The Kingston Trio (Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, Bob Shane) were a California-based folk harmony group who took refined (some would say sanitized) traditional folk songs to the top of the charts several times during their peak years of 1957 to 1963. Their remarkable commercial success really began in 1938, when folklorist Frank Warner field-recorded North Carolina banjo player Frank Proffitt playing a vicious Appalachian murder balled entitled "Tom Dula." That song, morphed and cleaned up a bit, became the Kingston Trio's first big hit 20 years later as "Tom Dooley." The trio took another old banjo player's tune, Clarence Ashley's "Greenback Dollar," on to the charts a couple years later and, after Guard's departure in 1961 (he was replaced by John Stewart), completed the banjo hat trick by taking Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" to the top as well. Hardly authentic in style and approach, the Kingston Trio nonetheless opened the eyes of record labels to the commercial possibilities of folk music, thus ensuring a good time for all during the so-called folk revival. This collection has the big hits but is pretty short in length.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett