The Kingston Trio - May 12, 2014

A wide diversity of musical genres are represented among the records displayed in both the Music Room and the Toy Box.  Some of the album art is difficult to read, since the records are strategically placed on the rafters along the ceiling or on the walls ten feet above eye level, but there are examples of country, gospel, rock, 80s new wave, easy listening, educational, and pretty much anything you can imagine.  Today, we are going to focus on The Kingston Trio, one of the most successful of the folk bands that emerged in the late-1950s.

Dave Guard and Bob Shane were classmates in Honolulu, Hawaii when they discovered a mutual love of music.  Both moved to the mainland to attend college outside of San Francisco, where they met Nick Reynolds.  All three loved calypso rhythms, and played together informally.  They named themselves The Kingston Trio in honor of the capitol of the island of Jamaica, and improved their sound.  Things went modestly well for the trio until they produced the song "Tom Dooley."  That not only brought them international attention in 1959 as a folk-pop sensation, but influenced countless imitators and future artists. Unfortunately, this success caused major rifts in the band, and the original trio broke up after only four years.  Sunny Side! was released in 1963 without original band member Bob Guard, and was the sixteenth album released by The Kingston Trio, and their last to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

QUESTION:  Who of the following has never been a member of the Kingston Trio?

a)  Bob Zorn

b)  George Grove

c)  Jon Stewart

d)  Roger Gambill

e)  Bob Haworth

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

The American Revolution lasted eight years, not including all of the dramatic events that led to the actual violence of the war and the decision of the Continental Congress to declare independence.  On this day in 1780, one of the worst defeats of the war occurred for the 'rebels' (Americans now think of them as the heroes, but let's be honest here.  They were rebelling against their parent country and were all conducting treason.)  Charleston, South Carolina was taken by British forces.  5,000 American forces under Major General Benjamin Lincoln were compelled to surrender after a successful siege of the city that lasted six weeks.  We don't want to spoil history for anyone, but this horrible defeat did not end the war.  Eventually, the American forces did win and gain their independence.  We hope this does not come as a surprise to anyone. 

History has not been especially kind to the presidency of Jimmy Carter, although he has certainly redeemed himself since he left the highest office of the land, having won the Nobel Peace Prize and done many noble things through the philanthropic organization Habitat for Humanity.  On this day in 2002, Carter also became the first President of the United States, either in or out of office, to visit Cuba since the revolution of 1959 that put Fidel Castro in power.  It may not have changed much, but it was still a small step on the way to healing the rift between the two countries.

BIRTHDAYS:

A baby boy was born on this day in 1927 Manhattan, New York, who would grow up to raise the bar on comedy - or lower it, depending on how you look at it.  His name was George Carlin, and he knew how to cause trouble.  After high school, he joined the Air Force, and managed to get himself three separate court martials - as well as other non-official reprimands - before being discharged early.  It gave him a chance to focus on comedy, which landed him on television and stage, where he remained for the rest of his life.  He has the distinction of being the first guest host for the variety program Saturday Night Live, although he is probably best known for his highly controversial "Seven dirty words" sketch, which was used in a Supreme Court decision in 1978 that supported government censorship of what is said on television and radio.  Carlin died in 2007, a beloved godfather of comedy.

If you have an affection for teen comedies of the late-90s, then you have heard of the American Pie movie franchise.  There have been, to date, four films that received theatrical releases between 1999 and 2012, as well as four other spin-off films.  Jason Biggs, who starred in the theatrical films, turns 36.  The Jersey boy started acting when he was five, and has built up a substantial resume since then.  Currently, he is part of the ensemble cast in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original program Orange Is The New Black based on the memoirs of Piper Kerman's time in a correctional institution.

QUOTE:  At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom. - George Carlin

Answer:  c)  Jon Stewart.  He is the host of a Comedy Central late night news parody program. John Stewart, with an "h", however, is a member of the current line-up for the band.