Shelton, of course, was the NYT folk music critic when there was such a thing - later pop, rock, and more as well - and he certainly gave the very young Bob Dylan major national exposure. Shelton was probably the first critic and writer to note that the Beatles' massive popularity had an earlier analogue in the KT of 1959-1960, an idea that Martin Guitars has used in this century as a promo for some of their KT commemorative instruments.
Shelton changed his tune on the Trio a bit in 1963 in this article in the short-lived Hootenanny Magazine.
It's brief and a bit dated while at the same time prophetic, worth the few minutes it would take to read it.
Thanks to Jerry Kergan for preserving it on his Liner Notes site - I lost my original copy of the magazine decades ago. "The Kingston Trio Vs. Beatlemania"
Does anyone have a link?
Isn't it ironic? Back in the Trio's heyday, a lot of people viciously attacked the Trio. The traditional folkies hated them, and so did the lefties. Does anyone remember Irwin Silber? "Serious" critics like Robert Shelton dismissed the Trio as fluff. The anti-Trio rumblings at Newport in 1959 got so bad that Frank Werber got into a fistfight with Albert Grossman.
Through it all, however, the Trio acted with class and dignity, never responding or counter-attacking.