BY CHERIN C. POOVEY
Wake Forest Magazine
The fabric of one of the nation’s most well-known folk/pop groups is woven throughout the life of this man who says music has always been his teacher and protector.
Grove, who grew up in Hickory, N.C., and played trumpet and piano by the time he was 4, was swept up in (Kingston) Triomania at age 9 after listening to one of his sister’s records. As a boy he taught himself the vocals and instrumentals to every song the group recorded. Little did he know that one day he would actually perform those songs as a member of the legendary (Kingston ) trio, which he joined 41 years ago.
While attending Hickory High School Grove applied to several colleges and chose Wake Forest . His father believed it would be difficult for him to make a living as a musician, so Grove initially pursued pre-med. But his Wake Forest mentor, Professor of Music Calvin Huber, and Huber’s wife, Bette, took the young performer under their wing.
As did his piano teacher, Christopher Giles.After a couple of years Grove told his parents that his joy was in music, and he changed his major.
In 1969 George served his country in the U.S. Army and he ultimately landed a position in the Army Band, where his music continued.
Then, in 1976, came the call that would change his life; Bob Shane, now the sole surviving original member of The Kingston Trio, invited him to audition. He joined the group on tour in Chicago and has been performing for 41 years, playing the banjo and guitar as well as singing.
Now George loves his transition to the Folk Legacy Trio. He loves performing with his friends and expanding his music library to include the Great American Folksong Book™.
Rick Dougherty doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t sing and his beautiful tenor voice has garnered him compliments from Judy Collins, Chet Atkins and Tom Paxton, to name just a few. Rick played piano at home, but in high school he began playing guitar with a particular interest in finger-styles and within a year he was appearing in local coffee-houses in Pasadena. By the time he left the City College he was playing ragtime guitar and had been given a citation by the music department as one of its most promising students.
In 1983, after touring the country, he returned to the Bay Area and won a vocal scholarship to Sonoma State University where he became an assistant to the director in the Opera department. He also continued to write arrangements and perform with the jazz ensembles. In 1986 he received the Award for Outstanding Solo Performance from the National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE) at the Berkeley Collegiate Jazz Festival. He graduated with honors in 1987 and began working with several of the opera companies in the Bay Area. By 1999 he had directed 36 operas in the Bay area.
In 1990, just as he was beginning to direct more operas, Rick was invited to join the “The Limeliters” and performed with the group for audiences across the United States until 2004. He appeared with them on the “This Land Is Your Land” PBS Special hosted by Judy Collins and The Smothers Brothers. His vocals can also be heard on the Limeliters recording Until We Get it Right.
In early 2003 Rick left The Limeliters and joined Glenn Yarbrough and Dick Foley in “The Folk Reunion” which toured with The Brothers Four and The Kingston Trio for two years as a followup to the PBS Special. At the end of the tour in 2005, Rick was invited to join the Kingston Trio, reuniting with his former partner in “The Limeliters,” Bill Zorn, and longtime trio member and superb instrumentalist George Grove. Together they brought the Kingston Trio to a level of musicianship and vocal power that gained the reputation as the best lineup the group ever had. They recorded two CDs, “Born at the Right Time” and “Bloodlines,” and appeared on two PBS Specials; one a tribute to the group with special guests, and the “Holiday Special” with performances of both classic and traditional Christmas folk songs.
For twelve years the group toured the country receiving rave reviews and drawing ever larger audiences, bringing the repertoire of The Kingston Trio to vocal and instrumental heights recognized by venues and audiences all over the country. When Rick and George left the group in 2017, they quickly realized the opportunity to expand their performance repertoire to all of the great music of the Folk Era, and with the addition of their friend Jerry Siggins, the Folk Legacy Trio was born.
Now with the Folk Legacy Trio he is returning to his roots and Rick loves performing with his friends and expanding his music library to include the Great American Folksong Book™.
JERRY SIGGINS –
Jerry Siggins has accumulated some impressive credits of his own. Jerry has worked throughout the United States, Japan, and Australia as a singer and actor. He spent five summers at Jackson Hole’s Pink Garter Theater and has guest starred on The Tonight Show, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and The Love Boat. Before setting down roots as a permanent member of THE DIAMONDS in 1991, Jerry enjoyed a successful career as an actor in television commercials and was actively involved in Southern California theatre. He sang in a doo-wop group called Danny and The Dappers and was a mainstay at Disneyland and Disney World as a vocalist with The Dapper Dans vocal quartet for years.
“There are few musicians today that have been charged with saving a genre of music. There are fewer yet that have the ability to do so. George, Rick and Jerry are accomplished in every facet of vocal performance and entertainment. With the recent resurgence of ‘new folk’ it is only fitting that the Folk Legacy Trio be formed as the foundation to a new generation of folk lovers.”
“I have often worked with Rick, George and Jerry separately over the years. The fact that they are very talented and true professionals has always been obvious. But even with this knowledge, I was still surprised at just how amazing they sound together. It’s like their voices were made to blend on those harmonies. My audience adored the show and I have had many insist that I bring them back…which I most certainly will.”
“In these times of limited folk music venues, it is difficult to find seasoned performers who rise to the professional level that marked the great performances we all enjoyed during the heyday of the sixties folk music era. George Grove, Rick Dougherty, and Jerry Siggins, veteran folksingers with thousands of stage-hours among them, bring us the folk music classics we remember, and effortlessly transport us to a bygone era.”
The Folk Legacy Trio performed at the Rubicon Theatre to an audience who anticipated and expected a good performance, but got a great performance. Their songs matched our audience, and the quick sellout required an added performance. These guys delivered, and they succeeded in making new friends, not just new fans.