Includes "Tom Dooley" & "Scotch And Soda"!
This debut album from The Kingston Trio featured the hits "Tom Dooley" and "Scotch and Soda." It featured youthful spring, exuberance, freshness, and a number of song choices that spoke of a new generation of folk singing. Now reissued on vinyl in celebration of Capitol Records' 75th anniversary.
The Kingston Trio was one of the most prominent groups of the era's pop-folk boom that started in 1958 with the release of their first album and its hit recording of "Tom Dooley", which sold over three million copies as a single. The success of the album and the single earned the Kingston Trio a Grammy award for Best Country & Western Performance for "Tom Dooley" at the awards' inaugural ceremony in 1959. At the time, no folk music category existed in the Grammy's scheme. The next year, largely as a result of The Kingston Trio and "Tom Dooley", the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences instituted a folk category and the Trio won the first Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording for its second studio album At Large.
This was the beginning of a remarkable three-year run for the Trio in which their first five studio albums achieved number 1 chart status and were awarded gold records. In 1961, the Trio was described as "the most envied, the most imitated, and the most successful singing group, folk or otherwise, in all show business" and "the undisputed kings of the folksinging rage by every yardstick." Music historian Richie Unterberger characterized their impact as "phenomenal popularity", and the Kingston Trio's massive record sales in its early days made acoustic folk music commercially viable, paving the way for singer-songwriter, folk rock, and Americana artists who followed in their wake.
"It's easy to rate the group's debut album too low, since its two best-known songs ('Tom Dooley,' 'Scotch and Soda') have had no shortage of appearances elsewhere in the decades since, and the group went on to cut more than 20 additional albums in their prime years. A little less polished and accomplished than, say, the music that Terry Gilkyson and the Easy Riders were cutting at Columbia around this time, it makes up for those shortcomings with youthful spring, exuberance, freshness, and a number of song choices that spoke of a new generation of folk singing --- not only their hits but the first version of the comedic piece 'Coplas' and 'Sloop John B,' which would become a rock standard in the hands of the trio's fellow stripe-shirted labelmates the Beach Boys. Dave Guard was the most influential member of the group here, in terms of song selections and arrangements, but the entire trio is well represented. Additionally, producer Voyle Gilmore made their singing on 'Bay of Mexico' and 'Fast Freight' into something slightly larger than life. 'Sara Jane,' which the group learned from Louis Gottlieb of the Gateway Singers and, later, the Limeliters, who also arranged it, isn't far behind, a potential hit single in the same league with 'Wimoweh.' Listening to this album, one also gets a sense of just how strong the trio was musically right out of the starting gate -- The Kingston Trio was essentially an idealized version of the group's stage show of the era, recorded over three days in the studio, and a fine, bracing body of music." - Bruce Eder, allmusic.com
1. Three Jolly Coachmen
2. Bay Of Mexico
4. Tom Dooley
5. Fast Freight
6. Hard, Ain't It Hard
1. Saro Jane
2. Sloop John B
3. Santo Anno
4. Scotch And Soda
6. Little Maggie