Music Memories 9: The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio: Goin’ Places

Goin' Places
Goin’ Places

This was the last album on Capitol Records that had the original trio lineup of Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds. Guard left the group after a disagreement over royalties and the future musical direction of the group. I don’t remember the year that I bought this album, but I believe it was in 1964 or 1965. It had been on the market since 1961.

The first Kingston Trio album that I bought was Stereo Concert, which turned me on to live performance albums. I’ve seen comments on YouTube videos bemoaning the fact that a concert performance is not exactly like the studio version. To those people I say, “Grow up.”

I remained a Kingston Trio fan through the years, but I didn’t buy many of their albums after that first one. I spent my meager folk music funds on the Chad Mitchell Trio, The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, and Peter, Paul & Mary. I listened to friend’s copies of the Kingston Trio while I was in college, but didn’t buy any until I picked up a copy of Goin’ Places. None of my friends owned it. I saw it in a record shop in downtown Michigan City, and on a whim I bought it. I fell in love with that album, and remembered how much I liked the trio’s music. I started buying earlier albums by the group.

Are you wondering why there are four people on the cover of a trio album? Good question. The fellow on the right with the upright bass is David “Buck” Wheat. He accompanied the trio until Dave Guard left and formed  The Whiskeyhill Singers. When that group broke up, he started working with Bud & Travis. Prior to working with The Kingston Trio, Wheat had played with jazz groups, most notably with the Chet Baker Ensemble. Still, I best remember him as the bassist for The Kingston Trio.

In the past few years, Collector’s Choice has been releasing albums of Kingston Trio music that was recorded but not released by either Capitol or Decca records. After buying and listening to most of those albums, I understand why they weren’t released, but there are some musical gems in the bunch.  I’m something of an anal-retentive completest when it comes to collecting things. When it comes to music that I like, I’m anal.