The Chad Mitchell Trio
What serious fellows! It was a different time. Chad Mitchell, Joe Frazier, and Mike Kobluk, could be very funny and irreverent, but they could take themselves a bit seriously too. What gorgeous harmony they produced.
I always enjoyed the Chad Mitchell Trio. When I joined the "Columbia Record Club" in the early sixties I bought a Mitchell Trio album or two. Here they sing the folk classic, "Dona, Dona, Dona". Notice the guitarist? That's Jim (later Roger) McQuinn who would found the legendary Byrds.
In 1965 Chad went off on his on and the group held nationwide auditions to replace him. Singer/songwriter John Deutschendorf, who had renamed himself John Denver, took Chad's place in what was now The Mitchell Trio.
[I replaced the orininal clip with a longer one from the same TV show - The Bell Telephone Hour.]
One night back in 1969, Don Baird, my intrepid first cousin and radio journalist, was dispatched from WSB in Atlanta to interview the popular folk trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary. He says he regularly conducted three interviews a night -- fewer after the Braves moved to town and "...gobbled up all the airtime." Often Don would dash over to the airport waiting area to talk with a celebrity or politician passing through. This night he met up with PP&M backstage at the old Altanta City Auditorium. Mary was the expansive one, Don says. She talked up a storm. Among the nuggets she tossed him for that night's edition of WSB's "Nightbeat" was this tidbit:
"We're debuting a new song tonight, "Leaving on a Jet Plane". It's by a young German fellow named John Deutschendorf." - Mary Travers
That song got John Denver noticed and soon he was a chart-topping one man act. Sheila and I saw him at the new (now long gone) Omni arena. He sang for a couple of hours straight on a revolving stage in the center of what would be, on other nights, the Flames hockey rink or the Hawks basketball court. John Denver knew how to do a concert! It was one of the best concerts I have ever attended.
Sheila and I bought all his records and a songbook or two and his "Matthew's Song" became part of my own repertoire.