50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary is a new documentary by four-time Emmy Award-winning producer/ director Jim Brown that focuses on portions of the trio’s career not included in previously aired PBS specials. This program features rare and previously unseen television footage including a BBC program from the early 1960s that embodies many of the trio’s best performances and most popular songs. This is Peter Paul and Mary at the peak of their artistry, a time when this popular and influential trio dominated the Billboard music charts.
From the group’s emergence in Greenwich Village, to the Civil Rights and Anti-War era of the 1960s, through the decades of their later advocacy and music, to Mary Travers’ moving memorial, and finally to the present, where their legacy continues to inform and inspire successive generations, this far deeper and more intimate exploration of the trio reveals the impact of their artistry and activism on their generation and the world.
Peter Paul and Mary
At one hour and twenty minutes, the documentary weaves together interviews and commentary with the trio, their family members, and people like Gloria Steinem. You’ll hear words from John Kerry and Whoopi Goldberg at Mary Travers’ NYC memorial service– she died in 2009 at the age of 72. And you’ll probably cry when Peter and Paul sing “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” at that service, without Mary to take the lead. However, the whole audience sings Mary’s part, and by then you’ll probably be dabbing your eyes with tissues.
Today Peter and Paul are 78-years-old. Peter started Operation Respect, taking an anti-bullying message to middle schools around the world with songs like “Don’t Laugh At Me,” while Paul started Music2Life, teaching and inspiring socially-conscious music makers to combine their art with social change.
From Pete Seeger to Bob Dylan, folk music came of age in the 1960s, with Peter Paul and Mary at the forefront. Their vocal blend was nothing short of transcendent beauty. –Mark Weber