2018 is almost here, so Happy New Year!  As we usher in a new year on keithhirsch.com, let’s consider a legendary popular music group. Formed in the late 1950s, The Kingston Trio led the charge to bring folk music into the spotlight. The group was formed by Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, and Bob Shane. Their guitar/banjo playing and harmonies made classic folk songs suddenly pop hits. Beyond the quality and popularity of their music and commercial success, one has to look at The Kingston Trio’s influence as their lasting legacy. By helping to put folk music on the map, folk artists, that followed, including The Weavers, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Bob Dylan, were given a roadmap to secure record contracts and themselves influence the direction of popular music in the 1960s.

The Kingston Trio maintained their popularity into the early 1960s with hits such as “Tom Dooley”, “The Tijuana Tail”, and “Lemon Tree”. However, as folk music became more political with the leanings of Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary, coupled with The British Invasion and other leading rock acts like The Beach Boys vying for the attention of the youth movement, the Trio’s popularity began to slip. The group finally disbanded in 1967. However, their aforementioned influence was indisputable. Many acts of the 1960s owed a debt of gratitude to The Kingston Trio and likely found a part of them in their own music.

Over the years, fans of The Kingston Trio were able to continue enjoying their music with the release of various compilations. One such hits album was released by Capitol Records in 1987, simply titled The Very Best of The Kingston Trio. This compilation, containing 15 tracks, was released on CD in the U.S. under catalog CDP 7 46624 2. The three hits mentioned in the previous paragraph appear on The Very Best of, as does the Trio’s cover of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and their recording of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”. (Although The Kingston Trio was largely identified as being apolitical, the recording of these two tracks does show their recognition of the trend of folk music becoming a political sounding board in the early ’60s.)

To get started with CDs in the U.S. in the ’80s, Capitol farmed out production to a number of plants, including JVC in Japan and DADC in the U.S. In the late ’80s, Capitol opened their own plant in Jacksonville, Florida. A somewhat oddball issue of The Very Best of The Kingston Trio is featured here. The disc was pressed in the U.S. by Nimbus. Nimbus pressings of Capitol titles are uncommon. The Trio disc bears the simple matrix code “46624 (V) :”. The disc also has the “MASTERED BY NIMBUS” etched in the mirror band. The first Nimbus plant opened in the U.K. in 1985, and this Kingston Trio looks much like a U.K. Nimbus pressing. However, it does have “MADE IN U.S.A.” printed at 4 o’clock. The close resemblance of U.S. and U.K. Nimbus pressings is typical. The Kingston Trio inserts were printed in the U.S.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for The Very Best of The Kingston Trio, along with the U.S. Nimbus pressing.

 

The cover for The Very Best of The Kingston Trio (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46624 2). Shown from left to right are Bob Shane, John Stewart, and Nick Reynolds. Stewart replaced founding member Dave Guard in 1961.

 

The back insert for The Very Best of The Kingston Trio (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46624 2). The catalog number is printed in the top right corner.

 

The U.S. Nimbus pressing The Very Best of The Kingston Trio (Capitol, catalog number CDP 7 46624 2). The matrix code is “46624 (V) :” The text “MASTERED BY NIMBUS” also appears in the mirror band. Note that “MADE IN U.S.A.” is printed at 4 o’clock.

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