Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jan. 19: John Stewart of the Kingston Trio died on this date in 2008 ...


... he was 68-years-old when he died from a massive stroke or brain aneurysm.

John Stewart, from San Diego, California is known for his contributions to the American folk music movement of the 1960s while with The Kingston Trio (1961–1967) and as the songwriter of The Monkees' #1 hit Daydream Believer and his own #5 hit "Gold", among several hundred original songs composed over a career of more than forty years.

Stewart's first venture into popular music was with a high school garage band known as "Johnny Stewart and the Furies." Influenced by the reigning icons of the day, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, the Furies toured southern California colleges and coffee houses.

The Kingston Trio had emerged from the San Francisco folk music culture in 1957, using a mixture of calypso, pop, and folk styles, along with several forms of comedy, in their act. When founding member Dave Guard departed the group in 1961 to explore other musical directions. Stewart was selected by the remaining members Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane as Guard's successor.

The new Kingston Trip lineup recorded a dozen albums together, taking the music of the Trio into new directions, including more original material. The pop-folk era began to wane and in 1967 the members of the Kingston Trio decided to disband.

Stewart continued to write songs and record while touring as a solo act. It was during this time that he composed the hit "Daydream Believer" for The Monkees. Several of his songs were recorded by a number of popular acts, including Nanci Griffith, Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Baez. He also continued to record new material, producing CDs on his own "Neon Dreams" label in between commercial releases.

Over his last years, Stewart teamed up with former Kingston Trio member, the late Nick Reynolds, to offer fans the ultimate Trio Fantasy: performing for and with Stewart and Reynolds. In 2005 and 2006 Bob Shane attended and performed a few songs with Stewart and Reynolds at the Trio Fantasy Camp, which is held annually in Scottsdale, Arizona.

(Press an album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):

California BloodlinesThe Kingston Trio Story - Wherever We May Go


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