Peter, Paul, and Mary (often called PP&M) are a musical group from the United States who were one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. The trio is composed of Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey, and Mary
... Peter, Paul, and Mary (often called PP&M) are a musical group from the United States who were one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. The trio is composed of Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey, and Mary Travers.
The group was created and managed by Albert Grossman, who sought to create a folk "supergroup" by bringing together "a tall blonde (Mary Travers), a funny guy (Paul Stookey), and a good looking guy (Peter Yarrow)". He launched the group in 1961, booking them into the The Bitter End, a coffee house and popular folk venue in New York City's Greenwich Village. They recorded their first album, Peter, Paul, and Mary, the following year. It included "500 Miles", "Lemon Tree", and the Pete Seeger hit tunes "If I Had a Hammer" (subtitled "(The Hammer Song)") and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". The album was listed on the Billboard Magazine Top Ten list for ten months and in the Top One Hundred for over three years.
The group made its television debut in either 1961 or 1962 on a talk show hosted by Mike Wallace and Joyce Davidson, though neither audio nor video footage has yet been found. By 1963, Peter, Paul, and Mary had recorded three albums. All three were in the Top ten the week of President Kennedy's assassination.
That year, the group also released "Puff the Magic Dragon", which Yarrow and fellow Cornell student Leonard Lipton had written in 1959, and performed "If I Had a Hammer" at the 1963 March on Washington, best remembered for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. One of their biggest hit singles was the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind. They also sang other Bob Dylan songs, such as: "The Times They Are a-Changin'"; "Don't Think Twice, it's Alright"; and "When the Ship Comes In".
"Leaving On A Jet Plane" became their only #1 hit (as well as their final Top 40 hit) in December 1969, and was written by John Denver (who already had some success with The Chad Mitchell Trio), and first appeared on their Album 1700 in 1967. "Day Is Done", a #21 hit in June 1969, was the last Hot 100 hit that the trio recorded.
The trio broke up in 1970 to pursue solo careers, but found little of the success which they had experienced as a group - although Stookey's "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" (written for Yarrow's marriage to Marybeth McCarthy, the niece of senator Eugene McCarthy) was a hit and has become a wedding standard since its 1971 release.
In 1978, they reunited for a concert to protest nuclear energy, and have recorded albums together and toured since. They currently play around 45 shows a year.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
The trio became political activists for their commitment to peace in Central America and for supporting musically and personally the peace and social justice movement in America. Their inveterate support for Israel distinguishes them from other major folk singing groups and implies a uniqueness of consideration and courage in their political choices. They were awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience on September 1, 1990.
In 2004, Travers was diagnosed with leukemia, leading to the cancellation of the remaining tour dates for that year. She received a bone marrow transplant and is recovering. She and the rest of the trio resumed their concert tour on December 9, 2005 with a holiday performance at Carnegie Hall.
Peter, Paul, and Mary received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.
The trio sang in Mitchell, South Dakota, for the George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Leadership dedication concert on October 5, 2006.
The trio canceled several dates of their summer 2007 tour, as Mary took longer than expected to recover from back surgery and later had to undergo a second surgery, further postponing the tour. They will make up at least one of the dates, at the Northfork Theatre (formerly Westbury Music Fair) in June 2008.