Peter, Paul, and Mary

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on April 29, 2001

My husband and I saw a program on PBS with Peter, Paul, & Mary. When did they start performing together?
—Iva P., Florida

The group formed in New York City in 1961 and consists of Peter Yarrow, 62, Paul Stookey, 64, and Mary Travers, 64. After graduating from Michigan State University, Stookey moved to New York to pursue his musical dreams—paying bills by working at a chemical company and performing stand-up routines in Greenwich Village clubs. He met Travers, who was born in Louisville, Ky., but raised in New York City, at such a club, where she performed nights and on weekends. As a teen, Travers sang in folk groups and even performed at Carnegie Hall twice. The duo became a trio when New York-born Yarrow, a Cornell University graduate, joined the group. They signed a record deal with Warner Bros. in 1962 and released their debut record that same year. That album contained the hits If I Had a Hammer and Lemon Tree. Other hits include Puff (the Magic Dragon), Stew Ball, This Land Is Your Land, and Blowin' in the Wind. The group broke up in 1970 and reunited in 1978.