Tonight the local PBS affiliate is running a documentary on the life and career of Peter, Paul, and Mary. For those whose only connection to the folk music scene of the 1960’s is the movie “The Mighty Wind,” this probably seems tame and quaint. Yet as I watched I was reminded of how important these musicians have been to progressive movements for change.
Although I hate to admit being this old, the first concert that I ever attended was at Constitution Hall in D.C. in 1967 – 68 to see Peter, Paul, and Mary. We sat on the second or third row, which was way cool for a 7 or 8 year old. For years I had the program from that concert. I thought Paul was especially cool because he drove a Jaguar XKE (a James Bond vehicle if I ever saw one). I don’t remember much about the concert other than a memory that I started smiling and laughing when they came out on stage because I was so excited.
PPM are probably best known for Puff, but I tear up almost every time I hear Peter Yarrow sing “We Shall Overcome.” His gentle spirit and his commitment to peace and justice through many years and through much criticism serves as an inspiration for me and my ministry.
PPM represents the music of my childhood. It was my Raffi. And I think I’m glad that I grew up on protest songs arguing for civil rights and peace rather than having to grow up in he era of Brittany.
Now, if PBS will just do a documentary on Led Zeppelin — the music of my youth.