Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct. 1: Nick Reynolds, founding member of the Kingston Trio, died on this day in 2008.

Nick was 75 when he passed away from acute respiratory failure.

Formed in California in the late ’50s, the  Kingston Trio were a direct descendant of the Weavers, but were able to bring folk music further into the mainstream. 

Nick's father taught him the guitar and ukulele, and the family spent many nights singing and harmonizing. Nick enrolled in Menlo College in 1954 as a business major, and met Bob Shane in an accounting class. They soon started hanging out and playing music; Shane's guitar and Reynolds' bongos became a fixture at local frat gatherings, and soon Dave Guard joined them. The group became a popular San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act.

Beginning with their first album released in 1958, which included the hit recording of "Tom Dooley" that sold over three million copies as a single,the Trio released nineteen albums that made Billboard's Top 100, fourteen of which ranked in the top 10, and five of which hit the number 1 spot. Four of the group's LPs charted among the Top 10 selling albums for five weeks in November and December 1959, a record unmatched for more than 50 years and the group still ranks after half a century in the all time top ten of many of Billboard's charts, including those for most weeks with a #1 album, most total weeks charting an album, most #1 albums, most consecutive #1 albums, and most top ten albums.

By 1966, Reynolds had grown weary of touring. When the Trio disbanded, Reynolds moved to Oregon where he spent twenty years ranching and raising 4 children. He also returned to motor racing, which he had first tried in the early 1950s. In 1981 the Trio reunited, featuring Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds, Dave Guard, John Stewart, George Grove, Roger Gambill. A PBS Reunion Special DVD was recorded, hosted by Tommy Smothers and featuring special guest Mary Travers. In 1983, Nick Reynolds (known within the group as "Budgie") collaborated with John Stewart and Lindsey Buckingham on a new album/CD Revenge of the Budgie with seven new recordings.

In the mid-eighties Reynolds moved back to California and rejoined the Trio in 1988/1998. He sang and played with them for another 10 years, then retired for the second time in December, 1998. Nick Reynolds lived the last years of his life in Coronado, California with his wife Leslie.

HIGHLY Recommended:

The Essential Kingston Trio The Kingston Trio/...From the "Hungry i"The Kingston Trio and Friends Reunion

For eight years, he joined John Stewart - who was an early replacement in the Kingston Trio - at a “Trio” fantasy camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, where campers joined Reynolds and Stewart on stage to perform a song, becoming for that one moment a member of a fantasy "Kingston Trio."

(Follow links below to view You Tube Videos:)

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