Good things come in threes

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Sequim Gazette staff

For its first national act, the James Center for the Performing Arts is bringing in a chart-topper.


The Kingston Trio had its first No. 1 hit in the late-1950s with “Tom Dooley,” earning the band a Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance in 1959 and helping its first album sell more than 6 million copies.


“For a band to have that hit and still be touring is kind of amazing,” show organizer Quinn Hampton says.

Lindal Cedar Homes, in association with Global Entertainment Ltd., presents the Kingston Trio in concert from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the James Center for the Performing Arts in Carrie Blake Park.


The gates on Rhodefer Road open at 4 p.m. and parking is first come, first served. All overflow parking goes to Trinity United Methodist Church on Blake Avenue, where shuttles provided by the Boys & Girls Club aid show-goers to the concert site.


Tickets are on sale at Purple Haze Lavender, 127 W. Washington St., and Windermere Real Estate, 842 E. Washington St., Sequim; Coog’s Budget CDs, 111 W. Front St., Port Angeles; and online at


Tickets also will be available at the door, Hampton says.


Attendees with general admission tickets are urged to bring a blanket or chair to sit on, as seating is on grass.


The show is an official event of the Sequim Centennial Celebration and is open to all ages.


The Kingston Trio will perform songs from its vast catalogue, such as “Tom Dooley,” “MTA,” “Scotch and Soda” and many others. Using only acoustic guitars and banjos, and singing simple yet memorable melodies, they revolutionized popular music, reawakening America to its folk music heritage. The Trio was the number one vocal group in the world, its record sales and concert draws matched only by The Beatles.


Opening the show is another Northwest favorite, Mark Pearson, longtime member of The Brothers Four.


Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard formed the original Kingston Trio in 1957, while the three were attending college in the San Francisco area. Though the lineup has changed over the years, Hampton says Trio fans will delight in all the familiar tunes.


“What’s evolving here is actually a folk super group,” Hampton says, noting that current members George Grove and Bill Zorn have been a part of the Kingston Trio for decades and that third member Rick Dougherty played with the prolific American folk band, the Limeliters.


“As with any band that’s been together for this long, it’s sometimes going to have revolving members,” Hampton says.


“We’re hoping for a good turnout so we can do this again next year,” he says.


Keeping on with the Kingston Trio
Reporter’s Notebook
Patricia Morrison Coate

OK, I admit it. I’ve never been one to go gaga over the most popular music groups of the day. I’ve never owned a Beatles album, nor the Stones or The Who. As a child of the 1950s (1952), I’ve stayed a musical fan of that era, with maybe a few forays into the 1960s and 1970s. That’s about as au courant as I get.

Whether I heard it on our console radio or black and white TV, I grew up feeling I’d known the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” all of my life … “Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry. Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, poor boy you’re bound to die ….” I promptly fell in love with the banjo — and guys in striped shirts.

Shortly after moving to Sequim 10 years ago and having my first Costco experience, imagine my delight to find there a three-CD set of the Kingston Trio’s All-Time Greatest Hits, from the rollicking “MTA” to the languorous “Scotch and Soda,” and more than 30 others, that once I’d sung them a hundred times — I’m not kidding — also became favorites. I relish singing them in a most animated fashion, which sets my shelties’ ears askew.

So when I heard that, as a Sequim Centennial Celebration event, the Kingston Trio was coming to Sequim on July 13, it was jubilation!

The Kingston Trio of my childhood was formed by Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane in 1954 and between 1958-1959 “Tom Dooley” had sold a million records and had gone gold. From 1957-1967, the Kingston Trio was wildly popular and, according to an official of C.F. Martin & Company, whose instruments they played, “… The Kingston Trio wasn’t just a musical group. It was a phenomenon, as influential in its time as The Beatles would become in theirs.”

Although the Kingston Trio had several reincarnations as members came and went over the next five decades, their close three-part harmony accompanied simply by guitars and a banjo hasn’t changed. Current members Bill Zorn, George Grove and Rick Dougherty continue the Kingston Trio legacy of a clean, crisp sound that is as uplifting as it is familiar to the baby boomer crowd. Fast and furious “Hard, Ain’t It Hard” and “Greenback Dollar,” mellow melodies such as “Lemon Tree” and story songs like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” will take listeners back to a less complicated world during a three-hour concert.

See the Kingston Trio in concert in Sequim, 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the James Center for the Performing Arts in Carrie Blake Park. I plan to be there in one of the front rows — doing my darnedest not to sing out loud — although it may be most painful not to!


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