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Peter, Paul & Mary


It was in 1961 when Peter, Paul & Mary stood on stage in front of the infamous brick wall at The Bitter End coffee house on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. The Bitter End is still there today and Peter Paul & Mary are still performing 40 concerts a year.

What began as individual solo careers in the Village became a "family" through the insight, creativity and foresight of Albert Grossman, their mentor and manager. Grossman at that time was managing Bob Dylan, who two years later in 1963 wrote the "In The Wind" album liner notes - - the album is a classic and Dylan's notes are a poetic tribute to Peter Paul & Mary.

During the first ten years they recorded about one album a year and many of the songs are classics - "Blowin' In The Wind," "If I Had A Hammer," "Puff, The Magic Dragon,"  "Lemon Tree," "Where Have All The Flowers Gone," "Stewball," "500 Miles," "Leaving On A Jet Plane," "This Land Is Your Land."  During the 60's the times were-a changin' . . . but over the last forty years PP&M's commitment to the struggles for social justice have not - - - that commitment is as strong today as ever. 

Album Photo: Peter, Paul & Mary "In The Wind"
1963 Warner Bros Records, Inc.
Photo Credit: Barry Feinstein

The threesome is known all over the world on a first name basis. Their legacy is not only musical, but deeply personal as recorded by Folk Music Archives. 

Folk Music Archives has interviewed Peter, Paul & Mary as a group
in New York City. This was recorded on December 14, 2000.

In January and February, individual interviews were done with
Peter Yarrow, Paul [Noel] Stookey and Mary Travers.

Noel Paul Stookey

Noel, the "Paul" of the PP&M lives in northern Massachusetts, near Vermont. Folk Music Archives interviewed Noel at his home on the campuses of Northfield Mount Herman school on Tuesday, January 23, 2001. Noel moved to New York City at the age of 20 to be a photographer. The Greenwich Village  burgeoning arts and folk scene were a match made in heaven. His easygoing Midwestern personality quickly found him on stage as a master of ceremonies, comedian and sometime singer and song writer. "Those were exciting times," Noel said, but as he tells his personal story, those times would lead to an extraordinary change in his life.

Right on Right: Noel & Paul
Noel Paul Stookey  with "A Song Will Rise"
Talking about "San Francisco Bay Blues"
Photo: Folk Music Archives ©2001

Peter Yarrow

Peter Yarrow was born in New York City. He has been on the frontlines of the civil rights movement most of his life. Peter has never wavered from his conscience, concern and commitment for a better and more compassionate world. 

He was interviewed by Folk Music Archives on January 29, 2001. Peter's personal story, recollections of Peter, Paul and Mary performing at the Bitter End in 1961 and his musical and political activism are very compelling.  During the interview he talked about the formation PP&M; First performance at The Bitter End Cafe; Manager, Albert Grossman; Bob Dylan; "Blown' In The Wind;" Greenwich Village during the 1960's; Warner Bros. Records; The formation and philosophy of PP&M - love and respect - politics and causes - human rights; Influence of his mother on his life; Musical background; Student at Cornell; The 1955 reunion of The Weavers at Carnegie Hall; The Newport Folk Festival; The blacklisting era; El Salvador - human rights story and song; Pete Seeger; "Where Have All The Flowers Gone;" Reverand Martin Luther King and the Selma March; "If I Had A Hammer;" Influences on his life and his personal hope for the future and what he is doing to make those hopes possible.  

The entire interview is 1:11 minutes, including the songs: "Blowin' In The Wind;"  There But For Fortune;"  "Don't Laugh At Me;"  Weavers At Carnegie Hall: "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine;"  "If I Had A Hammer;"  and "Because All Men Are Brothers."

Photo of Peter Yarrow: Warner Bros. Album (1972) "Peter"
Photo Credit: Tom Bert, Peggy-Jo Studios© 

Mary Travers

Mary Travers was interviewed on February 23, 2001 in her Connecticut home. This is a special personal one-on-one interview recorded in her living room on a beautiful crisp snowy day with her dog "Peaches" under the table. For nearly three hours Mary's candor, humor, politics, family, the "Village" days, musical career of Peter, Paul & Mary . . . and her  childhood days in New York - the "Little Red School House", Moe Asch, Pete Seeger, The Weavers  . . .  reveal the personal side of this warm - - - outspoken and compassionate person.



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