Grammy Award winners Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey carry on the proud tradition of the 1960s iconic folk-singing trio Peter, Paul & Mary at The Ridgefield Playhouse on July 16
Having just celebrated their 50th anniversary together, Grammy-winners Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey carry on the proud tradition of the 1960s iconic folk-singing trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Without their beloved Mary, Peter and Noel Paul continue to perform as a duo, and will bring a night of their classic hits, including "If I Had a Hammer," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Puff (The Magic Dragon)," "I Dig Rock & Roll Music," and "Leaving on a Jet Plane”, to The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, July 16 at 8 p.m. as part of the Doyle Coffin Architecture Singer Songwriter Series.
No American folk group lasted longer or amassed a more loyal following than Peter, Paul and Mary. During their legendary career, the trio won five Grammy® Awards, produced 13 top 40 hits of which six ascended into the top 10, and earned eight gold and five platinum albums. When Peter and Noel perform together, audiences comment that in many ways it feels as if Mary were still on the stage with them. The energy and enthusiasm for the music has not diminished, in fact it seems ever more impassioned, and frequently the audience steps in to sing Mary’s part–their voices strong, their hearts full. This is community at its best and what folk music is all about–carrying it on, just as Mary would have wanted.Make it a great night out with dinner and a show! Visit Bailey’s Backyard (23 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield) and receive 10% off when you show your ticket!
For the majority of America, folk was viewed merely as a sidebar to pop music. The nation was still recovering from the McCarthy era and the Cold War was heating up. Peter Yarrow, Noel (Paul) Stookey and Mary Travers came together to reclaim folk’s potency as a social, cultural and political force. The Trio lived their songs. They sang at the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, they participated in the Selma to Montgomery March, they sang at countless anti-Vietnam War rallies and they launched decades of musical activism. These individual and collective efforts addressed a wide range of issues from women’s rights, to farm-worker rights, to gay rights, to the environment and education. The group’s message is that their music belongs to everyone.
The loss of Mary Travers in September of 2009 was a loss to her family, friends and the nation. She fought leukemia and its consequent illnesses with an inspiring strength. Her life and legacy remain a great American treasure.
PBS recently released a new documentary of their lives titled “50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary.” The program features powerful, moving, performances by the Trio starting with the era of the group’s emergence in Greenwich Village through the Civil Rights and anti-war era where their anthems provided America’s soundtrack of social and political change, and moving into the 21st century where their legacy and music continues to inform, inspire and enrich successive generations – still providing a moral compass for the way we live our lives. Also recently released is a stunning book of photographs and reminiscences, in their own words, Peter, Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life. An album titled Discoveredwas also released along with the book and PBS Special. The beautiful collection features previously unreleased live recordings.
Peter and Noel continue to perform together as well as individually, and to devote their time and energy to issues they believe in. Peter founded the organization Operation Respect which is a non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to transforming schools, camps and other youth-serving organizations into safer, more respectful, bully-free environments for children and youth. Noel’s organization, Music2Life, which he runs with his daughter, creates music based programs, events and promotions to move hearts and minds around a particular effort or cause.
For tickets ($75), call the box office at 203-438-5795, or visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.