Modern Folk Quartet
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|Modern Folk Quartet|
|Origin||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Labels||Warner Bros. Records|
|Past members||Cyrus Faryar
The Modern Folk Quartet ("MFQ") recorded two albums of folk revival music in the early 1960s, with an emphasis on group harmonies, and have subsequently re-formed more than once and made further recordings.
The four original members were Cyrus Faryar, Henry Diltz, Chip Douglas, and Stan White. They formed the quartet in Honolulu in 1962, when Faryar returned from the mainland after a period singing with Dave Guard's Whiskeyhill Singers. The newly named Modern Folk Quartet – its name taken as a conscious parallel with the Modern Jazz Quartet – then moved to Los Angeles and became regulars at The Troubadour club. However, White then became ill, and was replaced by local singer Jerry Yester.
Managed by Herb Cohen (later manager of Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley and others) the quartet recorded their first album in 1963, produced by Jim Dickson (later manager of the Byrds). In November of this same year, they appeared as themselves in the Warner Bros. film, Palm Springs Weekend  (in the sequence at Jack's Casino) and are shown singing two songs, “The Ox Driver’s Song” and one currently unidentified song.
The Quartet released a second album in 1964 that included early songs by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, John Stewart and Chet Powers (aka Dino Valente). Over the next two years they continued to perform but did little recording. A final session with Phil Spector yielded "This Could Be the Night" (cowritten by Spector and Harry Nilsson), which was used as the theme to the rock concert film The Big TNT Show.
The MFQ disbanded in 1966, and the various members went on to develop their own careers. They re-formed between 1975 and 1978, and again in the 1980s, becoming the Modern Folk Quintet when Yester's brother Jim, formerly of The Association, joined in 1988. After a 12-year break they reformed again in 2003 for a tour of Japan, where they have remained popular.