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Monday, 27 July 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #98 – 27 July 1933

Founding member of The Kingston Trio folk group, Nick Reynolds, was born on 27 July, 1933.

The other two original members were Dave Guard and Bob Shane.

The group were very successful and distinctive, often wearing striped shirts when performing.  Their first album was released in 1958 and the single from it, Tom Dooley became a smash hit, selling over three million copies.

After some incredible years of success, there was a falling out and Guard left the trio. He was replaced by John Stewart who, later as a solo artist, would write Daydream Believer, a massive hit for The Monkees.

The Kingston Trio, whatever the line-up, were clean-cut, wholesome, multi-talented and cheekily funny.

Dave Guard died at 56 on 22 March, 1991.
Bob Shane died at 85 on 26 January, 2020.
Nick Reynolds died at 75 on 1 October, 2008.
John Stewart died at 68 on 19 January, 2008.

Versions of the group perform to this day.

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