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The Kingston Trio Story - Wherever We May Go

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1958 three young men known as The Kingston Trio recorded a simple folk tune called "Tom Dooley." In less than a year, they were major stars with the best-selling album in the country. The Kingston Trio Story: Wherever We May Go celebrates the group’s musical hits and sheds light on their fascinating and largely unknown 50-year history through rare performance footage and revealing interviews with band members and friends.

From singing for beer in student bars 50 years ago to sold-out concerts around the world today, The Kingston Trio Story is an exciting and emotional testimony to the group’s undeniable impact, taking us through all the shakeups, breakups, changing faces and reunions of the group responsible for the revival of folk music in America.


The Dave Guard Years
• Tom Dooley
• The Early Years
• Tijuana Jail
• M.T.A.
• A Worried Man
• Oh Cindy
• Raspberries, Strawberries

The John Stewart Years
• Little Light
• Rovin’ Gambler/This Train
• Dave’s Place
• Scotch And Soda
• Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
• Wherever We May Go

The Bob ShaneYears
• The Trio Goes On
• The Dutchman

1981 Reunion
• Hard, Ain’t It Hard
• Greenback Dollar
• Sloop John B
• The New Kingston Trio
• All Of The Hard Days Are Gone
• A Worried Man

Special Features:
• "Stories Behind The Songs" and five other featurettes
• Bonus Song Performances: "Little Light," "Tom Dooley," and "Three Jolly Coachmen"
• Vintage 7-Up commercials


Calling the Kingston Trio "the Beatles of their time," as one of the talking heads in The Kingston Trio Story - Wherever We May Go puts it, might sound outlandish, but in fact it's no exaggeration. Starting in 1957 (and continuing today, albeit without any original members), the Trio brought folk music to the masses long before Dylan, Baez, or Peter, Paul and Mary made the scene, and many of their songs ("Tom Dooley," "M.T.A.," "Scotch & Soda," "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?") remain just about as popular as "Blowin' in the Wind." TV and concert performances of those and other tunes are here, of course, along with interviews with most of the musicians who passed through the group's ranks and other folks who knew, worked with, or are related to them. The emphasis, as it should be, is on their first ten years, during which Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds were partnered with Dave Guard and then John Stewart (when Guard departed in '61, one of those who auditioned to replace him was Roger McGuinn, who later co-founded the Byrds). They were not only hugely successful, but ground-breaking as well; the Trio dabbled in pop, calypso, Hawaiian, and other styles before anyone called it "world music," and when they won a Grammy for "Tom Dooley" in '58, there was no such thing as a folk music category, resulting in their being classified as country & western. Sure, in these hipster times their music sounds pretty square. Although they emerged during the beatnik era, the Trio's image was wholesome and Ivy League, and many of the songs are over-earnest tales of lusty men traveling the road to freedom. Still, Wherever We May Go is entertaining and informative, and the copious bonus features--including pieces on the stories behind the songs, the group's extensive "family tree," some passionate and slightly nutty fans, and their manager, plus bonus performances and more--are top-notch. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: William J. Bush, Henry Diltz, Roger Gambill, George Grove, Dave Guard
  • Producers: Daniel M. Schaarschmidt, Ian Marshall, Jim Scalem, JoAnn Young, Paul Surratt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GRTRA6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,903 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Kingston Trio Story - Wherever We May Go" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Silver on September 2, 2006
Format: DVD
I first saw this on PBS (interrupted by all their pledge drives). With this DVD, you can watch it straight through, start to finish. It transported me back 45+ years when I first heard the Trio as a young man. It has brief interviews with Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds (who, sadly, seems to have had a stroke), John Stewart, and others, interspersed between many vintage clips of their classic songs (and a few 7-Up commercials). There many songs with the Guard Trio, some discussion of the break-up, songs with the Stewart Trio, plus some songs with Shane's latter-day Trios, plus songs from the 1981 Reunion. Most of the clips seem to be from old TV shows (e.g., Andy Williams) of the day.

The songs sound great, and the brief interviews gave very interesting insights into what they were going through behind the scenes. The DVD also contains some extra interviews, comments/history on some of the songs (e.g., Bob Shane joking about how Hollywood had made a bad film version of "Tom Dooley" with Michael Landon -- the hokey movie trailer is included), and much more. A must for every Trio diehard.
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I was devastated to have missed this on my local PBS station. I promptly ordered it and have watched it twice since it arrived yesterday. This music is woven through so many of my memories of the 50's, 60's and 70's (when I was fortunate enough to see Bob Shane and the New Kingston Trio a couple of times). We were big fans of the Smothers Brothers' music, and I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to live and work in San Francisco in those days.

It's absolutely worth it to own the DVD. I'm a little disappointed that it didn't include "The Merry Minuet," but it's full and rich and a "must have" for Kingston Trio fans.

Bob Shane is still hot.
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It's about time "The Kingston Trio" got the attention and respect that they deserve. Not only were they aruguably the most influential act in musical history, they were also one of the most successful. At one point, the group had 4 albums in the Top Ten simultaneously, a feat that even The Beatles failed to accomplish. In addition to being a great album band, they were a great singles band as well. "Tom Dooley", "MTA", "Greenback Dollar", "Tijuana Jail", "A Worried Man" and countless others were MONSTER sellers.

I feel that their place in musical history has been ill-served by their record company, Capitol Records, a company that was arguably built on the success of the Kingston Trio. The company is as "corporate" as they come. They have no sense of music history. They are only interested in what can make them a ton of money in the here and now.

The Beatles catalogue is a case in point. They have refused to remaster the UK catalogue and give Beatles fans their first four albums in Stereo. I guess that project would not be "commercial" enough for their tastes.

Similarly, they have only released the first two Trio albums as a "TwoFer", further denigrating this band's status as the world-beating ground-breakers that they were. The only reason we have the Trio's albums are on CD is that Collector's Choice and Bear Familiy licensed them from Capitol!

The label that made so much money on The Kingston Trio in the late 50's and early 60's won't even release their albums on CD! The company clearly has no understanding of musical history and pays no respect to its stellar roster of artists. If they can't treat The Beatles with respect, how can we expect them to treat the Kingston Trio with respect?
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When you're doing a piece on an iconic band like the Kingston Trio, I think there's a responsibility to tell the whole story. This DVD doesn't, unfortunately. That's why I give it just three stars.

We get a lot of material from founding Kinston Trio member Nick Reynolds and from his son; we hear from former hiree John Stewart; we also hear a lot from founding member Bob Shane. But we hear nothing at all from members of the late Dave Guard's family, or from anyone else who might represent his part of the story. That's terribly unfortunate, and here's why.

What this DVD fails to recognize is that the Trio was Guard's band, born out of a prior group called Dave Guard and the Calipsonians, and that with his departure, it went into stasis, and then decline. That's because of the huge impact Guard's leadership had on the band. It's also because of the enormous influence of David "Buck" Wheat, the band's bass player, who left the band with Guard. This DVD makes a big deal out of calling manager Frank Werber the fourth member of the trio. I think that's a distortion. One can argue, perhaps more forcefully, that it was Buck Wheat who was the fourth member. That's where, for instance, some of the modern harmonies the Trio used came from.

More telling is that the reasons for Guard's departure from the Trio are ignored in this DVD. I think the story tellers had a responsibility to tell the whole story. The reasons for his departure were several - he wanted tighter, more studious musicianship, to be sure, while Shane and Reynolds apparently resisted that; but there also was a controversy over whether royalty monies had been misappropriated.
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