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Peter Paul & Mary

Updated on October 25, 2017
folk group: Peter Paul and Mary
folk group: Peter Paul and Mary

Why I'm making this page about Peter Paul & Mary

I'm making this page about Peter Paul & Mary because it was not without reason that Peter Paul and Mary are known as the most popular folk group of the 60's and one of the most durable music acts in history. I think Peter Paul and Mary have the best harmony of any singing group ever and their unique sound was best suited for their specialized genre, folk music.

It happened sort of by accident, as the 3 of them came separately to Greenwich Village in the 60's during the folk revival, and manager Albert Grossman suggested they try singing together. The rest is folk music history. They became leaders of the folk revival of the 60's, popularizing many folk songs with their unique folk style.

Peter, Paul, and Mary, of course, helped invent "protest" music when they recorded Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," transforming it into a '60s civil rights anthem. Their music helped lead the way in the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, as they joined the 1963 march on Washington.

Peter Paul and Mary are the most enduring of the folk groups. Their great sound has been enjoyed by every generation since their inception and they are still popular today in many circles. They have done several reunion concerts for PBS and have kept on making new albums.

Listen to Peter Paul & Mary sing their 2nd most popular song:

It was their cover of this great Bob Dylan song which drove it to the top of the charts and made it a major influence in the civil rights movement of the 60's. Here it is below recorded live at a march on Washington in the 60's:

Peter, Paul & Mary sing at a march on Washington:

The early career of Peter Paul & Mary--the first 3 years--at a glance: - (info. gleaned from Wikipedia)

  1. In 1960, they rehearsed in Boston and Miami.
  2. In 1961, they played at a coffee house in Greenwich Village called "The Bitter End."
  3. In 1962, they recorded their first album, "Peter Paul and Mary."
  4. The album was #1 on Billboards's chart for 7 weeks. . "Read the Wikipedia article

A song from their debut album: Peter, Paul and Mary:

The next year (1963)

In 1963, they took part in the march on Washington and sang "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin," and other Bob Dylan songs.

  1. Later in 1963, they recorded two more albums, "Moving" and "In The Wind."
  2. . Read the Wikipedia article

A song from their 2nd album:

i had both albums long ago and lost them, so when this newly re-mastered CD of both albums came out, I jumped at the chance to get it. I still love hearing these albums.

Do you have their first 2 albums? If not, you can get them together in this 1 new CD:

What about their 3rd album?

Peter Paul and Mary's third album was released in October 1963, just a month before the JFK assassination and a few months before the Beatles arrived, but at the height of the folk revival. The album rose to number 1 by the end of 1963. It was so successful that when it hit #1 on the Billboard album charts it dragged their two previous albums back into the Top 10 as well.

A song from their 3rd album

1964 and 65

In 1964, they sang "Blowin' in the Wind" on Jack Benny's program

In 1965, they recorded two more albums, "A Song Will Rise" and "See What Tomorrow Brings."

A song from their 4th album:

Peter Paul And Mary performing
Peter Paul And Mary performing | Source

The 10 best songs of Peter Paul and Mary , according to me.

These are my favorites. Yours may be different. And they're all on the first 5 albums (above).

1 )"Blowin' in th' wind"--The Bob Dylan cover that went to #1.

2) "Man Came Into Egypt"--About Moses, but metaphorically Jesus I think. (About the one who came to release us from the chains of slavery [to sin])

3) "Morning Train"--metaphor about going home to heaven

4) "Rocky Road"--Children's song, but metaphorically about the rocky road of life.

5) "Early in the Morning"--A morning prayer

6) "Tell it on the Mountain" (not the Christmas one, but also about the exodus.)

7) "Polly Von" (a metaphore of lost opportunities)

8) "Where I'm Bound" (another song about going to heaven)

9) "The hour that the ship comes in" (Dylan song metaphorically about the return of Christ)

10) "Freight Train" (just a beautiful song)

Peter Paul and Mary's later albums(1966-68):

In 1966 they recorded "The Peter Paul and Mary ALBUM," which contained such favorites as "When I die," "Hurry Sundown," and "Another side of this life."

In 1967 they recorded "Album 1700," which was considered mainly a pop album and soon became a million-selling Platinum certified Album. It contained the song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane, "written by their friend, John Denver, which was to become their only #1 hit two years later. You can listen to it directly below.

These albums were recorded exactly a year apart.

In 1968, they made their eighth album, "Late again," which was their last really good studio album (not counting the children's albums below), released before they retired.

Read the Wikipedia article

The album listed below has the best of their first 10 years. I had it and really enjoyed it also. Even though it has some songs from their first album, which, as I said I already have, now in the 2 album set above, it has none from their 2nd album and several more from their other albums during their first 10 years together.

You could get this album which has the best of their first 10 years:

In 1969, they had their only #1 hit with "Leaving on a Jet Plane," a sad love song written by John Denver from their 6th album, "album 1700." (See above).

In 1970, they released their greatest hits album, "10 Years Together, the best of Peter Paul and Mary." :

The break up of Peter, Paul and Mary:

In 1970, THEY BROKE UP to pursue solo careers after Peter's arrest and conviction for making sexual advances to a 14-year-old girl. Years later, Peter was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter. Mary recorded five solo albums and traveled the U.S., doing concerts and lectures. She also produced, wrote, and starred in a BBC-TV series. Paul found salvation through Jesus and formed a Christian music group called the Body Works Band. Peter co-wrote and produced Mary MacGregor’s “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1977) and earned an Emmy for three animated TV specials based on “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

Paul wrote "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" for Peter's marriage to Marybeth McCarthy, Senator Eugene McCarthy's niece.

Here are the Solo Albums:

Reunion of Peter Paul and Mary: - (info gleaned from Wikipedia)

  1. They reunited in 1972 for a campaign concert for McGovern.
  2. In 1978, they reunited for a concert to protest nuclear energy.
  3. That concert was followed by a reunion tour.
  4. That tour was so popular that in 1981 they decided to reunite permanently.
  5. In 1983, Paul was inspired to write the song "El Salvador," from reading an article about American aid to El Salvador and the gross civil rights violations and death squads in that country. The song was released as a single in 1985. The song also lead to group making a human rights tour of El Salvador and Nicaragua.
  6. They continued to record albums together and tour, playing around 45 shows a year, until the Mary's death in 2009. (See below.)

Read the Wikipedia article

Mary Travis
Mary Travis

Mary Dies at 72, Sept. 16th, 2009:


From the Peter Paul and Mary website: "Mary Travers passed away on September 16th, 2009. After successful recovery from leukemia through a bone marrow/stem cell transplant, Mary succumbed to the side effects of one of the chemotherapy treatments.

We all loved her deeply and will miss her beyond words."

For more click the 2nd link in "Peter Paul and Mary Links" below.

Get all their best on one CD

I didn't list their 10 year "best of" recording, as the one I listed here (below) has more of their best. It should. It's called their very best.

for collectors like myself, Rhino has finally given us a pretty comprehensive single disc collection cleverly entitled "The Very Best of Peter Paul and Mary". Fans of the group would quickly point out that the 25 tunes on this CD do not necessarily represent the best songs the group ever made. I would be the first to agree with that assessment. Rather, "Very Best" presents the groups biggest and best singles as well as a number of memorable tunes from the groups most popular albums

Get all their best on one CD: - The Very Best of Peter Paul & Mary

Listen to Peter Paul and Mary with your kids!

These albums have songs especially for children but which adults can truly enjoy as well. AS prime example is the song in the video below. It represents a father singing to his child, but it could also picture our Heavenly father singing to us.

Another great Peter Paul and Mary song:

Peter Paul and Mary children's albums:

All three members of Peter Paul and Mary loved children and gave a few of their concerts especially for children. They recorded two children's albums called "Peter Paul and Mommy," and "Peter Paul and Mommy Too." I list the first below. You can find second listed with it on Amazon.:

More Recient Peter Paul and Mary Albums

These recordings made between 1992 and 2004 serve to accuentuate the durability of group! They kept on singing about what they found meaningful.

A prime example is "Songs of Conscience and Concern." The 15 lesser-known tracks included in this compilation deliver exactly what the title states. The best-known tune is Phil Ochs's "There But for Fortune," although folk fans will also be familiar with Woody Guthrie's Depression-era "Pastures of Plenty" and the antiwar "Wasn't That a Time," most often associated with the Weavers. The social concerns addressed range from environmental degradation (the antinuke "Power") to racial disharmony (Pete Seeger's childlike "All Mixed Up") to political injustice (the graphic albeit melodically beautiful "El Salvador"). "Don't Laugh at Me," the sole new track here, preaches childhood tolerance, making it a perfect companion piece to PPM's classic "Danny's Down," also included here.

Elements of faith in Peter Paul and Mary

Some of the songs of Peter Paul and Mary have always had an element of faith. Here are a few examples in addition to the metaphors in some of the Bob Dylan songs and other songs mentioned in the 10 best list above.:

  1. Their very first song on their first album "Early in the Morning" says "I asked the Lord, help me find a the promised land."
  2. "This Train," also on their first album, also speaks of going to heaven ("This train is bound for glory")
  3. "Morning Train" on their 2nd album is about going to heaven and also mentions Jesus ("every link had my Jesus' name".)
  4. "All my trials" on their 3rd album is about looking forward to heaven.
  5. "Very Last Day" on their third album is about the coming judgement day.
  6. "Where I'm bound" on their 4th album is also about going to heaven.
  7. "A Tramp on the Street" from their 8th album is about the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as His parable of Lazareth.

In case you haven't heard it, listen to that last song:

"Peter Paul and Mary, Durable Folk Group" is listed here:

Reader Feedback

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    • MrChipss profile image


      5 years ago

      Hello Jim. I love Peter, Paul, and Mary. You have done a great job on this lense. I got goose bumps reading the song titles. I listened to this music as a young boy. I have a number of their albums on LP. Good job!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Fun memories and great lens. Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Jim. This is a really fantastic lens, so thank you for taking so much time to prepare and present it so beautifully. I tried to download an MP3 but Amazon won't do that for outside the US so I'll probably have to buy a CD - will have to think about that. It's been a pleasure revisiting some of their music, though, so thank you again.

      Cheers, Beejay4016

    • writerkath profile image


      7 years ago

      One of my absolute favorite groups, and I sing their songs to this day! Wonderful! :)

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      7 years ago

      They are such a great group! Hands down my favorite

    • traveller27 profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this group, too.

    • KarenHC profile image


      8 years ago from U.S.

      I grew up listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary probably more than any other folk group, and I still love to hear their music. Your top 10 PP&M songs are all favorites of mine as well.

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 

      8 years ago

      Peter Paul and Mary are one of my favorite groups of that era. Thanks for the memories.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      8 years ago from East Central Florida

      Loved PeterPaul and Mary - especially "old Coat." Nice memory lens!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is fun and another great one to lensroll to The Brothers Four. Thanks.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      9 years ago

      Nicely done!...Blessed!

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      I love their sound too!! Paul Stookey's Wedding Song is still one of my favorites to sing!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Lens!! 5*****


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