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Peter, Paul And Mary: A Biography Essay, Research Paper

The group Peter, Paul and Mary Have been one of my favorites since I was about age 5. Their original ballad “Puff the Magic Dragon” I would listen to over and over again. Other pieces such as “Blowing in the Wind”, and “If I Had a Hammer” were also very familiar to me as a child.

With her long flowing blonde hair and crystal clear soprano vocals, Mary Travers was a major influence on the folk music of the 60’s and 70’s. (AMG www.allmusic.com)

Mary Travers , a founding member of Peter, Paul and Mary, not only became one of the most commercially successful folk performers, but, used her position to become an inspirational political spokesperson. Together with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, Travers performed at Civil Rights rallies with Dr. Martin Luther King, in Burmingham, Alabama and Washington, D.C. and at numerous anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, fund-raisers and teach-ins. During the 1980’s, Travers helped to call attention to the struggles of Latin America.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Travers grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village. As a youngster, she became enchanted with the american folk songs played by The Weavers, Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. While in High school, Travers became a regular performer at the Sunday afternoon folk music sessions at Washington Square Park. Together with a teenage group, The Songswappers, Travers appeared twice at Carnegie Hall and recorded with Pete Seeger.

Noel Paul Stookey is best known as one third of the folk trio, Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey has balanced his involvement with the trio, however, as a solo singer-songwriter, record producer and political activist. His Tune, “The Wedding Song (There Is Love)”, written for Peter Yarrow’s marriage to Marybeth McCarthy, the niece of senetor and one time presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, has become a nuptial classic. (AMG www.allmusic.com).

Stookey’s earliest inspiration came from the rock and roll of the rock bands. His witty personality made him popular as a stand-up comic and he worked as an emcee in night clubs while attending Michigan State University.

Peter Yarrow known for his songwriting, sound quality and commitment to excellence, Peter Yarrow, along with Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers, made up the popular folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. The trio produced such standard 60’s hits as “Blowin’ in the Wind, ” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Puff the Magic Dragon”; much of their music centered around the social issues and concerns of the times, including war, homelessness, the environment, world hunger, Apartheid, and the Sanctuary.. (AMG www.allmusic.com)

Peter Yarrow was born in New York City in 1938. His singing career began after receiving a psychology degree from Cornell University. Upon graduating, he went to Greenwich Village, where he met up with Noel Stookey and Mary Travers. Albert Grossman, the trio’s manager, assembled and encouraged the group. After rehearsing for seven months, the trio was ready to make public debut. In 1961 they performed in the Greenwich Village coffeehouse Bitter End. This eventually led to other dates in folk clubs in Chicago and San Francisco. After rousing success at the Blue Angel nightclub in New York, the group began a national tour which lasted almost ten years.

Their first album stayed in the top ten for ten months, and in the top twenty for two years. and sold more than two million copies. A year later in 1963 the trio had three albums on the charts which included the hit “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

I myself have their album “Peter, Paul and Mary (Moving)” A Warner Brothers release in 1963. Most of the groups original recordings were on LP 33 1/3 rpm Vinyl records. The trio of Peter, Paul and Mary was the most popular singing group in the U.S. just before the Beatles arrived, using their three part harmony arrangments to introduce the work of some of the 60’s best songwriters. Now more than 30 years later, they are still performing and recording regularly.

Signed to Warner Brothers Records, they released their debut album Petr, Paul & Mary (Mar. 1962), which was a massive hit, reaching number one. Which spawned the hit “Lemon Tree” (Which made the top 40) and the Weavers sogn “If I Had a Hammer” (Which reached top ten and won Grammy awards for Best Performance by a vocal group and best folk recording0. “moving’ (Jan. 1963) was another enormous hit, reaching the Top Ten, going gold, and featuring the Top Ten hit “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” co-written by Yarrow and now a children’s standard.(WindowsMedia.com).


AMG allmusic.com


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