This trio sang folk songs in the U.S. spanning a nearly 50-year career. They are known for their contribution to the folk music of the 1960s. The trio was Peter Yarrow, (Noel) Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. Yarrow and Stookey continued to perform as a trio after the death of Travers in 2009.
Peter, Paul, and Mary released their first album which was self-titled. It included songs that later became popular “Lemon Tree”, “500 Miles”, “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” This album went on to sell more than two million copies. In 1963 the group came out with the ever-popular song “Puff, the Magic Dragon”.
They performed their song “If I Had a Hammer” at the March on Washington in 1963. This was the march at which Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Among their biggest hit singles was Bob Dylan’s song “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Other Dylan songs which they sang included “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”, and “When The Ship Comes In”.
Peter, Paul, and Mary performed “Blowin’ in the Wind” on the Jack Benny TV show in 1964. Their only number one hit was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” in 1969. The song was written by John Denver. It sold over six million copies and won the group a gold disc. The last Hot 100 hit which the group recorded was “Day is Done”. The group broke up in 1970 to be able to go on to solo careers.
In 1972 Peter, Paul, and Mary reunited to perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City to support George McGovern’s presidential campaign and once again in 1978 for a concert that protested against nuclear energy. After a summer reunion tour, they decided to come together once more in 1981 and ever since they continued to perform together giving around 45 shows a year until Mary Travers died of leukemia in 2009.
In honor of Travers, the rest of the group freshly orchestrated live tracks from their concerts from the 1980s and the 1990s and released the album titled The Prague Sessions in 2010.