Bob Shane
   Of The Kingston Trio

I was born in Hawaii on Feb. 1, 1934. My father was a successful wholesale distributor of toys and sporting goods who planned that I would eventually take over the family business. So even though I sang in the Glee Club & appeared in several school plays and variety shows in high school, I pursued entertaining purely for fun. I was always on the beaches with a ukulele, learning songs of the Polynesian Islands from yachtsmen and my Hawaiian friends.

During those days I became acquainted with a serviceman from the mainland who shared my hobby of playing guitar and singing. We played at parties here and there, some of which we crashed. One night we met James Cagney, and he was quite taken by our talent for entertaining. He told us we "ought to be in pictures" and said to call him if we ever came to Hollywood. I never took advantage of his offer, but my friend did... he later became TV star Roger Smith.

 
 
 
I attended Honolulu's Punahou School... the oldest private school west of the Rockies. It was there that I met Dave Guard. In our junior year we formed a group to sing in the junior carnival, performing songs by the Weavers, the most popular folk group of the time. After graduation, I went on to Menlo College in California and Dave went to Stanford, a few miles away. In my junior year, I met Nick Reynolds at Menlo. We formed a duet and sang at parties, school functions, and sometimes, "beer gardens." Occasionally, Dave joined us as a trio.

After college in 1956, I returned to Hawaii to work for my father and learn the family business. Still loving to entertain, I also at that time became the first-ever Elvis impersonator, actually billed as "Hawaii's Elvis". In 1956 Elvis was a definite influence, along with Hank Williams, Harry Belafonte, The Weavers and various other Hawaiian and calypso groups. I soon discovered that the family business wasn't for me and when Nick called a year later and asked to form a trio, I was ready. I had always enjoyed singing with Nick and Dave and that year-1957- The Kingston Trio was born.

I was married to Louise Brandon for 23 years, and have five wonderful children: Jody, Susan, Brandon, Robin and Jason. I also have seven grandchildren, Victoria ("Tori"), Olivia, Emma, Inman, Glancy, Marshall and Stella Louise. For over 47 years, I worked and toured at least 28 weeks every year. I've been darnn near everywhere in the U.S. and a lot of other places. I like to say, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." I reside in Phoenix with my wife Bobbie, and now that I have retired, I spend my time relaxing, antiquing (I love the Arts & Crafts and Art Deco periods), buying art and going to the casino.

My condo in Phoenix is decorated with lots of art, gold records, Kingston Trio memorabilia, and even a Ms. Pac Man machine. I also collect Martin guitars, of which I have many. The thing I'm most proud of next to my kids is that I have played live to over 10,000,000 people. I like to say I'm not a folksinger, I'm a folks singer.

 

The Shane Gang