such as “Tijuana Jail,” which chronicles a trip to Mexico gone awry, and “Charlie and the MTA,” which tells of a traveler who is lost in the Boston subway system, never to return. However, the group was not afraid to tackle socially conscious issues. Among the concert favorites at one time was “Merry Minuet,” a song which ponders the prospect of nuclear war.

At one time, The Kingston Trio was the number one vocal group in the world, with record sales and concert draws that were matched only by The Beatles. In the early 1960s, the group had four albums in the list of top-10 selling records at one time. Along the way, the trio added a popular Christmas album, “the last month of the year,” to its catalogue.

While the lineup has changed with time, the appeal of The Kingston Trio is as strong as ever. The group continues to tour 30 weeks a year.

“There is a tremendous demand for our type of acoustic music, and not just from those who remember The Kingston Trio,” said founding member Bob Shane, who retired from the road after a heart attack in 2004. “All people want is for us to sing a song, tell a story and make it good.”

Tickets for the reserved seating concert are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center. The ticket office can be reached by phone at 673-3501 or toll free at 1-866-441-4928. Tickets may also be purchased online at

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