Monday, February 28, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Brothers Four
The Brothers Four were one of several groups that had success in the early 60s as part of the folk music boom. They are forgotten today and frequently confused with the more successful Kingston Trio. But The Brothers Four had a top five hit with Greenfields in 1960. The Brothers Four all attended the University Of Washington and formed in 1956. Members were Bob Flick on bass, John Paine on guitar, Mike Kirkland on banjo and Dick Foley on guitar. Kirkland was a tenor and the other guys were baritones. They performed traditional folk music with intricate harmonies. The 1958 Kingston Trio hit Tom Dooley convinced them to move to San Francisco and pursue a recording contract. While performing at the San Francisco club The Hungry i, they met Dave Brubeck's manager Mort Lewis and he got them a contract with Columbia Records. Their first two singles flopped but then they hit the jackpot when Greenfields reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dehr and Frank Miller of the folk group The Easy Riders. Then their album hit the top 20. They also performed The Green Leaves Of Summer on the Oscar telecast when it appeared in the 1960 film The Alamo and was nominated for Best Song. They toured constantly and were huge in Japan. They held their own with similar groups. Of course the downfall of The Brothers Four and other groups was the growing political folk movement led by Bob Dylan. But they had some chart success until they left Columbia in 1969. A version of The Brothers Four continues to tour today. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Here's The Brothers Four performing Greenfields on Sing Along With Mitch 1960.