A FOLK ERA SAMPLER is designed to give the listener a variety of popular folk music from each of its many albums. The groups represented here all have histories that date back to that period of time (1957-1967) that has come to be known as the "folk era." Included among the artists on this Compact Disc is the group that most historians credit with really launching the popular folk-music revolution on college campuses and on prime-time radio and television, the original Kingston Trio Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds were responsible for millions of college students picking up guitars and banjos. They in turn started their own "folk groups" that for the most part imitated or at least took their basic musical and performing philosophy from the Trio. Included in that group of young musicians was a man named John Stewart who would later replace Guard when he left the Trio in August of 1961. The Trio remained very popular until they disbanded in 1967, thus pulling down the curtain on the "folk era." However, its influence on popular music is still very much in evidence today, and many of the original 60's folk bands have reunited either in original form (Peter, Paul and Mary) or in a slightly altered configuration (the Kingston Trio, the Limeliters). Folk music had been for the most part an underground medium until the Trio came along. Of course, it would be a mistake to leave out such folk pioneers as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays and of course the original popular folk group, the Weavers. However, mass popularity for this musical style was attained by the original and second generation Kingston Trio's.
On the heels of the Kingston Trio came a host of other popular folk groups who became successful. The Brothers Four, the Chad Mitchell Trio and a host of other folk groups prospered during this period, performing their acts for audiences all over the country, and indeed, the world around. Among these other groups were the Brandywine Singers (to later become the Shaw Brothers) and the White Mountain Singers. While they never attained the popularity of the Trio, they recorded albums and performed all over the country in concert and on television. Today, these two acts are among the top popular folk attractions in the country. Folk Era is proud to present their most recent works on this sampler, as well as on LP's, cassettes and CD's.
The White Mountain Singers (Steve Fiott and Scott Fisher) have toured all over the country since their reformation in 1981. They have been headliners on three Coca-Cola sponsored concert tours, playing to crowds as large as 32,000 fans, and have recorded five new albums and a BEST collection on Folk Era. They have had two albums named Top Ten Folk Albums by GOLDMINE magazine, and hot Pop releases in BILLBOARD. Their CD — ROUND THE BEND — on Folk Era was highly reviewed in the GREEN CD CATALOG, getting 8's and 9's for performance and sound quality. Steve and Scott perform all over the country bringing with them the spirit and sense of fun that has endeared them to their fans.
The Shaw Brothers, Rick and Ron, have been actively performing together since the sixties. Collectively, they've sung in the Brandywine Singers, the Pozo Seco Singers and the Hillside Singers (who had the big hit "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"). They perform all over the country, usually to sell-out crowds, and their musical style has remained virtually unchanged since the sixties — smooth and mellow with a touch of class thrown in for good measure. Their Folk Era CD — THE SHAW BROTHERS COLLECTION — has been a large commercial success, and the label looks forward to many more years of working with Rick and Ron on future projects.
Dave Guard was the founder of the original Kingston Trio, and remains an innovative musician today. After leaving the Trio in 1961, he formed the Whiskeyhill Singers, performing with them for a year before taking a break from music. Now he's back performing, and better than ever! The two cuts from the ALL ALONG THE MERRIMAC album are his first new works since the early sixties to be released commercially, and they promise more great things to come from Dave. Folk Era is proud to release these on CD for the first time with this sampler, and to welcome this industry giant to its label.
We hope that this CD will whet your appetite for more popular folk music; and, if this is the first time you've heard this style of music, we hope that you'll find it as enjoyable as millions of others have since 1957. We at Folk Era are proud to bring it your way in the exciting new world of digital sound!