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Uploaded on Jan 23, 2008
From Trio Fantasy Camp 4 in August of 2003, former Kingston Trio members John Stewart (L) and Nick Reynolds (R) perform an informal version of the song that appeared on the Trio's first album, recorded fifty years ago in February of 1958.
"Sloop John B" came to the U.S from the Bahamas, where it had been heard by American poet Carl Sandburg and his friend, activist folksinger Lee Hays, whose group The Weavers recorded the first version of this song as a rollicking, uptempo calypso, very similar to what the Beach Boys did with it many years later.
The Kingston Trio's version, however, was darker and slower, reflecting the nightmare qualities of the lyric - a night of drinking gone terribly bad, the hangover, jail.
The second verse is sung from the audience by legendary folksinger Travis Edmondson, of Bud and Travis fame, a hero to both Reynolds and Stewart.
John Stewart passed away in January of 2008. He leaves a legion of friends and admirers, and fifty years of great American music of unparalleled excellence.
Nick Reynolds followed Stewart in death in October of the same year. Their legacy as performers remains a permanent part of American music.