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The Travelers Three

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Biography

The Travelers 3 were a vocal trio from Eugene, Oregon.

Harmonizing male folk combos, in trios and quartets, were booming in the early 1960s in the wake of the phenomenal success of the Kingston Trio. Elektra Records, then emerging as one of the most prominent American independent folk-oriented labels, made its first move into the territory with the Limeliters, whose self-titled LP gave the company its first Top Forty album. Although the Limeliters would make most of their early-1960s chart LPs for RCA, Elektra soon came up with another fold threesome, the Travelers 3. Appropriately enough, the trio recorded three longplayers for the label, starting with The Travelers 3.

The group got together in Eugene, Oregon, where Charlie Oyama (banjo, guitar, ukelele) and Pete Apo (guitar, ukelele, drum) had moved from Hawaii to attend the University of Oregon (though Charlie and Pete had met before they came to the university, through Pete’s brother). Teaming up with Dick Shirley (bass, guitar, and plastic toy flute), they went back to Hawaii to do a long residency at the Shell Bar (famous for its use in the 1959-63 TV detective series Hawaiian Eye), in fact becoming the first folk act to work there.

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