Kingston Trio co-founder Nick Reynolds dies at 75


Guitarist and singer Nick Reynolds – a founding member of legendary folk group the Kingston Trio – has died after his family agreed to take him off a life support system in a San Diego, California hospital. He was 75.


Reynolds had been ill for some time with acute respiratory disease and other illnesses, his family said.


With hit songs like the Grammy award-winning ‘Tom Dooley’ (1958), ‘A Worried Man’ (1959) and ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ (1962), Nick Reynolds and the Kingston Trio were credited with helping to revive the folk music scene in the late 1950s – turning it into a mainstream force and paving the way for stars like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.


“Dad was so happy he turned people onto music in a way that people could really approach it, in a simple and honest way,” his son Josh Reynolds told The Associated Press. “He was a very gracious and loving performer.”


Born on July 27, 1933 in San Diego, California, Nicholas Reynolds demonstrated an early love of music and a talent for close harmony singing. He regularly performed sing-alongs with his two sisters and his Navy Captain father. It was his father who taught him to play guitar.


Reynolds, Bob Shane and Dave Guard formed the Kingston Trio in 1957 after meeting while at college. Dave Guard later left the group over musical differences in 1961 and was replaced by John Stewart.


Famous for their close harmonies and clean-cut style, the Kingston Trio were arguably the most vital and popular folk group in the world between 1957 and 1963. They won a second Grammy in 1959 for ‘Best Folk Performance’ for their third album, The Kingston Trio At Large.


The group disbanded in 1967 as rock music began to overshadow their brand of folk. Nick Reynolds decided to take a break from music and became a rancher in Oregon. He returned to California in the mid-1980s and, in 1991, teamed up with Bob Shane again to form a new version of the Trio. He remained with the group until retiring in 1999.


“Nobody could nail a harmony part like Nick,” Bob Shane once observed. “He could hit it immediately, exactly where it needed to be, absolutely note perfect, all on the natch.”


Fellow founder Dave Guard died in 1991, and his replacement, John Stewart, passed away earlier this year. Bob Shane is the only surviving member of the group.


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