The trio Peter, Paul and Mary (often PP&M) is an American musical group that was one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. The trio comprises Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers.
The group was created by manager Albert Grossman, who sought to create a folk "supergroup" by bringing together "a tall blonde (Travers), a funny guy (Stookey), and a good looking guy (Yarrow)." He launched the group in 1961, booking them into the Bitter End, a coffee house in New York City's Greenwich Village that was a favorite place to hear folk artists.
The group recorded their first album, Peter, Paul and Mary, the following year. It included "500 Miles," "Lemon Tree","Where Have All the Flowers Gone," and the hit Pete Seeger tune "If I Had a Hammer," ("The Hammer Song"). The album was listed on Billboard Magazine Top Ten list for ten months and in the Top One Hundred for over three years.
By 1963 they had recorded three albums; released the now-famous song "Puff the Magic Dragon", which Yarrow and fellow Cornell student Leonard Lipton originally wrote in 1959 and was on the charts in 1963; and performed "If I Had a Hammer" at the 1963 March on Washington, best remembered for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Their biggest single hit came with the Bob Dylan song, "Blowin' in the Wind," which was an international #1 hit. It was the fastest selling single ever cut by Warner Brothers Records. For many years after, the group was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and other causes promoting social justice. Their later hit "Leaving on a Jet Plane" was actually written by the then unknown John Denver.
The trio broke up in 1970 to pursue separate solo careers, but found little of the success they did as a group, although Stookey's "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)" (written for Yarrow's marriage to Marybeth McCarthy, the niece of senator Eugene McCarthy) was a hit and has become a wedding standard since its 1971 release.
In 1978, they reunited for a concert to protest nuclear energy, and have recorded albums together and toured since. They currently play around 25 shows a year.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2005, Travers was diagnosed with leukemia, leading to the cancellation of the remaining tour dates for that year. She received a bone marrow transplant and She and the rest of the trio resumed their concert tour on December 9, 2005 with a holiday performance at Carnegie Hall and were scheduled for several additional concerts in 2006.Sadly she passed away in Sept 2009.
Peter, Paul and Mary received in 2006 the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievment Award from Songwriters Hall of Fame.