The Brothers Four – Live At The Hollywood Bowl – Folk Night 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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The Brothers Four, continuing our survey of Folk acts of the late 1950s/early 1960s in concert. Tonight it’s back to the Hollywood Bowl for Folk Night 1965.
Interestingly, The Brothers Four and The Kingston Trio got started around the same time (1957). Landed in San Francisco and set up shop around North Beach, around the same time (1959) – landed a major label deal around the same time. Kingston Trio with Capitol and The Brothers Four with Columbia and both groups had massive hits. The Folk craze was in full swing as the 60s got started.
Bob Flick, John Paine, Mike Kirkland, and Dick Foley met at the University of Washington, where they were members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in 1956 (hence the “Brothers” appellation). Their first professional performances were the result of a prank played on them in 1958 by a rival fraternity, who had arranged for someone to call them, pretend to be from Seattle’s Colony Club, and invite them to come down to audition for a gig. Even though they were not expected at the club, they were allowed to sing a few songs and were subsequently hired. Flick recalls them being paid “mostly in beer”.
They left for San Francisco in 1959, where they met Mort Lewis, Dave Brubeck’s manager. Lewis became their manager and later that year secured them a contract with Columbia Records. Their second single, “Greenfields”, released in January 1960, hit #2 on the pop charts, sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Their first album, Brothers Four, released toward the end of the year, made the top 20. Other highlights of their early career included singing their fourth single, “The Green Leaves of Summer”, from the John Wayne movie The Alamo, at the 1961 Academy Awards, and having their third album, BMOC/Best Music On/Off Campus, go top 10. They also recorded the title song for the Hollywood film Five Weeks in a Balloon in 1962 and the theme song for the ABC television series Hootenanny, “Hootenanny Saturday Night”, in 1963. They also gave “Sloop John B” a try, released as “The John B Sails”.
Ironically, The Brothers Four are still together (in name only – no founding members in the current lineup).
Here they are at The Hollywood Bowl, with a host of other Folk acts, all comprising Folk Night At The Bowl – 1965.