The Great Folk Revival of the late '50s and early '60s may have given birth to more trios than any musical movement in American history. Thanks to the success of the Kingston Trio with "Tom Dooley" in 1958, record labels were more than willing to take a chance on outfits like the Travelers Three. The group was born when singer-songwriter Pete Apo and twelve-string guitarist Charles Oyama recruited bassist Dick Shirley--a collegiate friend--to form a trio. The three University of Oregon students quickly garnered a strong local following and both Apo and Oyama abandoned their studies for commercial aspirations. By 1962, the group recorded its first album for Elektra Records, and they would make an appearance on folk music's popular television program, Hootenanny. As musical taste began to change in the mid-'60s, the trio hired drummer Michael Gene Botta, moved to Capital Records, and cut their forth album, New Sounds. In 1964, Joe Lamanno also replaced Shirley in the group. Musical tastes, however, continued to change, making Kingston Trio-styled groups seem a bit stale. In their short time together, though, the Travelers Three achieved moderate success, busily performing at popular nightspots like the Troubadour in L.A., the Gate of Horn in Chicago, and Harrah's in Reno. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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