Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Highwaymen
Album:Troubadors Of The Folk Era Vol. 3: The Groups
This version of the traditional song Michael, Row The Boat Ashore was a #1 pop single in 1961 despite the fact that the record company gave upon The Highwaymen. Accidents happen in the music business sometimes. The origins of The Highwaymen are very similar to the more famous Kingston Trio, just on the east coast instead of the west coast. The group began in 1958 at Weslayan University in Connecticut. Dave Fisher, Steve Butts, Bob Burnett & Chan Daniels met at a college fraternity show and Steve Trott joined during rehearsals. They were originally called The Clansman and were popular enough on campus that they decided to try to get a record contract. Their manager Ken Greengrass changed the group name to The Highwaymen. They signed with United Artists in 1959 and recorded an album with producer Don Costa. The album sank and so did the single Santiano and UA dropped them in 1960. The Highwaymen may never have been heard from again except a Connecticut record distributor named Big Ed Dinello liked the B side of Santiano. That song was Michael. He started pushing the song to other distributors and DJs and Michael reached #1 on the singles chart in the summer of 1961. All of a sudden, The Highwaymen were stars. UA re-signed them and they had a #13 hit with the Leadbelly song Cotton Fields. They continued to record without much success and Steve Trott left to go to law school and was replaced by Gil Robbins (Tim Robbins' dad). Trott would become a Federal appeals court judge. This Rhino various artists comp is part of a series about folk music of the 60s and is a good intro for beginners. The Highwaymen continue to perform today with most of the original members and record on their own label. Here's The Highwaymen performing Michael in South Dakota May 2007.