Talk:The Kingston Trio

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Good articleThe Kingston Trio has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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September 8, 2009Good article nomineeListed
September 27, 2011Featured article candidateNot promoted
Current status: Good article

Digital Library Link[edit]

I have re-positioned the University of North Texas Digital Library link that was initially placed as a ref/footnote to external links. This 1969 radio show is valuable in its entirety, and only 30 seconds in the middle of the 17 minute program deals with the issue for which it is used as a reference - and that issue is sourced already. The program includes an extended and very valuable series of recollections from Trio member the late Nick Reynolds, recorded in 1969, two years after the break-up of the group. Sensei48 (talk) 03:42, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for promoting the link. BTW, Reynolds' interview was recorded 11.18.1967 [1]; its scheduled broadcast was May 1969 [2] as part of the Pop Chronicles documentary. I've added some of this info to the link. DougHill (talk) 18:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Four albums in the top 10[edit]

Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass had four albums in the top 10 in April 1966. [1] So the claim that this same achievement by the Kingston Trio was "unmatched for 50 years" needs further investigation. (talk) 18:46, 18 February 2015 (UTC)Martin Stillion 2/18/2015

Hello 24/Martin Stillion: Thanks for the note. Alpert and TJB did indeed have extraordinary success in 1966, though not quite to the KT level of '59. Please note that each time I mentioned the 4 albums stat in the article, I phrased it as "Four of the group's LPs charted among the Top 10 selling albums for five weeks in November and December 1959, a record unmatched for more than 50 years" in the lede and as " for five consecutive weeks in November and December 1959, four Kingston Trio albums ranked in the top ten of Billboard's Top LPs chart, an accomplishment unmatched by any artist before or since" in the body of the article. The "five consecutive weeks" is an integral element in both sentences, and neither Alpert nor any of the handful of other artists like Garth Brooks and Madonna who had 4 albums in the top 15 simultaneously (in those cases including "best-of" compilations and not original albums as with KT and TJB) scored in the Top Ten for 5 consecutive weeks.
As you may know and can see from the sources in the KT article, nearly every issue of Billboard has been digitized, though they are maddeningly hard to search comprehensively. Here is what we have right now: five Billboard issues came out in April of 1966, Saturdays April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. The album charts for the middle three of those are available, as follows:
  • April 9, 1966 is here [3] and shows 3 TJB albums at #s 2,3, and 8.
  • April 16, 1966 is here [4] and again shows 3 TJB albums at #s 1, 3, and 6.
  • April 23, 1966 is here [5] and shows 2 TJB albums at #s 1 and 3.
Unfortunately, the internal link for the charts for the April 2 issue here [6] jumps to the chart for 10/22/66 - significant, as I will explain in a moment. The April 30th issue of the magazine is proving really, really difficult to dig up.
So we have to find a secondary source, and online sources are often dicey. What I did find is a remarkable compendium website called "Barry's Hits of all Decades," and Barry has uploaded what appears to be every chart from every decade that he could find. Barry has transcribed the Billboard charts for 1966 here [7], and if we scroll through the page we find the following for the missing weeks above:
  • April 30, 1966 shows 2 TJB albums in the Top 10 at #s1 and 2.
  • April 2, 1966 shows the 4 to which you allude, with TJB at 2,3,9, and 10 for that week. If Barry's site is accurate, then Herb Alpert and TJB also had 3 top 10s and an album at 11 a couple of times but only that single week with 4 in the top 10.
This is a remarkable stat for Herb Alpert and TJB and one that should properly be celebrated and publicized. However, the statements in the KT article remain valid - 5 consecutive weeks for KT as opposed to 1 for TJB. I note that in the Herb Alpert article you edited in that HA&TJB "matched" the KT, which as you can see here they did not. I would like to see that re-phrased, not to denigrate TJB but not to minimize the KT's dominance in 1959 (which, BTW, included having the #1 album in the country for 18 of the 52 weeks of the year, 38 of the 104 of 1959 and 1960, and 46 of the 104 weeks in '59 and -60 if stereo charts are included). How about just changing "matching the mark set by The Kingston Trio in November–December 1959" to just "late 1959"? The Nov-Dec KT mark is the five consecutive weeks, which Alpert did not achieve. The 4 albums simultaneously he did for one week. Removing the 2 months ref regarding the KT would be more accurate. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 02:25, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. Thanks for the legwork ... I had found transcriptions of some of these charts, but the ones I found were incomplete. Agree that the achievements of both KT and HA&TJB need to be celebrated in ways that don't end up slighting each other. (talk) 20:37, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Martin Stillion

Good edit to the HA article, well-phrased. Remarkable stats in both cases. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 22:58, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Please add single discography of the kingston trio[edit]

The kingston trio is VERY IMPORTANT in FOLK MUSIC HISTORY. But this great group never has single discography in wikipedia. I hope you to add single discography of the kingston trio. LSM1204 (talk) 15:58, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

August, 2017: Impending Changes To The KT And How They Need To Be Presented[edit]

In recent days, User:Tenorbanjo and one other have sought to make edits to update the personnel of the Kingston Trio, which changed by contract on 8/1/17. This is an important point in the now 60 year history of the group, and it needs to be noted in this article. However, since no formal announcement has yet been made or covered in the press, the personnel changes cannot be substantiated by what we refer to here in Wikipedia-land as a "reliable source" or WP:RS. The only published mention of this was on 7/28 in the Hollywood Reporter article here[8] - and the existence at that time of the suit implies that some element of the transition was in doubt.

Now, I wrote about 95% of the current article, devoting a couple hundred hours to doing so in July, 2009. The challenge was to take the somewhat general and largely unsourced article that existed at that time and give a) a coherent structure to the information about the KT and its significance in U.S. popular music history, and b) the critically important task of finding a WP:RS for virtually every statement in the article. That latter is what took all the time - and that for better or worse is the way this site works. I've been ten years here on Wiki and made more than 30k edits, and learning to do so properly within the strictures of Wikipedia can be quite a challenge. I would suggest to Tenorbanjo that he take a look at this page - WP:NOT - to see what other editors didn't like about the reverted paragraph.

So - what can User:Tenorbanjo do to get the changes into the article - in the proper language and proper place? A little digression here - I do believe I know Mr. Tenorbanjo in the real world and he knows me an we are friends. So I believe I might be able to help with this.

One of our most important strictures here is that the subjects of the article must have what we call "notability" and that notability must be the chief purpose of the article. No one questions the notability of the KT, but as the sources cited in the article make clear, most of that notability derives from the band's early years, when in the words quoted from Allmusic's Bruce Eder "people whose music left the landscape, and definition of popular music, altered completely. The Kingston Trio were one such group..." This is why the majority of the article focuses on the group's early years when its impact was the greatest - and hence its notability. That's why the picture at the head of the article is of the original group = the one to which Eder is referring.

Personnel changes are covered in the body of the article, but they are not the focus of it. Please note that the late great friend of ours John Stewart isn't even mentioned in the lead section (we call it "lede" around here). His impact on the group is discussed briefly in the article, but all of the other personnel changes over the decades are mentioned only in passing.

When it is possible to do so (see below), someone who is not a current owner of the KT name and trademark can make the appropriate changes in appropriate Wikipedia style. That would be me - or any other editor who can find the sources and write the appropriate language.

Here are some suggestions:

a. Get Bob Shane to post a formal announcement of the change on either the main page of or on the "News" page. This likely should have been done already. If Tenorbanjo has control of the website, he can make the changes - but it must be up to me or another editor to edit this article because of another nagging Wikipedia policy, WP:COI. That formal announcement from Shane is a must.

b. When that formal announcement is made, get your publicist to try and have it covered in the entertainment press - Billboard, Variety, Rolling Stone - or The Hollywood Reporter. Believe me, when this information hits the publications or their websites, someone around here will find it and have a source to justify the changes to the article.

c. Try to contact or similar sites and ask them if they would update their articles with regard to the personnel changes. Allmusic CAN be used as a RS and in fact appears at several points in our current article.

d. Get yourself interviewed by someone in your local press. Say all the things you wanted to say in the paragraph that has been removed. When those points appear as a quotation in a publication, they too can be brought into the article.

The key here is verifiability - we have to be able to support the information provided in the article with those WP:RSs. Once we have some of those, the personnel can be updated, a notation can be written into the article, and a picture can be placed in the appropriate section.

Hope that this has been of some use.

regards, Sensei48 (talk) 05:24, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Sensei48 Re your digression above. Would you say you´re on the safe side of WP:COI, or should we put one of those "editor with COI" boxes on this page? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:00, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Good point, Gråbergs, but let me assure you that I have no COI. I'm just a lifelong fan of the group and have written about them extensively elsewhere (and no, I never used my writing as a source). The members of the KT have always been accessible to the public and I have met them over the years, but I have never been employed by the KT or had any official position or position of any kind with them. I just like their music and like writing about them. Tenorbanjo and I likely know each other, but we see each other only at the occasional KT show.Sensei48 (talk) 06:12, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. I´ve only read the lead of the article, and it seems to me to be well-written, though on the laudable side. A little "Lifelong Fan"-ishness might be shining through, but I am unlikely to look closer into that. I support your call for reliable sources. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:42, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Again, a fair point, Gråbergs. What the lede attempts to do is establish a long-forgotten fact - that this band was a phenomenon in its time. This fact is less remembered than it should be, likely because they weren't a rock band whose songs would appear on oldies radio or a Dick Clark special. They were primarily album artists, legitimately the first musical act to be so - and in turning the attention of the young folks of the time away from 45rpm singles and toward albums, they helped to shape the revolution in that way that characterized much of the music of the 1960s. The lauding isn't coming from me - it's coming from RSs like Bruce Eder and Richard Corliess. If you read nothing else in the article, I would urge you to look at the "Influence" sections which are thoroughly sourced. And lest you think this is a fanboy page, please check out this section - [[9]]. I managed to ferret our some of the most damning and terrible things written about the group in its heyday, all in the interest of presenting an accurate portrait of the public reaction to them.
Sensei48 (talk) 09:29, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Let me assure you I did not think fanboy page, it´s clearly better than that. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:48, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
The fact that (according to the Hollywood REporter) there's a fight over the trademark and who gets to tour as the Kingston Trio does seem legitimate for this story. Billboard has reprinted the same story, but hasn't independently reported it. ( - DavidWBrooks (talk) 12:49, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
The Billboard piece is a re-publication of the Hollywood Reporter story word for word and acknowledged as such at the end. User:Cullen328 has already added the sourced info to the article in the appropriate place and in appropriate NPOV language. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 13:08, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Ah yes, I missed that addition to the article. Good. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 13:49, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Billboard and Hollywood Reporter are now under joint ownership and commonly run the same stories. I consider both to be reliable sources for show business news. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 17:08, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
So Bob Shane made the offical announcement a few days ago and it has appeared as such on his site. I've broken off the lawsuit para and added Shane to create a new subsecrion. I will convert the bare URL ref to an actual ref later today.Sensei48 (talk) 20:34, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
It's been a while since I edited an article here, so forgive any mistakes in this note. The new lineup is official tomorrow, and this article should be updated. I can help with that as I know the status. The article doesn't need to go into a lot of detail, but GBR should be shown under the years they were the trio, and the new guys listed as current starting tomorrow, 10/1. Vlmagee (talk) 10:57, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
No problem with that. I would have waited until tomorrow when it becomes official, but a few hours don't matter. What we need to do now is to source the change from the official KT website, which I will do later today. The personnel shift will also be mentioned in a single sentence at the end of the chronology section, just as other personnel changes since 1976 have been. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 19:23, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
And I have added a sentence regarding the change and added a source from the personnel page of the new KT website.Sensei48 (talk) 15:09, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

Why "the" and not "The"[edit]

The band itself has never capitalized the name as "The Kingston Trio." That is precisely why most of the quoted sources -see quotations in the "Influence" section from Bruce Eder, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Doc Watson - use the lower case t. These are quoted verbatim from published sources including the lower case "the" and as such cannot be altered in any way. They also indicate the common and preferred usage from and by the group itself.Sensei48 (talk) 01:54, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

This issue was debated extensively on the Beatles article talk pages. So much so it led to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Airproofing (talk) 20:28, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Oh yuck, I remember that one - it was before I'd learned to not be sucked into the dark malevolent whirlpool of pointless wiki wars ... - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:31, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
If you've got a wsj sign-in, you can read the 2012 article: [10] - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:34, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
I know someone who does have the sign-in and I'd love to look at it. In any event - looking at the article today, I note that the lower case "t" folks appear to have won - likely due to common usage employed by the band itself. Sensei48 (talk) 23:36, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
I remember an acrimonious argument about this point many years ago when I was a very active editor here. I took the point of view, backed up by the text on their own albums and mentions in the New York Times, that "the" should be used. I thought at the time, however, that "The" had prevailed, mainly because the Trio themselves had copyrighted The Kingston Trio with a capital T. Glad to see that sanity has now prevailed. Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:39, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

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Excellent revisions by David Brooks, but one minor question[edit]

I think those are fine edits that you made. I do query removing "who were signed by EMI/Capitol just as the Trio's seven-year contract was running out", however. This seems to me to be both interesting and pertinent. Unless this same info is somewhere else in the article, I myself would leave it in. I don't feel strongly enough about this point, however, to restore the previous version. Best! Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:35, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

It struck me as an unnecessary detail to the point that the Trio faded as the British invasion arose, but I do not feel very strongly about it either. If you want to return it, I won't balk. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 01:53, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll do it. My feeling, having been a novelist rather than a journalist (where concision is obviously at a premium), is that the more info about anything the better. Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:38, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Another ten words need to be added back here as well to prevent the tautology that their removal created: "due partly to the number and popularity of the aforementioned imitators in the pop-folk world but also to the rise of other major commercial folk groups like Peter, Paul and Mary" is the current edit. PP&M were conceived as "a hipper version of the Kingston Trio" by Albert Grossman, and those are his words. The phrase that needs to be added back follows PP&M and says "whose music had a decidedly more political bent than the Trio's," which distinguished PP&M, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and a few others who were doing Dylan and political songs from the truly impressive number of initial imitators like The Brothers Four and The New Christy Minstrels (both of whom sold millions and millions of records) who emulated the KT's frat boy/good time image and that deliberately sought to avoid the dangers of political music that the destruction of The Weavers had illustrated. This thread is picked up later in the article, but the phrase that needs to be added back is precisely what distinguished PP&M from the "aforementioned imitators." regards, Sensei48 (talk) 07:17, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
And speaking of PP&M - that Wikipedia article is in need of some serious attention as well - one that I intend to take up ASAP. Sensei48 (talk) 07:17, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
I bet that when doing read-through edits of your own first drafts you remove far more than you add. Often (maybe usually), more isn't better in fiction or non-fiction. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:42, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Actually, on my first draft (which was four pages a day), I would reread it over wine after dinner and generally ADD about another half page. Then, the next day, when I sat down to do my four pages, I would already be halfway into page one. But when I had finished the entire book (or filled up a floppy drive in the early days) and did my *third* draft, yes, I began trimming. Ditto for the fourth and final draft, which was the fun one -- I enjoyed seeing how clever I had been before. If only publishers and the buying public had agreed with my assessment! Hayford Peirce (talk) 15:08, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Fall 2018 trio configuration change[edit]

I saw that somebody here (sorry I don't remember who) had mentioned it and then removed it due to continuing uncertainty (a situation which is unfortunate). I think that this article will lose credibility if it fails to say anything and I think that something sufficiently authoritative can be found to back up a general statement along the lines of, "Beginning in late September 2018, former Kingston Trio member Bob Haworth returned to perform with the Kingston Trio, joining Mike Marvin and Tim Gorelangton."

The domain name currently redirects to a page on the website of their booking agent/PR firm, Producers, Inc, although this is only the latest in ongoing website changes. I certainly don't suggest providing any details of what has transpired, but a statement about who is performing seems reasonable. There are news stories online which can substantiate the currently performing personnel. Vlmagee (talk) 13:03, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Geez, I dunno what more you want than this from the above-referenced website for the Trio itself: "Fans of legendary folk icons The Kingston Trio will soon have an opportunity to re-discover their timeless music in a national tour to mark the group’s 60th anniversary on a national tour performing many of the Trio’s best-loved songs. All three current members, Mike Marvin, Tim Gorelangton and Bob Haworth...." Based on nothing but this, we ought to put in Haworth's name. Hayford Peirce (talk) 15:31, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Hello VL and Hayford - First, I concur completely that a personnel update is needed since the personnel did indeed change in 9/18. I also think that it deserves, however brief it may be, its own section because it is a separate issue from the situation in 2017. Alternatively, VL's sentence could be added at the end of the existing section re-titled to "2017 - 2018".

That section is the only one in the article that was not in the complete rewrite and sourcing that I did for this in summer of 2009. It was added by an editor (appropriately, clearly) following the 2017 Hollywood Reporter article that was picked up by Billboard, which also included links to the court documents. I did re-write the section slightly to harmonize its tone with the rest of the article, and I included the Bob Shane quotation as well. The problem there is that the edition of the KT website that included it no longer exists, so there is no current source for the Shane bit. It may be retrievable using the internet WayBack Machine, but I'll have to try that when I have a bit more time.

I also agree with Hayford Pierce in the section above that the clause regarding the Beatles is a significant one and likely should remain in the article. I did not add it back yet because a) as Wikipedia protocols note, no one owns an article and the article should reflect collective judgments and b) User DavidWBrooks made major contributions (and very good ones) to the article before I began to work on it and I respect his judgment. Regards, Jim Moran akaSensei48 (talk) 19:07, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I think these fluctuations in membership after Shane retired should be summarized something along the lines of 'the group continues as a commercial nostalgia production with various and changing members playing the original trio's music.' Where is the Wiki notability in constantly updating who is displacing who in the lineup? It is the same with so many bands where someone owns the name. I feel there is no need to maintain a facade that the Kingston Trio really still exists. It barely existed when Shane was the last remaining member and once he left, it simply became a business escapade. Just my thoughts...Airproofing (talk) 16:36, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the above, although the word "nostalgia" seems unnecessary. We're not a fan site, we don't need to be scurrying around to lend credence to whatever business decisions are being made about the brand. To indicate that it's still changing is enough.- DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:42, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good to me David.Airproofing (talk) 16:49, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I've already said quite a bit in the two relevant sections above about the 2017 changes, including the fact that that section was added by another editor and shortened and so on by me. As much as I may agree with some of the ideas of what is/was/will be the KT, I'd like to add these points.
a. In the 2009 major rewrite/sourcing project that I did, I compressed 32 years of roster changes into four sentences. Each of the musicians mentioned had a degree of notability in the folk world - naturally, since they were selected by Bob Shane - and those sentences do not add much length to the article. Giving that little amount of attention to those changes was criticized in some quarters.
b. The 2017 roster change was notable enough to generate an article in The Hollywood Reporter that was picked up by Billboard, the first national attention of any kind that the KT received since the 2011 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the first regarding personnel changes since the act disbanded fifty years earlier in 1967. Shane's statement (still accessible through Internet Wayback Machine as here) ties the "legacy" idea to Josh Reynolds' presence in the group. His departure is thus notable enough to warrant a single sentence here, and the cited source confirms Haworth as a member again, necessitating the changes I made to the article's main page. Whatever the current group may be, it still exists and thus "current members" must indeed be current. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 06:52, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
As long as there's no squabble - we're the real Trio, no we are! - or they don't start swapping out members every six months. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:05, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
All of the changes made today by Sensei48 seem reasonable to me and should, I think, be retained. Hayford Peirce (talk) 18:15, 13 December 2018 (UTC)