Mudcat Café message #435052 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32874   Message #435052
Posted By: Big Red
07-Apr-01 - 12:09 AM
Thread Name: Kingston trio--a place in history
Subject: Kingston trio--a place in history
After more than a year of almost daily observation of the forum, I have come to greatly respect the musical knowledge, experience and observations of the catters. Therefore, I pose a question that has puzzled me for years: When the history of folk is discussed, the contributions of the Kingston Trio (as well as others of the era, especially the groups)are largely ignored and at times viewed with disdain. WHY?

Although preceeded by the Weavers and the Easy Riders in popularity and in the "charts", the success of the Trio was awesome. Millions of people were exposed to a least a part of the wonderful world of folk. The result was that doors opened for many other artists, doors that would have remained closed. Also, countless others started a lifetinme of involvement with folk music. While the "folk scare" (as some catters call it) could not be sustained, the effects are still with us today.

My observation is that the folk community (if such ever existed or exists today) resented the Trio (and others) for several reasons. 1. They were commercially (read financially) successfull. Envy is a strong and common human trait. 2. They were young. They had not paid their "dues". 3. They often did songs in a new way. The new is often resisted. 4. The Trio was too polished in their presentation. Others were too good musically. They did not sound like "folks". 5. With the Trio (and many others) it was the music that they presented and not the politics.

I believe that this last reason was and is the most telling. To voices of the "folk community" such as SING OUT, the Trio did not even exist (because, I believe, the Trio did not share the politics.)

The younger generation is being cheated out of a major perspective in folk by not being given the opportunity or the encouragement to learn of the many contributions to folk by the artists of the "folk scare" of the 50's and 60's.

While the Trio was the lead group, many others offered a great deal. While I don't suggest the the Trio or any of the others be put on a pedistal, I do believe that they should be given their due credit.