Peter, Paul and Mary
The group was created by producer Albert Goldman, who sought to create a folk "supergroup" by bringing together "a tall blonde (Travers), a funny guy (Stookey), and a good looking guy (Yarrow)". He launched the group in 1961, booking them into the Bitter End, a coffee shop in New York City's Greenwich Village that was a favorite place to hear folk artists. The group recorded their first album, Peter, Paul and Mary, the following year. The album was listed on Billboard Magazine Top Ten list for ten months and in the top one hundred for over three years.
By 1963, they had recorded three albums, released the now-famous song "Puff the Magic Dragon," which Yarrow originally wrote in 1958, and performed another major hit, their cover of "If I Had a Hammer" at the March on Washington, best remembered for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech, "I Have a Dream." For many years after, the group was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and other causes promoting social justice. The later hit "Leaving on a Jet Plane" was actually written by the then unknown John Denver.
The trio broke up in 1970, following Yarrow's conviction for taking "improper liberties" with a 14 year old child. (He was pardoned by then-president Jimmy Carter after serving three months of a one to three year sentence).
The members pursued separate solo careers, but none had a fraction of the success they did 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) has become a wedding standard since its 1971 release. They have periodically performed together on an irregular basis since 1978 and have issued several new albums.
- 1970 Ten Years Together
- 1969 Peter, Paul and Mommy
- 1968 Late Again
- 1967 In Japan
- 1967 Album 1700
- 1966 Album
- 1965 See What Tomorrow Brings
- 1965 A Song Will Rise
- 1964 In Concert
- 1963 In The Wind
- 1963 (Moving)
- 1962 Peter, Paul and Mary
- Download sample of "Puff the Magic Dragon" (.ogg format)