Who Remembers the Chad MItchell Trio?
Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+397) 17 years ago
The following was found in Robert Shelton's Introduction to "The Mitchell Trio Song Book".

"At the beginning of (Gonzaga's) summer school vacation of 1959, Father (Reinard) Beaver...was scheduled to attend an Army Chaplains'
School near New York City. ...He suggested to Chad that the threesome join him on the trip. Mike Kobluck recalls that trip:

"Three singers and an accompanist with about $100 between them. But the gasoline was supplied by the government, so why worry? The second day out we were approaching Miles City Montana. It was getting dark and we were getting hungry. We heard an announcement on the car radio: the Miles City Country Club was holding its first annual dinner that night. Father Beaver said: 'That's where we're singing tonight.' He changed into his Roman collar, drove to the country club, and went in alone to arrange the booking. His pitch was that he had a young trio out there that was going to New York to appear on the Ed Sulivan Show (Father Beaver is to be forgiven his 'sin'; We made it on the Sullivan show four years later.) About fifteen minutes later, he came out. We had a deal ... not for money, but for a steak dinner.

"We sang for about a half-hour. They liked us. Someone started a collection and we ended up with about sixty silver dollars. Another man made a phone call and arranged for us to sing at a Miles City nightclub, where we picked up another $30 or $40. Our feeling was 'Wow! If we can do that in Miles City, what will we do in New York City!' "

"The 'so many people' in New York were not immediately as impressed as those in Miles City had been."

Still, "Father Beaver was in for a surprise. The trio was having too good a time in New York and he had to drive back to Spokane by himself."

Johnnie Lockett Thomas

[This message has been edited by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (edited 3/26/2005).]
Posted by jackie (+168) 17 years ago
Johnnie, that story was great. i remember the chad mitchell trio, however i am thinking the members that were here may have been the originals that were eventually joined by or replaced by henry john dutchendorf (john denver) and michael johnson (bluer than blue)-both from minnesota.). I think the trio used to perform at college campuses in the early sixties.
Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+397) 17 years ago
Isn't this a wonderful story? I wonder who the people were who provided them with their first success here.

The Chad Mitchell trio members who came through Miles City were Chad Mitchell, Mike Koblunk and Joe Frazier. They went on to play every major college, the White House and tours through the mid-sixties.

In 1965 Chad Mitchell left for a solo career. He was replaced by Bob Denver and the group was renamed the 'Mitchell Trio." Chad is presently in the wine business.

Joe Frazier left the group in 1967, went back to Yale for a Master's degree in Divinity and became an Episcopal Priest.

Mike Koblunk left the trio a year later. He is the director of the Spokane opera and a neighbor of Chad Mitchell's.

These four got together for a reunion in 1987. They played some concerts and did an album.

Father Beaver became an Army Chaplain.

[This message has been edited by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (edited 3/28/2005).]
Posted by Bob Zadow (+76) 17 years ago
They did some wonderful stuff that still endures namely wicked satire like the "John Birch Society" " The Friendly Neighborhood Ku Klux Klan" " Which Hat Shall I Wear". I think we need them now to address the present political climate.

Posted by Tom Clarke (+39) 17 years ago
I don't recall the visit to Miles City by the Chad Mitchell Trio in the Summer of '59, which was my graduation year from CCHS, but I left here to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota that same Fall. While at "Mac", I got the paid job of being the Treasurer of the Student Body during my Junior and Senior years, and the Student Body leadership decided they wanted to bring some "name" entertainment to our campus. I ended up handling all the ticket money for those concerts, including obtaining and delivering a cashiers check to the promoter on concert day, and the two I particularly remember were the Dave Brubeck quartet in the Spring of '62, and the Chad Mitchell Trio, the Spring of '63. I seem to recall that Chad Mitchell did a rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind" that was being done by other groups at the time, but I particularly liked their version.

Tom Clarke
Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+397) 17 years ago

In 1959 you'd have been too young to have been at the country Club dinner or at the "nightclub" wouldn't you? And since the trio was unknown and and their presence unexpected I doubt that your parents would have mentioned the incident. I'd still like to know who's left who was there that night. Any guesses?

Johnnie Lou
Posted by Dona Stebbins (+821) 17 years ago
I would suspect that my mother Mary Jane Wynne was there with her beau, Dr. Carden Hadleigh, but Carden has passed on and my mother doesn't recall, although I asked her about it earlier in the week.
I was far too young to have been there, but I have all my old Chad Mitchell Trio albums (on vinyl) stored in the music room upstairs.
Johnnie, I loved this group - thanks for bringing them back to the forefront of my memory!