Credited with creating and popularizing the folk music craze of the early 1960’s, the Kingston Trio was three northern California college buddies. Dave Guard, born on October 19, 1934, wrote songs and played banjo with two guitarist, Hawaii born Robert Schoen, known as Bob Shane (February 1, 1934) who also played bongo’s and San Diego native Nick Reynolds, born July 27, 1933.
Their big break came as performers at the San Francisco’s Purple Onion. Signed by Capitol Records, the Kingston Trio leaped to the top of the Hit Parade in 1958 with the multi million selling “Tom Dooley,” a song that stayed on the best selling charts for 21 consecutive weeks.
The following year, “The Tijuana Jail,” “M.T.A.” and “A Worried Man” each reached the top ten as the threesome also exploded with album sales, four LP’s in the top ten during the same period of time. In 1963, “Reverend Mr. Black” earned more gold for the trio.
Among their single hits was, “Bad Man Blunder,” “El Matador,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” “Scotch and Soda,” “Desert Pete” and “Greenback Dollar.”
Dave Guard left the trio in 1961 to be replaced by John Stewart. The Kingston Trio disbanded after a final performance in 1967.
On January 19, 2008, John Stewart passed away in a San Diego hospital after suffering a stroke the day before. He was 68 years of age. On November 26, 2008, at 75 years of age Nick Reynolds died in San Diego, California and in 1991, Dave Guard died of lymphatic cancer.
Winners of two Grammy Awards, The Kingston Trio was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2008.