Saturday, December 04, 2010
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Peter, Paul and Mary
Song:If I Had A Hammer
Album:The Very Best Of Peter, Paul and Mary
Peter, Paul and Mary were one of the biggest acts of the 60s. And though If I Had A Hammer wasn't their biggest hit, it was their first top ten hit in 1963. It was also a civil rights anthem and a big part of the folk music movement of the early 60s. They were put together in 1961 by manager Albert Grossman. He sent out a casting call and auditioned many singers. Mary Travers was born Nov. 9, 1936 in Louisville, KY and grew up in New York City. Noel Paul Stookey was born Dec. 30, 1937 in Baltimore. Peter Yarrow was born May 31, 1938 nin New York City. Mary had been a member of The Song Swappers who backed up Pete Seeger on albums in the 50s. After Grossman put them together, he signed them to Warner Bros. Their 1962 debut album Peter, Paul & Mary reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 200. Grossman brought Milton Okun in as musical director. Okun produced many folk acts in the 60s including The Chad Mitchell Trio and John Denver. Peter, Paul and Mary's first single Lemon Tree reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100. But If I Had A Hammer reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it launched them to much bigger things. If I Had A Hammer was written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays and originally recorded by The Weavers in the early 50s. And Mary Travers long acknowledged the influence on The Weavers on Peter, Paul and Mary. Trini Lopez later had a top five hit with If I Had A Hammer. Puff The Magic Dragon reached #2 and so did Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind. Peter, Paul and Mary had their only #1 hit with John Denver's Leaving On A Jet Plane in 1969. It was their final chart hit. You can get all their hits on this 2005 Rhino comp. Peter, Paul and Mary split up in 1970. All recorded solo and Noel Paul Stookey had a hit in 1971 with The Wedding Song which he wrote for Yarrow. Peter Yarrow wrote the Mary McGregor hit Torn Between Two Lovers. Mary Travers recorded five unsuccessful solo albums. Peter, Paul and Mary first reunited in 1978 and continued to perform together until Mary Travers died of leukemia on Sept. 16, 2009 at age 72. Here is Peter, Paul and Mary performing If I Had A Hammer at the Civil Rights March on Washington Aug. 28, 1963. Yes, this was the day Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous I Have A Dream speech.