Social Justice Activists | Peter, Paul, & Mary


Peter, Paul, and Mary photoIn 1961, folksingers Peter (Yarrow), Paul (Stookey) and Mary (Travers) began a career that spanned nearly five decades.  Known by many for light-hearted songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon” and the now-standard “Wedding Song (There is Love),” the five-time Grammy award winners also raised their raised their voices in support of human rights at concerts, rallies, marches, and protests.  Most notable was the 1963 March on Washington where they joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others to further the cause of civil rights.  In the song “Blowin’ in the Wind” (Dylan1963) they asked the assembled crowd of a quarter million, “… how many years can a people exist before they’re allowed to be free?” 

In the cover liner for the album Carry-It-On, Mrs. Coretta Scott King declared, “Peter, Paul, and Mary are not only three of the greatest artists ever, but also three of the most outstanding champions of social justice and peace” (King2003). 

Believing music to be a catalyst for change, the trio continued their activism by participating in the 1965 Selma-Montgomery march, Vietnam War protests, and activism decrying victimization of the people of El Salvador. 

Mary Travers died of cancer in 2009.  Separately, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey continue their music to speak for change.


Dylan, Bob.  “Blowin’ in the Wind.” In the Wind. Perf. Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers. Warner, 1963. Vinyl.

King, Corretta Scott. Liner notes. Carry-It-On. Rhino, 2003. CD.