John Stewart: 1939 to 2008
Though he recorded 45 albums after, John Stewart is mostly remembered for the seven years he spent with the Kingston Trio (1961-67) and for writing the Monkees’ hit “Daydream Believer”.
He died of a brain aneurysm or a massive stroke January 19 in the same San Diego hospital where he was born September 5, 1939. He was 68. Stewart had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s a year before, though he continued performing.
Allmusic columnist Thom Jurek argues that Stewart’s 1969 solo album California Bloodlines, recorded in Nashville with some of the Nashville Skyline players, is the first Americana album.
Perhaps. Regardless, his albums — hits and not — were suffused with America, and mostly achieved Americana levels of commercial success. California Bloodlines went to #193 on the Billboard album chart. His 1979 release Bombs Away Dream Babies was his most commercially successful, ending at #10 and producing his lone top-10 single, “Gold”.