All-Star Celebration for Folk Pioneers The Kingston Trio, Wows Sell-Out House! Historic Music Event at LA’s Avalon Hollywood Taped For Public Television
On June 21st and 22nd, 2015, music history was made at LA's Avalon Hollywood (formerly the Hollywood Palace Theater), during a two-day taping of a new Public Television Live Concert Pledge Special: "The Kingston Trio: A Celebration!" Numerous musical icons gathered to pay tribute to the legacy of The Kingston Trio , one of the four best-selling acts in the history of Capitol Records, along with The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Frank Sinatra!
Beach Boys' Al Jardine, following The Beach Boy’s concert the night before at The Greek Theater, surprised current Trio members Bill Zorn, George Grove, and Rick Dougherty with a walk-on performance of "Sloop John B," a song The Trio recorded in the mid-50’s. When Zorn boasted The Trio recorded the tune first, Jardine deadpanned with, “but we had the hit,” then launched straight into The Beach Boys’ timeless version, playing Carl Wilson’s Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar, and backed by The Trio doing Mike Love/Brian and Carl Wilson harmonies.
Sixties hitmaker Barry McGuire ("Eve of Destruction," "Green, Green"), sang the Trio’s classic "Greenback Dollar," a number one hit he co-wrote with Hoyt Axton. And when the Trio began their version of "La Bamba," recorded even before Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos did it, the crowd went wild when international singer, Trini Lopez, danced out to join The Trio for a rousing rendition of the song that he too, had a major hit with in the 70’s.
The evening featured surprise performances by fellow folk trio The Limeliters (Gaylan Taylor, Andy Corwin & Don Marovich), popular Northern California folk singer Sana Christian, and an emotional appearance by Josh Reynolds, a look-alike and sound-alike of his father, the late Nick Reynolds, co-founder of the original Kingston Trio. Josh performed his dad’s big Trio hit, “MTA” at the Sunday show, which was also Father’s Day. This theme that played out again when actress and photographer, Shari Belafonte, joined the production as the official still photographer. The Trio took their name from a lyric in the popular Harry Belafonte song, “Jamaica Farewell.”
But the evening’s highlight was an appearance by the legendary Bob Shane, co-founder and sole-surviving member of the original Kingston Trio (Reynolds, Dave Guard, and Guard replacement, beloved songwriter, John Stewart). After suffering a heart attack a decade ago, Shane has only made infrequent appearances with the Trio.
After a five-minute standing ovation, Shane delighted fans - new and old, with perfect renditions of “Scotch and Soda” and “Tom Dooley.” After another lengthy ovation, he brought out some special, longtime fans to join him in a rare performance of “Scarlett Ribbons”: Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles) and Al Jardine (The Beach Boys). The packed house stood for another five minutes as they joined Bob on stage.
The producers will now begin taping testimonials and/or additional tribute performances from Tom Paxton, Brian Wilson, Woody Allen, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Steve Martin, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Lindsay Buckingham (Fleetwood MAC), John Sebastian, Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary), The Punch Brothers, Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA), Paul Simon, Mort Sahl, and Bruce Springsteen. The show will air in 2016.
Amongst the VIP’s in the Avalon audience were superstar rock photographer Henry Diltz; MTV ground breaker and former film partner of The Monkees’ Michael Nesmith, William Dear; San Francisco radio personality, Ray White; film & TV actress Tracy Brooks Swope; and Gregg and Janet Deering of Deering Banjos. Fans came from all over the world to be part of the celebration, from as far away as Germany, England, Brazil, Japan, and Taiwan.
Award-winning PBS Television Producer/Host, Terrel Cass, produced with Chip Miller, who was also the concert special’s director. “The Kingston Trio: A Celebration!” is a production of Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films and Terrel Cass Productions, in association with The Kingston Trio Company.