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Vintage Video #1's: Peter Paul and Mary Returned to the Top of the Charts With Their Debut Album

by VVN Music

Peter, Paul and Mary were put together by Albert Grossman in 1961 through a series of auditions of young folk artists in New York.

He selected Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers from some of the best talent of the day and produced their self-titled debut album which was released in May 1962.

Along with six songs written by Yarrow and/or Stookey, the album contained covers of songs that would go on to become anthems of the social movements of the 60's and of folk music in general, including Pete Seger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", Hedy West's "500 Miles" and Pete Seger and Will Hays' "If I Had a Hammer".

It was that last song that became the trio's first major hit, going to number 10 in late 1962 and, earlier in that year, their version of "Lemon Tree" also received airplay, peaking at 35 on the Hot 100 and 12 on the Adult Contemporary charts.

The Peter, Paul and Mary album was also a major success, going to number 1 on October 20, 1962 and staying there for six weeks.  Then, 54 years ago today on October 26, 1963, the album returned to the top of the Albums chart for another week, even after their album Moving had been released and peaked at number 2.

Amazingly, the trio's third album, In the Wind, also debuted this week in 1963 at number 12 and, next week (November 2, 1963), would take over number 1 for five weeks.

The top five Albums on October 26, 1963:
  1. Peter, Paul & Mary - Peter, Paul & Mary
  2. Bye Bye Birdie - Soundtrack
  3. My Son, the Nut - Alan Sherman
  4. Moving - Peter, Paul & Mary
  5. The Second Barbra Streisand Album - Barbra Streisand