PORT TOWNSEND — Nearly 60 years after forming at the University of Washington, The Brothers Four are still going strong, with a performance set for Saturday evening at Fort Worden’s McCurdy Pavilion, 200 Battery Way.
The Brothers Four are an American folk singing group founded in Seattle in 1957 and known for their hit song, “Greenfields,” released in 1960.
Their all-acoustic presentation consists of guitars, banjo, upright bass and vocals.
“A Brothers Four show these days represents what I would call the American Folk songbook,” including bluegrass, ragtime, Broadway productions and original music by the group, band member Mark Pearson said over the phone this week from his home in Port Ludlow.
The full-time lineup of The Brothers Four consists of Pearson, a guitarist, banjo player and singer/songwriter; founding member Bob Flick, bass player, group leader and singer/songwriter; Mike McCoy and Karl Olsen.
The concert — taking place as a kick-off to Domestic Violence Awareness Month held every October — benefits the Dove House of Jefferson County, a nonprofit organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and other crimes, according to a news release.
The concert is presented by Jefferson Healthcare.
“This is the biggest [fundraiser] we have ever taken on,” said Beulah Kingsolver, Dove House executive director, this week.
“We are the only victim service agency serving all of Jefferson county, [and] without the community support we could not offer the level of support victims need.”
Purple is the official color of domestic violence awareness, and event coordinator Danny Milholland encourages all guests to wear their finest purple hats, pants, dresses, ties and blouses to stand in support of domestic violence awareness and prevention.
“This is a great band and a great way to show survivors our community cares,” Kingsolver said.
“Victims are your mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, teacher [and] doctors. Coming and supporting this concert … gives hope and helps those working one-on-one with victims renewed strength.”
Pearson said that the band has been able to continue performing for more than half a century because their music embodies an innocent place and time in American history long lost, but fondly remembered.
“There is a joy and beauty to the music that is amazing,” he said.
The band was part of the American folk-music revival, Pearson said, which also included groups such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary.
“That era ended with President [John F.] Kennedy’s assassination, followed a few months later by the arrival of The Beatles” and the subsequent British Invasion, Pearson said.
Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963, with The Beatles arriving in America and giving their iconic performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.
“I think what happened is that the natural way of things was interrupted at that time. A lot of people that still enjoy the fun of that music, the stories [and] the sensibility that represents” identify with folk music, Pearson said.
“A lot of people like to go back and remember those times before all those things happened.”
The founding members of the group are Bob Flick, John Paine, Mike Kirkland and Dick Foley, who in 1956 met at the University of Washington while they were members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and began singing together, according to their biography.
Their first professional performances were in 1958. In 1959, the band moved to San Francisco to work with Mort Lewis, who became their manager and helped secure them a record contract with Columbia Records.
Their hit song, “Greenfields,” was released in January 1960 and hit No. 2 on the pop charts — selling more than 1 million copies.
The group later sang their fourth single, “The Green Leaves of Summer,” from the John Wayne movie, “The Alamo,” during the 1961 Academy Awards. They also recorded the title song for the 1962 movie, “Five Weeks in a Balloon,” and the theme song for the ABC television series, “Hootenanny,” in 1963.
Their popularity waned stateside, but the band continued to do well in Japan, Pearce said.
“The Brothers Four got very lucky,” he said.
The group “never retired at any point and that was because of the Japanese market that has remained incredibly vital,” Pearce said.
Kirkland left the group in 1969 and was replaced by Pearson. In 1971, Pearson left and was replaced by Bob Haworth, who stayed until 1985 when Pearson returned. Foley left the group in 1990 and was replaced by Terry Lauber.
Pearson said The Brothers Four is pleased to help raise money for The Dove House.
The group wants “to be part of something bigger than ourselves,” Pearson said, which “is always a wonderful thing.”
Dove House works to provide empowerment and support to survivors as they overcome barriers and rebuild their lives, according to a news release, with Dove House Advocates offering their clients ideas and options that address the issues they face.
Options include housing assistance; emergency financial assistance; navigating and signing up for government benefits; immigration assistance; parenting support; and support in navigating childcare and school needs.
Counseling-based advocacy also provides emotional support as survivors process a huge range of emotions, including grief and loss, anger, shame and fear, according to the release.
During the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Dove House served a total of 597 people seeking domestic violence services, according to the release.
Of those people, 124 were children and 62 were ages 60 and older while 100 were male.
The nonprofit’s 24-hour Crisis Line received 1,196 crisis calls and the emergency shelter provided 3,807 bed-nights, of which 795 were for children.
Kingsolver said it is important to shine a light on domestic violence.
The “majority of our clients are victims of domestic violence,” she said.
“They are all ages and cultures and we serve all genders.”
Locally, the Dove House encourages citizens to get involved in their community and create safe and healthy environments for honest, open communication with friends and relatives who might be on the edge, or going through a rough patch by offering love, support and an open ear, according to the release.
“Domestic violence thrives when we are silent,” Kingsolver said.
“But if we work together and speak our truths, we can end domestic violence.”
Doors to the venue open at 6:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:10 p.m.
General admission is $35, with preferred seating at $45, premium seating at $70 and VIP seating at $175.
VIP tickets include a preshow soiree with the band including hors d’oeuvres and refreshments from Finnriver Cidery, Mt. Townsend Creamery and other local producers.
Tickets are available online at http://the brothersfour.brownpaper tickets.com/, in Port Ludlow at the Port Ludlow Bay Club, 120 Spinnaker Place, and in Port Townsend at Crossroads Music, 2100 Lawrence St.
All profits from the concert go to benefit the Dove House.
For more information, visit www.dovehousejc.org.