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The Brothers Four

the brothers four, the brothers four greenfields
The Brothers Four is an American folk singing group, founded in 1957 in Seattle, Washington, known for their 1960 hit song "Greenfields"


  • 1 History
  • 2 Selected discography
    • 21 Singles
    • 22 Albums
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Bob Flick, John Paine, Mike Kirkland, and Dick Foley met at the University of Washington, where they were members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in 1956 hence the "Brothers" appellation Their first professional performances were the result of a prank played on them in 1958 by a rival fraternity, who had arranged for someone to call them, pretend to be from Seattle's Colony Club, and invite them to come down to audition for a gig Even though they were not expected at the club, they were allowed to sing a few songs, and were subsequently hired Flick recalls them being paid "mostly in beer"

They left for San Francisco in 1959, where they met Mort Lewis, Dave Brubeck's manager Lewis became their manager and later that year secured them a contract with Columbia Records Their second single, "Greenfields," released in January 1960, hit #2 on the pop charts,2 sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA3 Their first album, Brothers Four, released toward the end of the year, made the top 20 Other highlights of their early career included singing their fourth single, "The Green Leaves of Summer," from the John Wayne movie The Alamo, at the 1961 Academy Awards, and having their third album, BMOC/Best Music On/Off Campus, go top 10 They also recorded the title song for the Hollywood film Five Weeks in a Balloon in 1962 and the theme song for the ABC television series Hootenanny, "Hootenanny Saturday Night," in 1963 They also gave a try at "Sloop John B", released as "The John B Sails"4

The British Invasion and the ascendance of edgier folk rock musicians such as Bob Dylan put an end to the Brothers Four's early period of success, but they kept performing and making records, doing particularly well in Japan and on the American hotel circuit

The group, with Jerry Dennon, built a radio station in Seaside, Oregon KSWB in 19685 The station was subsequently sold in 1972 to a group from Montana, and later to a self-proclaimed minister, and finally merged into a larger conglomerate of radio stations

The group attempted a comeback by recording a highly commercial version of Dylan's "Mr Tambourine Man," but were unable to release it due to licensing issues, and The Byrds eventually stole their thunder by releasing their heralded version6

Mike Kirkland left the group in 1969, and was replaced by Mark Pearson, another University of Washington alumnus In 1971, Pearson left and was replaced by Bob Haworth, who stayed until 1985 and was replaced by a returning Pearson Dick Foley left the group in 1990 and was replaced by Terry Lauber Despite all the changes and having spent 59 years in the business, the group is still active

Selected discographyedit


Year Song titles A-side, B-side
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Peak chart positions Album
1960 "Greenfields"
b/w "Angelique-O"
2 2 40 7 1 The Brothers Four
"My Tani"
b/w "Ellie Lou You Left Me There In Charleston"
50 Rally 'Round
"The Green Leaves Of Summer"
b/w "Beautiful Brown Eyes"
65 10 BMOC Best Music On/Off Campus
1961 "Frogg"
b/w "Sweet Rosyanne" from BMOC
32 Roamin'
"Nobody Knows"
b/w "My Woman Left Me" Non-album track
Song Book
"Christmas Bells"
b/w "What Child Is This Greensleeves"
Non-album tracks
1962 "Blue Water Line"
b/w "Summer Days Alone" from Song Book
68 Rally 'Round
"Theme From 'La Fayette' Slowly Slowly"
b/w "Darlin' Sportin' Jenny" Non-album track
Greatest Hits
"This Train"
b/w "Summertime"
Non-album tracks
"Land Of The Midnight Sun"
b/w "Five Weeks In A Balloon"
"25 Minutes To Go"
b/w "The Tavern Song" from By Special Request
Cross-Country Concert
1963 "Ringing Bells"
b/w "Welcome Home Sally"
Non-album tracks
"All For The Love Of A Girl"
b/w "55 Days At Peking"
"The John B Sails"
b/w "Four Strong Winds" from The Brothers Four Sing Of Our Times
The Big Folk Hits
"Hootenanny Saturday Night"
b/w "Across The Sea" from By Special Request
89 Non-album track
1965 "Somewhere"
b/w "Turn Around"
The Honey Wind Blows
"Lazy Harry's"
b/w "Come Kiss Me Love" from Try To Remember
"Try To Remember"
b/w "Sakura"
91 Try To Remember
1966 "Ratman and Bobbin In The Clipper Caper"
b/w "Muleskinner" from More Big Folk Hits
Non-album track
"If I Fell"
b/w "Nowhere Man"
A Beatles Songbook
"The Ballad Of Alvarez Kelly"
b/w "We Can Work It Out" from A Beatles Songbook
Non-album track
b/w "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her" Non-album track
A New World's Record
"I'll Be Home For Christmas"
b/w "'Twas The Night Before Christmas"
268 Merry Christmas
1967 "And Then The Sun Goes Down"
b/w "All I Need Is You" from A New World's Record
Non-album track
"Walking Backwards Down The Road"
b/w "The First Time Ever"
A New World's Record
"Here Today and Gone Tomorrow"
b/w "No Sad Songs For Me"
1968 "I'm Falling Down"
b/w "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Runaway Child"
Non-album track
1970 "Going Back To Big Sur"
b/w "Here I Go Again"


  • 1960 The Brothers Four – US #11
  • 1960 Rally'Round!
  • 1961 BMOC Best Music On/Off Campus – US #4
  • 1961 Roamin' with The Brothers IV
  • 1961 The Brothers Four Song Book – US #71
  • 1962 The Brothers Four: In Person – Columbia 360 Sound CS-8628 - US #102
  • 1962 The Brothers Four Greatest Hits
  • 1963 Cross-Country Concert – US #81
  • 1963 The Big Folk Hits – US #56
  • 1964 More Big Folk Hits – US #134
  • 1964 Sing Of Our Times
  • 1965 The Honey Wind Blows – US #118
  • 1965 By Special Request
  • 1966 Try To Remember – US #76
  • 1966 A Beatles' Songbook The Brothers Four sing Lennon/McCartney – US #97
  • 1966 Merry Christmas
  • 1967 A New World's Record
  • 1969 Let's Get Together8
  • 1970 1970
  • 1996 Greenfields & Other Gold – new studio recording
  • 1996 The Tokyo Tapes - 35th Anniversary – live cd
  • 2010 Golden 50th Anniversary – live cd
  • 2014 Beautiful World – new studio and live cd
  • 2016 title TBD – new upcoming live album

See alsoedit

  • List of University of Washington people
  • List of people from Seattle
  • List of folk musicians
  • Ringing Bell


  1. ^ "About" Brothers four Retrieved 2010-10-01 
  2. ^ a b "Show 19 – Blowin' in the Wind: Pop discovers folk music Part 2" Pop Chronicles UNT Digital Library 1969-05-25 Retrieved 2010-10-01 
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph 1978 The Book of Golden Discs 2nd ed London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd pp 121–2 ISBN 0-214-20512-6 
  4. ^ "Brothers Four" Youtube Google 2009-04-26 Retrieved 2010-10-01 
  5. ^ "Bob Haworth", Jazz Banjo Magazine Interview, 72, Fall 2007  |access-date= requires |url= help
  6. ^ Adams, Cecil 1978-04-21 "Must you get permission to record someone else's song" The Straight Dope Retrieved 2010-10-01 
  7. ^ Roberts, David 2006, British Hit Singles & Albums 19th ed, London: Guinness World Records, p 80, ISBN 1-904994-10-5 
  8. ^ a b The Brothers Four at AllMusic

External linksedit

  • Official website

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