“Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life” by Peter, Paul and Mary– A Beautiful Tribute to Beautiful People

peter paul and mary

Peter, Paul and Mary. “Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life”, Imagine/Peter Yarrow, 2014.

A Beautiful Tribute to Beautiful People

Amos Lassen

I have been waiting for this book to be published for a long time and it was well worth the wait. Here we get to see and read the intimate story of Peter, Paul, and Mary and their music, through their own words and with images that follow their fifty-years together. There are thousands of photographs which taken over the trio’s long career from the 1960s. They were one of the groups that reintroduced folk music to the world and they struggled with and fought for racial equality, social justice, and freedom. They were part of the 1963 March on Washington; they actively advocated the end of the Vietnam War, they sang to begin the anti-nuke movement. They sang with great conviction and they became the soundtrack of the lives of many. Here are Peter, Paul and Mary unmasked, as we have never seen them before.

Peter, Paul and Mary became stars of the 1960s folk music boom, and had enduring hits with their covers of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and songs of their own like “Puff the Magic Dragon.” We lost Mary in 2009.

If we count the years correctly this year would have been their 54th year together. As friends and as performers they were very close and they never did a thing as a trio that all three didn’t agree on. We finally agreed on this book. Mary in absentia, mostly, “though much of her writings contributed to the text, as well as our recollections of conversations and attitudes.”

 The book opens with a preface that is made on two-page spread and what follows is history of group told by numerous (I mean hundreds) of photos from their beginnings in Greenwich Village. In the end there are four pages reserved for each group member, useful index and page on which credits are written. This book is a treasure and reading it made me feel like I was in the room with them. I could not ask for more than that.

Leave a Reply