In a May 25, 1961 letter that was recently included in the recently-published Pete Seeger: In His Own Words book that Rob Rosenthal and Sam Rosenthal edited, Pete Seeger wrote the following about The Kingston Trio's early 1960s commercial folk music act:
"I listened to a couple of performances of the Kingston Trio last summer and was appalled to discover that they were unable to sing one single song straight unless it was a mawkishly sentimental song. Otherwise, they always at some time had to crack a joke to let the audience know that they didn't take it seriously. This reminds me of a comment made by Woody Guthrie once to Walter Lowenfels, `Why are you guys scared to be serious?'..."
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