The Cumberland Trio | Lost & Found: The 1964 New York Sessions

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Lost & Found: The 1964 New York Sessions

by The Cumberland Trio

Folk, Gospel and Bluegrass
Genre: Folk: Power-folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ride Up
2:04 $0.99
2. Rambler Gambler
2:04 $0.99
3. John Henry
2:18 $0.99
4. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
2:50 $0.99
5. Old Blue
2:12 $0.99
6. I Wish I Were a Babe
2:36 $0.99
7. The Hallandale Jail
1:52 $0.99
8. A Lion Named Sam
2:30 $0.99
9. South Australia
1:47 $0.99
10. Song for a Drifter
2:10 $0.99
11. Make Me a Pallet
2:46 $0.99
12. Babylon
2:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In May, 1964 Chet Atkins & RCA Nashville sent The Cumberland Trio to New York City for a week of recording, appearances & interviews. These 12 songs were recorded at historic Gotham Studios over a four day period and represent the CT's best work of the '60's Folk Era. The album was never released because of the Beatles & the British invasion wiping out the Folk Era boom almost overnight when they hit the US on their first tour in the fall of 1964. For 49 years it appeared that the tape of the session was lost. But in this the Trio's 50th year it was dramatically discovered & then brilliantly restored & digitally remastered by Andy Laird of Spare Time Music, Carlsbad, CA. Folk historian Nick Noble has called this album "One of the very best of the Folk Era- bar none."

The Cumberland Trio- Lost & Found- The 1964 New York Sessions

Startling Discovery After 49 Years Of Futile Search

The Cumberland Trio is now in it's 50th year of existence. Recently an old reel-to-reel tape copy of it's May, 1964 New York City recording sessions at storied Gotham Studios was discovered after a 49 year search. This album was digitally remastered to CD and represents the Trio's best studio work of the 1960's Folk Era. Credit must go to Bradley Reeves, Executive Director of the Tennessee Motion Picture & Sound Archives, Knoxville, TN for the discovery of the tape and to Andy Laird of Spare Time Music, Carlsbad, CA for brilliantly restoring and digitally remastering the tape to CD. This is the story of the last leg of the Trio's brief but magical 1960's Folk Era musical journey. After releasing digitally remastered CD's of their 1964 RCA sessions in 2000 and live reunion concerts in 2001 and 2004, their 50 year music circle is now complete with the release of this landmark album. This chapter of the story of The Cumberland Trio begins one year after it's formation.

From Music City to the Big Apple

In April, 1964 The Cumberland Trio recorded 15 songs in one day at RCA Nashville's famed Studio B, produced by the legendary Chet Atkins. Recording live in studio there were no overdubs or retakes which really surprised and pleased the # 1 record producer in Music City. In less than a year of existence the Trio had moved from the unknown “outhouse” to the proverbial “penthouse” of folk music. They won first prize in the National Collegiate Folk Festival in Jacksonville, FL over 14 other talented collegiate folk acts from all over the nation. A month later they made their national television debut on ABC-TV’s prime time Saturday night series, Hootenanny, receiving a standing ovation following their rousing performance of Ride Up. Over 11 million people watched the show, which also featured the national television debuts of Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys and Doc Watson. The morning after the Nashville session Atkins and RCA offered the students from the University of Tennessee a standard one album contract. He told the Trio and it's manager Bob Newsome that RCA would send them to New York City to record the same songs at Gotham Studios fearing that if the album were to be released from Nashville it would be viewed as country music. So armed with confidence and an RCA contract, on a Sunday in late May the Trio drove a station wagon from their home base in Knoxville to the Big Apple! None of the boys had ever visited New York. So with instruments in hand the one week journey to the big city began.

Four Days at Gotham

The Trio came into Gotham Studios having honed their skills even more since recording at RCA, altering some of the arrangements, polishing vocal dynamics and adding 12 string guitar to several songs. They arrived late on a Sunday evening and had to appear at the studio ready to record on Monday morning. Upon arrival at Gotham to their surprise the producer assigned to the project was a 26 year old rock ‘n’ roller, Larry Finnegan, who was aloof, cocky, abrupt and demanding unlike the friendly, father-like Atkins. The engineer was also very condescending and that was a culture shock to the young guys from Tennessee. Nevertheless they managed to record 12 songs over a grueling four day period with countless stops and starts. There were 33 takes on John Henry alone. Unlike the omnidirectional vocal and instrument mics at RCA Nashville, under Finnegan’s direction the Trio utilized individual vocal and instrument mics, sitting on stools for the ballads and standing for the up tempo songs. At the end of each day’s session the Trio and it's bass player were exhausted. It was a grueling experience but the mission was accomplished, the young men gaining more and more confidence as the sessions progressed. Late on Thursday night the album was finally finished. Relief was the best word to describe their feelings, but they felt confident about the quality of the recordings. Little did they know but a startling twist was about to be presented in the form of an offer from a competing record label.

The RIC Friday Surprise

On Friday morning manager Bob Newsome informed the Trio that another record label, Recording Industries Corporation (RIC) headquartered in New York City with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles, had approached him about buying out RCA and offering the group a recording contract at five times the album royalty rate as that of the established industry leader. Newsome subsequently talked with Chet Atkins who knew the executives at RIC and spoke very highly of them, especially the president and CEO, Joe Csida, who had previously served in the same position at industry giant Capitol Records. Atkins told the Trio and manager via telephone that they should seriously consider RIC’s offer since he would have no further involvement in the project once the sessions were finished, mixed and mastered and that RIC would likely promote the album much more than RCA. RIC was a new label having been capitalized with $10 million from a private placement sale to principals and investors. It was an immediate major player in the music business with great fanfare in the industry.

Bobby Darin, Brenda Lee & The Cumberland Trio

RIC had made a huge splash a few weeks earlier by signing the # 1 male pop star in the USA, Bobby Darin, as well as the teenage pop/country phenom Brenda Lee. The young men, two of whom were still teenagers, were extremely reluctant to make the switch because of their comfort with Atkins, but the money and hard sell prevailed. RIC bought RCA out of the project including the tape of the Gotham Studios sessions and would officially sign the Trio the following week in Nashville. On Friday afternoon the Trio was photographed at Columbia Records’ photography studios and also met with executives at the two largest talent agencies in the world, William Morris and Ashley-Steiner, auditioning with songs for both. Newsome was told that the group would have to develop a professional act, meaning they would have to learn how to entertain a live audience. The Trio understood the task ahead of them as they were very familiar with the performances of the big time folk groups, including The Kingston Trio, then the highest paid concert act in the music business. They knew what must be done and were prepared to focus on developing a really entertaining show over the coming summer in order to be ready for the album release and touring on college campuses and elsewhere in the fall.

Fun Weekend In The Big City

After an exhausting five days of recording, interviews and contract negotiations The Cumberland Trio remained in New York over the weekend, attending shows at many of the famous Greenwich Village clubs, including the Bitter End, Gerde’s Folk City and the Gaslight Café, where they sat at a front row table to see the great Doc Watson perform. Doc had been on the same ABC-TV Hootenanny TV show as the Trio in Knoxville and the young men had bonded with him. They also took in some of the city’s most famous sites, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Then it was the drive back to Tennessee where The Trio would meet with RIC officials in Nashville on Tuesday for the contract signing and a press conference on Music Row. It would be announced with great fanfare to the entertainment world that The Cumberland Trio had signed with RIC, which would proclaim them “The Kingston Trio from the South.” It was indeed a heady time for this upstart folk group, which one year prior to the announcement did not even exist. It was indeed a trip from the unknown “outhouse” to the proverbial musical “penthouse.”

Summer Nights in Gatlinburg

In early June The Cumberland Trio parted ways with manager Bob Newsome and negotiated the rental of the Hotel Greystone Playhouse in the resort town of Gatlinburg, TN, the gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ten million visitors came to this resort area each summer but until the Trio there almost unbelievably had been no high level professional entertainment in the area. With guidance from bassist, arranger and equal partner Jim Shuptrine the Trio converted the playhouse into an entertainment showplace with an extended carpeted stage, stage lights operated from the bass stand and a state of the art sound system. On June 20 the Trio began performing sold out shows Monday through Saturday, two shows each evening. Student friends were hired to run the box office and concessions. It was a family friendly atmosphere with virtually no competition and a rousing success. Shuptrine developed into a first class comedian, new humorous songs and patter were added and the development of the Trio’s act evolved over the summer into an overall performance they felt would be successful on tour that coming fall.

The Beatles Blow Up The Folk Era

On August 28 in Gatlinburg The Cumberland Trio received shocking news. RIC records announced it was taking Chapter 7 bankruptcy purportedly because of The Beatles and the British Invasion of the music and concert scene in the United States. The “Fab Four” from across the pond had hit American shores in early August to begin their first official concert tour. “Beatlemania” swept the nation and almost overnight the musical dominance of the early 1960’s Folk Era came to an abrupt end and with it the hopes and dreams of the Trio. To say that the four young men from Tennessee were devastated is an understatement. After returning to Knoxville from the incredibly successful summer in Gatlinburg, the Trio made a futile attempt to follow the lead of the Beatles and create an electrified pop rock sound. Painfully realizing that it wasn’t their niche, in early 1965 The Cumberland Trio disbanded and began what would become successful careers in banking, law and art brokering.

Sam The Lion Breathes New Life Into The Cumberland Trio

For the next 37 years the members of The Cumberland Trio were in a musical "hibernation." Jerre and Barbara Haskew had written the song A Lion Named Sam in late 1963 and it had become a signature concert performance for the Trio. “Sam” had been recorded at their sessions in both Nashville and New York. Barbara had also written the Trio’s signature civil rights anthem I Wish I Were A Babe in early 1964. But "Sam" the Lion refused to die. He simply demanded that Barbara help his story live. It took over a year but with the extraordinary help of artist Patricia Mayes "Sam" sprang to life on the pages of a new children's book. Barbara presented the proofs to Jerre as a surprise on their 37th wedding anniversary. The excitement surrounding it energized old friendships. "Sam" the Lion began to show up at schools and hospitals and wherever it might bring a smile. It brought the Cumberland Trio back together and spawned the digital remastering and release of The Cumberland Trio (The 1964 RCA Sessions). The release of this CD subsequently prompted demand for sold out reunion concerts at the historic Bijou Theatre Center in Knoxville, TN in November, 2001 and September, 2004 and the Chattanooga Theatre Center, Chattanooga, TN in July, 2003. Both Knoxville concerts, Reunion Concert Live! and Back Where We Began, were recorded for audio and video by Trio producer Steve Wallace and released on CD and DVD to rave reviews in folk music circles. These recordings included new original songs written by Barbara, My Rockabye and Fiery Gizzard Blues. In addition the Trio performed at the renowned Riverbend Music Festival in Chattanooga, TN in June, 2002 and June, 2005. Now in it's 50th year of existence, the Trio's music circle is complete with the release of The Cumberland Trio- Lost & Found- The 1964 New York Sessions.
released 23 June 2013
The Cumberland Trio

Andy Garverick- Solo & Baritone Vocals, Banjo, Lead Guitar
Jerre Haskew- Solo & Lead Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Tom Kilpatrick- Solo & Tenor Vocals, Guitar, 12 String Guitar & Percussion
Jim Shuptrine- Acoustic Upright Bass

Produced by Larry Finnegan & Recorded at Gotham Studios, New York, NY, May, 1964. Restored, Remixed & Digitally Remastered by Andy Laird, Spare Time Music, Carlsbad, CA



to write a review

Lynda Greer

Lost and THANK HEAVENS Found
I am a lover of folk music and have been for 50 (!) years. I am so thrilled to have found
this group. They have such beautiful, tight harmony and strong individual voices. The
instrumental work is prodigious...especially the banjo. I love the Beatles, but their arrival
was a disaster for lovers of folk music. Thank you, CD Baby, for giving us back the Cumberland Trio.

Robert Morgan Fisher

Found Treasure
The Cumberland Trio were one of the finest groups to emerge from the 60's Folk Boom. This album was recorded at the zenith of that boom and its stillbirth (due to the Beatles tsunami) makes it a sort of "Lost City of Atlantis." To finally have it released is a joy--we all owe the CT a great debt. This is a must-have for any collection.

Dennis Ray

"Just close your eyes.."
Just hit "play" on your remote, close your eyes, and within only a few seconds you're transported back to that special time when clean cut young men with their guitars and banjos hovered around a single microphone and sang tight three part harmonies with vibrant energy. If you remember that time or want to experience it, this Cumberland Trio album is a "must have". Especially noteworthy are Tom Kilpatrick's soaring tenor voice and Jim Shuptrine's sharp, staccato banjo playing. All tracks are great, but two standouts are "Wish I Were a Babe", an original, and "Ride Up". While a freshman at The University of Tennessee I was able to hear this group twice, the latter "In Concert" with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. How great that they still are making music 50 years later!

John S. Such

50 years later The Cumberland Trio are performing with their original line-up and have just released a new CD recorded live in 1964. If you want to revisit the folk era buy this CD to experience one of this eras finest acts. Tight vocals, harmonies and acoustic instrumentation along with traditional folk tunes will keep you humming and singing along song after song. Since I received my copy in the mail this CD has been in my CD player with the repeat button engaged. And that is the measure of an outstanding recording. Order your copy now!

Nick Noble

A Terrific "Find" -- Music Epitomizing the Great Folk Revival of the 1960s
If you want to capture the spirit of the 1960s Folk Revival, you should start with this wonderful CD. Sure, groups like the Kingston Trio and Peter-Paul-&-Mary were better known thanks to their huge chart success, but the fact is that the vast majority of those caught up in the magic of that era were ordinary folk: enthusiastic college kids, aspiring artists, terrific talents who got together and performed for the sheer musical joy of sharing songs both traditional and original. Circumstances conspired to keep the Cumberland Trio-- extremely talented performers from the University of Tennessee-- out of the record stores and off the charts. But that doesn't mean that they didn't produce excellent music. Today the best of what was lost has been found: and what a terrific "find" it is. The Cumberland Trio's work is worth hearing, and then you'll want to hear it over and over again. Traditional songs like "Ride Up!" (which helped them win the National Intercollegiate Folk Music competition back in the day), full of energy and drive. Original songs like "Wish I Were a Babe" (a lovely, gentle protest song and quietly powerful Civil Rights anthem) and "A Lion Named Sam" (rivaling "Puff the Magic Dragon" as a perfect children's song). Gorgeous harmonies, brilliant instrumental work, and an infectiously energetic enthusiasm which brings all these great songs to life: with all of this and more going for them, the Cumberland Trio epitomizes the Great Folk Revival of the early 60s.
It has been my privilege and pleasure to be able to play tracks from Cumberland Trio recordings on my weekly radio show-- THE FOLK REVIVAL, Thursdays 7-11 PM est, and listeners can share in that privileged pleasure by getting hold of this CD and checking it out. You won't be disappointed!

-- Nick Noble

Darryl Hattenhauer

The Fiery Heart
The four albums by The Cumberland Trio plus the one by Jerre Haskew and his family are among my all-time favorites. During my long convalescence, their recordings have stayed beside my stereo, giving me inspiration and healing.
All of these albums have the beautiful and engaging harmonies reminiscent of The Chad Mitchell Trio. In addition, they feature a wide range of styles. For example, Andy Garvarick’s version of an Earl Scruggs classic, “Shuckin’ the Corn,” shows you what great playing you hear on these albums. Likewise, the dobro artistry of Louis Wamp is warm and sweet. Similarly, the dobro, banjo, and mando playing of Michael Headrick is amazing.
Moreover they cover tunes from many genres. For example, they go from blues tunes like Mississippi John Hurt‘s “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” to country songs like Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.” They even do a subtle protest song, “I Wish I Were a Babe”:

They call me Christian,
Call me Black or Jew.
When they call for me,
They call for you.

They also do children’s songs every bit as charming as Pete Seeger’s “Riding in My Car” and Peter, Paul and Mary’s “The Marvelous Toy.” Also, they can be as funny as the Smother’s Brothers, for example, “Old Dogs (Can Still Bury a Bone).“
One of their specialties is to combine songs into fabulous medleys. For instance, their version of “Sloop John B” starts with the Kingston Trio’s opening lick, then develops the harmony of the Beach Boys’ version, then merges wonderfully into “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet. Just when you are reeling from all of that, they end by sliding back into “Sloop John B.”
The albums to look for are the two early ones, “The Cumberland Trio: Lost and Found,” which was recorded in New York City, and “The Cumberland Trio,” which was recorded in Tennessee and produced by Chet Atkins. As you might expect, the Atkins version is recorded better. In addition, it contains all of the tunes from “Lost and Found.“ But each gives you the excitement that the Cumberlands generated back in the early 1960‘s, plus detailed liner notes.
There are also the two double-live albums, The Cumberland Trio: “Reunion Concert” (recorded in 2001) and The Cumberland Trio: “Back Where We Began” (recorded in 2004). You need to get both of these because they are equally impressive, and each contains some songs that aren’t on the other one.
As fine as those are, the real corker is the recent one, “Songs from the Fiery Gizzard: The Music of the Haskew Family.” It has all of the brilliance of the other ones, but the melodies and chord progressions are simply transcendent. Moreover, the lyrics would do Dylan, Prine, Lightfoot, Cohen and Waits all proud:

God must cry himself to sleep.

I can’t play anymore, but if I could, this is what I’d play, and this is how I’d play it.