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Peter, Paul and Mary In Concert

Peter, Paul & Mary

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Album Review

The debut album by Peter, Paul & Mary is still one of the best albums to come out of the 1960s folk music revival, a beautifully harmonized collection of the best songs that the group knew, stirring in its sensibilities and its haunting melodies, crossing between folk, children's songs, and even gospel ("If I Had My Way"), and light-hearted just where it needed to be, with the song "Lemon Tree," which became their first hit single, and earnest where it had to be, particularly on "If I Had a Hammer." Ironically, the trio's version of the latter song, which Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes had written in the early days of the Weavers' history, helped push popular folk music in a more political direction at the time, but it was another song in their repertory, Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," that also helped indirectly jump start that movement. The group had performed it in Boston at a concert attended by the Kingston Trio, who immediately returned to New York and cut their own version, which charted as a single early in 1962. Other highlights include "It's Raining" and "500 Miles." Peter, Paul & Mary, which hit the top spot on the album charts as part of a 185-week run, is the purest of the trio's albums, laced with innocent good spirits and an optimism that remains infectious even 40 years later. Along with the rest of the trio's early catalog, the album was remixed for CD from its original three-track master tape by Peter Yarrow in 1989, which resulted in some of the best sound on any Warner Bros. CDs of material dating from the early '60s.

Biography

Formed: 1961 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The most popular folk group of the 1960s, Peter, Paul and Mary in later decades have also proved themselves to be among the most durable music acts in history. Their longevity dwarfs that of the Weavers, while the fact that the trio continues to be associated with a major record label (Warner Bros.) after decades in the business sets them apart from rivals like the Kingston Trio and the Brothers Four. Then again, perhaps it isn't so surprising — Peter, Paul and Mary's roots...
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Peter, Paul and Mary In Concert, Peter, Paul & Mary
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