“Tom Dooley” hits #1

On this day in 1958, The Kingston Trio‘s first hit, “Tom Dooley”, reached Number 1 on the CKWX Sensational Sixty. “Tom Dooley” sold more than six million copies, and is often credited with starting the folk music boom of the late Fifties and early Sixties.

Other Kingston Trio hits include “The Tijuana Jail”, “M.T.A.”, “A Worried Man”, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”, “One More Town”, “Greenback Dollar”, “Reverend Mr. Black”, “Desert Pete” and “Ally Ally Oxen Free”.

The group were favorites of the college crowd. They appeared on campus at the University of British Columbia and at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on quite a few occasions. The Kingston TrioDave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds – inspired local boy Terry Jacks to take up a singing career. Terry would attend all their shows in Vancouver. He loved the harmony and they inspired him to begin recording material of his own.

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. The original group disbanded in the late Sixties, but for quite a period of time they were the most popular folk group in the world.

And it wasn’t just their music that was influential: The Beach Boys adopted their blue and white striped button-down shirts onstage from the early to late Sixties.

The “new” Kingston TrioMike Marvin, Tim Gorelangton and Don Marovich – are currently touring the US. Their next show is November 5 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA. Details at kingstontrio.com