Images--from far and wide--of the great people who are the fans of The Kingston Trio
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I have attached 2 photos of thr Trio, made in either late 1960 or early 1961 (prior to Dave Guard's departure). The unsigned photo is the original made with a Brownie Hawkeye camera. The enlargement which is signed, was sent to an address I got from a fan club, requesting it be autographed. I really never thought I would see it again. A few weeks later I received the photo back with autographs. The photo was made backstage at Twitchell Auditorium at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, following a concert at that venue. Some of us were allowed to come backstage after the show and the guys were just playing around. I asked to take a photo, and this is the pose they did for me. About 1975, I saw the "new" Kingston Trio at Joe Namath's Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, and I showed the photo to Bob Shane, who autographed it again (at the top "Bob Shane 15 years later"). In 2000, I showed the photo to George Grove during a concert at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and he said that he did not have any actual photos of Dave Guard and asked if I would send him a copy of the photo, which I did.
Tom McGoodwin & Max Schwartz, 2005
Max Schwartz relates the story behind his friend, Tom McGoodwin's photo: "Tom's idea of framing the LIFE cover featuring the Trio began at least 25 years ago, and finally became a reality a few weeks ago.
The frame is made from wood that was stacked up beside Tom's grandparent's barn at a farm in Bowling Green , KY. The only problem was that after he hatched this idea, and began to seriously think about carrying it out, his grandmother had died and the farm was sold. Tom tells that, late one night, he snuck back on the farm to obtain the wood and almost got caught by the new owner. That was in the early 1980s. The wood has been sitting ever since at various places where Tom has lived. Tom's plan was to make 3 of these framed editions. One for him, one for his brother, and one for me. He got 2 copies of the magazine fairly easily, but it took him years to get around to finding a 3 rd . Someone told him about a guy who could get all kinds of old magazines, and Tom tracked him down, told him what he wanted, and the next day, the guy handed Tom a copy of the magazine. Tom says the magazine was in excellent condition, except on Nick's forehead there was a rubber stamp imprint that said “****** Public Library.” (The name of the library has been deleted to protect the guilty; however, this is the copy that Tom is keeping for himself.)
The next part of the saga entails Tom's getting all the copies autographed. Dave and Nick were the first to sign them and this took place in 1986, at Washington , D.C. Stewart was the next to sign it, and that took some real arm twisting. He said that he had made it a point over the years to not sign stuff with Dave's photo, but Tom explained to him what he was trying to accomplish and he signed it right above the LIFE logo. Shane signed it after a show in Louisville about a year before Nick retired, and Tom had him sign it again in 2002 because he wanted his project to span two centuries.
The next task was to get the frames built. Tom says the wood is weathered oak that may well be 75 to 100 years old. He said the stack of wood that it came from had been next to the barn as long as he could remember, going back to his early childhood. He tried to get several local picture framers to make the frames, but none would do it because they were afraid the hard oak would destroy their saw blades. So, for the past 20 years or so, ever since Dave and Nick first signed the magazines, this project has had its difficulties. However, every time I've seen Tom over this period, he has assured me that he's almost there. Well, on Christmas morning, Tom called and said he wanted to drop by my house with a little present, and of course, the framed LIFE magazine cover was what he brought.
Tom is pretty unique guy, to say the least. We both grew up in the same neighborhood in Lexington , KY. A few days after Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan show, I was with my mom at the A&P and they had the Hound Dog / Don't Be Cruel 45 on a rack. My mom saw it and said, “Don't you want this?” While I was pondering the question, she tossed it in the cart. My guess is that I was about 12 at the time. Not too long after this, I saw Tom and told him that I had gotten the Elvis 45 and he got all excited about this and wanted to hear it, so we went my to my house and I played it for him. About 786 times.
I'm not sure how long it was after this that Tom called me and said, “I've got something you've got to hear.” Like so many Trio fans, Tom had an older brother who was in college, and he had bought the first Trio album. The rest, as they say, “is history.”
Over the next year, Tom tracked down every folk recording that was available. He had the complete Folkways series. Old Weavers 78s. Everything. Tom became a walking folk music encyclopedia. Tom owned the first component stereo system that I ever heard. The big 15 inch Electro-Voice speakers were housed a cabinet that came in kit form that you had to glue together and stain. There were two separate amplifiers. They were made by a company, the name of which, I can't remember, except it had a genie's lamp as a logo. I don't remember anything about the turntable except it had a gigantic tone arm.
Tom is a year older than me and he graduated from high school in 1961. We saw less of each other after he started college, but until then, I got to hear for the first time, at Tom's house, every folk album that came out. In addition to the Trio, Tom introduced me to the Limelighters, John Stewart (when he was still with the Cumberland Three), and Gibson & Camp. The walls of Tom's room were paneled with knotty pine. Sometimes when I hear some of the songs on these albums again, I can smell the pine.
Tom's first instrument was an old Martin tenor. He eventually traded it for an old banjo. He got some kind of job after school and was able to buy a new Pete Seeger Vega. In about 1964, the apartment he was living in caught fire and many of his possessions were burned, including the banjo. When he got the insurance money, he called Vega to order a new one that he wanted built to his specifications. Tom has really big hands and one of the things he wanted was a wider neck. When he got through telling the person at Vega what he wanted, he was told they were building Pete Seeger a new banjo that was almost exactly like the one he had requested. When he heard this, Tom told them to forget everything he had just said and asked them to build him a banjo exactly like the one they were making for Pete.
Now, that was over 30 years ago. The banjo has been Tom's constant companion over these years, and he is like all serious banjo players from this era. He's had many conversations with Pete, and their thinking about many things are the same.
The day Tom got his driver's license, Shelly Berman was doing a show in Louisville , and Tom's parents let him drive the family car to see the show. Tom didn't know it before he got there, but opening for Berman was Stewart and the Cumberland Three. After the show, Tom went back stage and he says they talked banjo extensively for many hours into the night. After graduating from high school, Tom joined the National Guard and was sent to Oklahoma for the active duty portion of his training. While he was there, the Trio did a show somewhere close by and he got to see them for the first time. That's kind of the way it was for Tom all through the 60s. Due to crazy circumstances, he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and got to see all of the folk era performers. Tom is a great story teller and hearing him tell about a show is the next best thing to being there.
Tom and I have been to many Trio shows together. When we first started going to these shows, the guys didn't know me from Adam, but they always remembered Tom. He has this coat that he used to wear that looks like he might have acquired it on e-bay from a seller that used to be a clown in Barnum & Bailey's circus. If he's not wearing it when we see the guys, they always ask, ”Where's your coat, Tom?” We've had some great conversations with the guys over the years.
When the Trio did a show here a few years ago, I drove George by Tom's house in the old neighborhood and showed him the window I used to crawl through to get in his room. For me, that was taking it all full circle.
Tom and I always see each other during the holidays. He's my oldest friend. He reminds me a lot of the rabbit. He's always rushing to somewhere else that he's always late for.
For me, this monument to the Trio that Tom has built is very special. It reminds me of all the great times we had with them, but most of all, it reminds me of what it was like growing up in the 1950s in a little town where you thought that actually ever getting to see anyone like the Trio would never happen. That was the attitude that people had here back then. Tom proved them wrong. He got out and discovered this wonderful world of music. He served as an example for me. He showed me that if you wanted to do something bad enough, you could. This changed my life, and I owe it all to the Trio and Tom."
The Kingston Trio: Bill Zorn, Bob Haworth, George Grove, with devoted fan, Eric Gunderson (standing),
Jacky Jack White at the Jimmie Rodgers Festival in Meridian, Mississippi.
Jacky Jack White relates, "I record for Silverwolf Records and have written hit songs for artists such as
Steve Wariner, Charley Pride, Ray Stevens, etc. My latest CD on Silverwolf is "Sentimental Southern Boy."
About a year ago, I reintroduced myself to the Trio's recordings. Eventually, I collected about everything
they had done. It was a great honour to meet Bob Shane, and talk on the phone with Nick Reynolds.
They really re-inspired my work, especially performance-wise. I like every incarnation of the Trio.
I saw George, Bobby, and Bob perform a few months ago. They were marvelous.
I enjoyed getting acquainted with George. He is a real musician's musician."
Jacky Jack White is also host of the Sucarnochee Review, musical review showcasing the artists and sounds of
Ken Scarboro relates, "Norm Leighty, George Heath, and I have a folk group called
The first photo was at the Cripple Creek outdoor (rain) concert this past Father's Day. The guy taking the picture wore a Santa outfit and went only by the same name. What a really great weekend. A full-sized and autographed version hangs on my Kingston Trio wall at the office!
Bruce says, "Here's a photo of me with Nick Reynolds taken at the Trio Fantasy Camp on August 12, 2004.
Sherwin meets The Kingston
Marianne & Cor van der
Heijden-van der Stelt with Bob Shane, Bobby Haworth, George Grove
Pastor Harry Timmins
Bob Haworth, Rob
Reider, George Grove, Bob Shane
Reverend Craig Jones
Explains Craig, "Here's a picture taken when I
entertained people standing in line to get
Nick Reynolds, Bob Shane at the original Crazy Horse Saloon,
Ron DiNezza has been a Kingston Trio Fan Of The First Degree from their beginning. Here he displays part of his Trio stuff!
David & Matija Ruiz at San Antonio Ranch Park, about 50
miles south of San Francisco, in the Coastal Mountain Range. January 2001. Their
favorite Kingston Trio song: "The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)."
George Grove and Dave Long at the merchandising table, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, January 2000.
Tom & Sally Drake
President of The Kingston Trio Fan Club Of Austria, with Bob Shane after the
show at The Performing Arts Center in Lancaster, California, February 4, 2000.
Manuel says, "Please notice the ORIGINAL Kingston Trio Striped Shirt I´m
wearing, I'm VERY proud of it!"
Bob Shane and Pat Keating in
the basement of
Joanne Oyler, Bob Shane, Nick
Reynolds, and Marilyn Hales after a performance on
April 10, 1999. At age 10, we would go to Lagoon
Brad Newell and
George Grove after the concert
The Tuckers, Greg Jr., and Greg Sr.,
Dan & Phyllis Hartline
Jamey Hamilton, Bob Haworth, George Grove
left: The New Kingston
Trio & Larry Crawford
Backstage at Detroit's
Masonic Auditorium, October 1963.
Jesse Bravo and Nick
Reynolds at The Sutter Club,
Jim Brady, of
Philmont, New York, says,
Peter Curry (l to r): In Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, doing my best Dave Guard imitation, c. 1963; With Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Grendel's Lair in Philadelphia, c. 1973; In "Full Kingston" (striped shirt, white Levis and newly acquired Vega Pete Seeger banjo), c. 1986.
Long time Kingston Trio fan Cap
Ken Laing, George
Grove, Russ Scinta, Rick Valente
Bob Shane, Susan Keller (Suzy-q),
George Grove, (seated)
Tony Lay & Family: Christa, Julie, Tony,
with Bob Shane at
Kingston Trio & Friends
at Sweet Basil 139, Tokyo, Japan, June 18, 1999
George Grove, and Rick
Daly of Folk
USA, March 26, 1999,
John Stewart and Bob
Elliot at The Turf Inn, Dalry, Scotland,
April 18, 1998.
Curt Dalton (left) and brother Steve (right) at the Calvert Performing Arts Spring Series - Channeyville, Maryland, March 11, 1989 - Curt says, "My brother and I have been fans of the Trio since our childhood. Back in the early 60s, their At Large album christened the family's first 'Stereo', a Magnavox console unit that was selected for its furniture appeal as much as its fidelity. When their CDs came out it was like a rediscovery."
Bob Shane with friends Gene
and Gail Kelly (left) and Cathy
and Mike McGarity
George Grove, Jerry
Peterson, Paul Gabrielson at the CD table
after 2 PM concert - Toledo, Ohio, April 14, 1999.