“Tom Dooley” (1958) & “M.T.A.”(1959) Performed by The Kingston Trio

July 2, 2012


Webster defines a folk song as “a song written by the common people or in the style of the common people.”  This could describe almost any song with lyrics that we can relate to, but this month (July 2012) OSML will make posts on the Grammy Award winning folk songs from the inception of the Awards until 1969!

1958 #1 Pop,  #9 R&B

The Grammy Awards began in 1958 but the Academy must have made an error in planning because there was no folk award presented in 1958.   But The Kingston Trio did win the 1958 Grammy for the Best Country & Western Performance for “Tom Dooley“– an old North Carolina folk song based on a true 1866 murder.  Seems like the Academy didn’t know the difference between folk and C&W music!

1959 #15 Pop

In 1959 the Academy tried to right their wrong by awarding  the ” Best Performance Folk” to  The Kingston Trio at Large LP by the  Kingston Trio.  Not too sure why they did not select a song, but the entire LP, but by 1960 they got it right!~ ;-)

The Kingston Trio At Large was the group’s (original lineup: Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds) third album release.  It is ranked number 43 in the best albums of 1959 and number 245 in the best albums of the 1950s.  I certainly can’t present the entire set list of all songs on this LP, but the first track, “M.T.A.,”  is certainly a favorite from my youth.   “M.T.A.”  is a cover of a 1949 song by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes AKA “Charlie on the MTA”

Oh my, creating this post has brought back nothing but good feelings of good times as a youngster. The power of music is amazing! Don’t you agree?

Musically Yours,

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Filed under:Capitol Records,Famous Folk Music,Fifties,Folk Rock,Grammy Gold,Jacqueline Steiner & Bess Lomax Hawes,MTA,Number Ones,The Kingston Trio,Tom Dooley

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