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Music, Songs and Lyrics
Artist Profile
Peter, Paul and Mary
Website: http://www.peterpaulandmary.com



Biography

Peter Yarrow (Born 31 May 1938, New York City, New York, USA), Noel Paul Stookey (Born Paul Stookey, 30 November 1937, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and Mary Allin Travers (Born 7 November 1937, Louisville, Kentucky, USA) began performing together in the spring of 1961. They were brought together by Albert Grossman, one of folk music's successful entrepreneurs, in an attempt to create a contemporary Kingston Trio. The three singers were already acquainted through the close-knit coffee house circuit, although Dave Van Ronk was briefly considered as a possible member. The group popularized several topical songs, including "If I Had A Hammer" and were notable early interpreters of Bob Dylan compositions. In 1963 their version of "Blowin' In The Wind" reached number 2 in the US chart while a follow-up reading of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" also broached the Top 10. They were also renowned for singing children's songs, the most memorable of which was the timeless "Puff The Magic Dragon". The trio became synonymous with folk's liberal traditions, but were increasingly perceived as old-fashioned as the 60s progressed. Nonetheless a 1966 selection, Album, included material by Laura Nyro and featured assistance from Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, while the following year's "I Dig Rock 'N' Roll Music" became their fifth US Top 10 hit.

Peter, Paul And Mary enjoyed their greatest success in 1969 with "Leaving On A Jet Plane". This melodramatic John Denver song reached number 1 in the US and number 2 in the UK, but by then the individual members were branching out in different directions.

Yarrow had been the primary force behind You Are What You Eat, an eccentric hippie movie which also featured Tiny Tim and John Simon, and in 1970 he, Travers and Stookey announced their formal dissolution. The three performers embarked on solo careers but were ultimately unable to escape the legacy of their former group. They reunited briefly in 1972 for a George McGovern Democratic Party rally, and again in 1978. Following several albums for the short-lived Gold Castle label in the late 80s, the trio returned to Warner Brothers Records in the 90s. Although criticized for their smooth and wholesome delivery, Peter, Paul And Mary proved to be one of the 60s most distinctive acts and played a crucial bridging role between two contrasting generations of folk music.




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