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Peter, Paul & Mary

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The trio Peter, Paul and Mary (often PP&M) is an American musical group that was one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. The trio comprises Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers.

The group was created by manager Albert Grossman, 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 house 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. It included “500 Miles,” “Lemon Tree”,”Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and the hit Pete Seeger tune “If I Had a Hammer,” (“The Hammer Song”). 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 and fellow Cornell student Leonard Lipton originally wrote in 1959 and was on the charts in 1963; 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. Their biggest single hit came with the Bob Dylan song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which was an international #1 hit. It was the fastest selling single ever cut by Warner Brothers Records. For many years after, the group was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and other causes promoting social justice. Their later hit “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was actually written by the then unknown John Denver.

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