Monday, January 21, 2008

John Stewart, 1939-2008

One of my earliest musical memories is listening to the Kingston Trio, a group from the 1950s and 1960s who popularized folk music. I got hand-me-down albums from my brother (who played banjo at the time) and sister, probably to get me to stop listening to much more annoying nursery rhyme records. I even remember the personnel change in 1961, when the founding member Dave Guard was replaced by John Stewart. We still followed the Trio, even preferring the Stewart years to the ones which had preceded, and my sister and I followed Stewart's career after he left the Trio and went solo in 1967.

So it is with sadness that I see that John Stewart passed away this weekend from a brain aneurysm following a stroke. I still listen to his solo albums and have a fair amount of his music on my iPod. Calling himself the Lonesome Picker, he sang in a deep baritone and wrote some wonderful songs, including the hit Daydream Believer. There is a fine tribute to him at the Trio's web site.

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