The Chad Mitchell Trio. The name evokes memories of a special musical era when they, The Kingston Trio, The Limelighters, and others were household names. Especially in my house.
Tonight we'll be heading to their final concert. They will be performing one more time on a 2015 cruise that had been booked some time ago, but tonight will be the last time to see them in concert.
Joe Frazier, a member of the group from the beginning, passed away last year. Ron Greenstein, a backup musician for the Trio since 2009, has been filling in for Joe during their recent performances. It's been a fantastic ride for the Chad Mitchell over the past 55 years. They were one of the most popular folk groups of the Sixties. By the end of that decade, Chad Mitchell had left to pursue a career as a cabaret singer, and was replaced by some unknown kid named John Denver. In 1986, Doris Justis, a mainstay of the World Folk Music Association and one half of the folk group Side B,y Side, talked the trio into reuniting. Despite their individual careers (Mitchell was still performing, Mike Kobluk was running a recreational arts program on the West Coast, and Joe Frazier had become an Episcopal priest), the Trio began performing again to the delight of their many fans.
Joining them tonight will be Side By Side, who have appeared on stage with The Chad Mitchell Trio many times. The two groups appeared together during a special anniversary concert five years ago, celebrating the Trio's 50th anniversary and Side By Side's 25th anniversary. Also appearing will be noted singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, who was actually a member of the group for about one week, and The Gateway Singers, another popular Sixties folk group who had appeared with the Trio many times.
It's going to be a fun night, and I'm thankful that we will be able to see them one final time.
It will also be a chance to honor Joe Frazier's memory. Father Joe, in addition to being very talented, was a warm and inspiring man who had the ability to make anyone with whom he spoke feel very special.
Here's The Chad Mitchell Trio doing a beautiful song written by Mitchell:
Here's The Mitchell Trio with John Denver doing one of Eric Anderson's great songs: