Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey along with Mary Travers founded the legendary Folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. The group performed for nearly 50 years, won five Grammy Awards, and produced 13 Top 40 hits. They earned eight gold and five platinum albums, all the while continuing a centuries-old tradition of people raising their voices in song for the sake of freedom and social justice.
The group reclaimed Folk’s potency as a social, cultural and political force. Their performances of such songs as “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “Puff, The Magic Dragon,” “Blowin’ In The Wind” and more are forever etched into the history of American popular song.
They recorded their debut album, Peter, Paul and Mary, in 1962. It included “Lemon Tree,” “500 Miles” and the Pete Seeger hit tunes “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” It remained a main catalog-seller for decades to come, eventually selling over two million copies, earning double platinum certification in the United States alone.
They were the quintessential group of the Folk revival movement of the 1960s and joined their musical genius with songs that celebrated the common man and the virtues of freedom and activism. As the decade progressed they lent their voices and passion to liberal causes. Following Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy’s strong showing in the 1968 New Hampshire Primary, the group recorded “Eugene McCarthy For President (If You Love Your Country)” endorsing McCarthy, which was released without a record label. Yarrow eventually married the politician’s niece. Stookey wrote the classic “There is Love” for their wedding ceremony.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.
During breaks from Peter, Paul and Mary and following Mary Travers’s death in 2009, Peter and Noel Paul have led significant careers as solo artists. They each enjoy active performance schedules and focus on a wide range of social justice efforts. They also come together for a few concerts each year. In this special evening, the artists celebrate through song and reflection the enduring impact of their music and advocacy.
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