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Bob Shane, Folk Pioneer & Co-Founder Of The Kingston Trio, Dies At 85
Shane sang lead on most of The Kingston Trio's songs through their heyday of the '50s and '60s. At one point in 1959, the group had four albums in the Top 10, and they ulitmately played a key role in folk music's rise to pop prominance, paving the way for a surge of successful folk artists in the '60s.
Shane was born in Hawaii in 1934, and his interest in music blossomed when he began learning songs of the Polynesian Islands on the ukelele. He attendded the famous Punahoa private school, where he met and formed a duo with Dave Guard. Shane and Guard, along with Nick Reynolds, moved to Northern California after high school, where they eventually formed the Kingston Trio in 1957.
The following year, the group landed their first No. 1 hit with "Tom Dooley," which featured Shane's deep voice in the lead. Over the next seven years, The Kingston Trio landed five No. 1 albums and a total of 14 albums in the Top 10.
At the very 1st GRAMMY Awards, The Kingston Trio won Best Country & Western Performance for "Tom Dooley." The group won their second GRAMMY the following year in the newly instituted Best Performance - Folk category and go on to be nominated fo six other GRAMMY Awards in first five years of the Awards' existence.
In 2011, The Kingston Trio were honored by the Recording Academy with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Bob Shane was, in my opinion, one of the most underrated singers in American musical history,” George Grove, Kingston Trio member since 1976 said back in 2015. “His voice was the voice, not only of the Kingston Trio but of an era of musical story telling.”
Shane is survived by his wife and five children. He will be remembered for music he made and the distinctive mark he left on popular music.