Gary: This would be my favourite Folk Group of all time. They represent my generation and they sang songs that where very pertinent at that time, the exciting but turbulent Sixties. It is very unfortunate that we lost Mary Travers last year, so with out any more words I give you —
Peter Paul and Mary
1. Lemon Tree/ Warner 5274/ 6/9/62/ #35 Billboard
2. If I had a Hammer(written by Pete Seeger)/ Warner 5296/ 9/8/62/ #10 Billboard
3. Puff (the Magic Dragon)/ Warner 5348/ 3/30/63/ #2 Billboard
4. Blowin’ in the Wind/ Warner 5368/ 7/13/63/ #2 Billboard (favourite)
5. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (my favourite)/Warner 5385/ 9/28/63/ #9 Billboard
6. Stewball/ Warner 5399/ 12/28/63/ #35 Billboard
7. Go Tell It On The Mountain/ Warner 5418/ 4/4/64/ #33 Billboard
8. For Lovin’ Me (Gordon Lightfoot writer)/ Warner 5496/ 2/13/65/ # 30 Billboard
9. I Dig Rock and Roll Music/ Warner 7067/9/2/67/ #9 Billboard
10. Day is Done/ Warner 7279/ 5/17/69/ #21 Billboard
11. Leaving on a Jet Plane/ Warner 7340/ 11/8/69/ #1 Billboard (John Denver writer)
They met in Greenwich Village, where they were all working in the early sixties. Peter was appearing as a single after a successful tour that included the Newport Folk Festival. Paul was doing a stand up comic routine in the Village, while helping Mary get back on her feet as a singer after here working in a Broadway flop, “The Next President“.
They worked together for seven months on eighteen songs. With the help of Milton Okun, they polished their arrangements and were set to open at the Village’s Bitter End. The engagement was a success, which led to a recording contract in 1962 with Warner Brothers.
In April of that year, they released their first song “Lemon Tree“, which became their first national hit. The unbelievable statistic is that the only song that ever made it to the #1 position was the John Denver song, “Leaving on a Jet Plane“. I guess there was so much competition around in the early sixties, that “Blowin’ in the Wind“, “Puff the Magic Dragon” just did not make it.
A Gordon Lightfoot Song…
Left to Right: Noel “Paul” Stookey, Mary Ellin Travers and Peter Yarrow
Sadly, in 2005, Mary Travers was diagnosed with leukemia. Although a bone-marrow transplant apparently slowed the progression of the disease, Travers died on September 16, 2009, at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, from complications arising from chemotherapy. She was 72 years old.