Archive for Peter Paul & Mary

Sampler Daze: Let’s Hear It For The Women!

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by 30daysout
Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt

It occurred to me, while compiling this exhaustive survey of the Warner Bros./Reprise Loss Leaders series, that we might be giving short shrift to the label’s female artists.  Probably not, but this is a good excuse to listen to some more tracks from this great promotional series.

I know we’ve mentioned Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur – but we should start with them anyway because they’re the two ladies that the Loss Leaders went to the most often.  Part of our Loss Leaders All-Star team, Muldaur appeared nine times in the series and Raitt eight.  Another Reprise artist (with six appearances in the series) is Joni Mitchell, the Canadian darling of the hippie set and writer of the song “Woodstock,” most famously covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Emmylou Harris, with five appearances in the Loss Leaders series, is another perennial.  Harris was actually discovered by then-Flying Burrito Brother (and ex-Byrd) Chris Hillman, who was so taken with her voice that he considered asking Harris to join the Burritos.  But he recommended her instead to fellow Burrito Gram Parsons, who was seeking a backing vocalist for his first solo album.  Working with Parsons, Emmylou learned a lot about country music and its deep tradition and history.  When Parsons suddenly died in 1973, Emmylou was left without a mentor (and possibly a lover – nobody knows for sure).  She began recording for Reprise in 1975 and went on to become a top country-rock performer.  Here she is represented by “Ooh Las Vegas,” written by Gram Parsons.

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Lost Classics! Peter, Paul & Mary

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by 30daysout
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Peter, Mary and Paul

REPOST: Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary died Wednesday at the age of 72.  You can read an obituary here.  We thought we’d just retrieve this earlier post, with links intact.

If you can even imagine it, there was a time between Elvis Presley and the Beatles – and American music was confused indeed.  In 1959, Elvis went into the Army,  Buddy Holly died in an Iowa snowstorm and by that time Jerry Lee Lewis had virtually scandalized himself out of the music business.  Rock and roll’s moment seemed to have passed.

But folk music was still very big.  Groups like the Kingston Trio and the Weavers (with Pete Seeger) still managed to have hit records, and when Peter, Paul and Mary came out of the Greenwich Village scene in 1961 they had their sights set on the top of the pop charts.  Peter Yarrow, Noel “Paul” Stookey and Mary Travers cut their first album in 1962 and it featured mostly traditional folk standards and a Pete Seeger tune, “If I Had A Hammer,” which was a hit.   The next year they would hit again with “Blowin’ In The Wind,” written by the up-and-coming Bob Dylan.

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Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 1, 2009 by 30daysout


Without a doubt, Pete Seeger is America’s greatest songwriter.  “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “We Shall Overcome,” “If I Had A Hammer” and many others came from his prolific pen.  But more than anything, Seeger is a major figure for popularizing and preserving classic American music.  He always played classic folk tunes alongside his own compositions, and we owe him a great deal because of that. 

Seeger turns 90 years old on Sunday, and dozens of musicians will gather in New York at Madison Square Garden to celebrate.  And all around the world 90th birthday parties will be staged in tribute to this great man and his great music.  Happy birthday, Pete!

MP3: “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “Down In The Valley” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “Wimoweh” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “If I Had A Hammer” by Peter, Paul and Mary

MP3: “The Water Is Wide” (live) by Bob Dylan & Joan Baez

MP3: “We Shall Overcome” by Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band

Pete Seeger Appreciation Page

New York magazine article on Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday