Peter, Paul and Mary

I grew up listening to “Puff, the magic dragon”, “If I had a hammer” and other classic songs by Peter,Paul and Mary.    In the early seventies I had the good fortune to be the session musician for RCA records on  44th st in NYC.                  While there, I was contracted to do a live session for this iconic group in RCA’s large “Studio A” . I was just Thrilled to be asked. So that can relive this moment with me,I will explain.

Studio A at RCA was were all the live sessions were done. I’d often heard of Elvis sessions recorded live there plus, this was to be my first live studio audience session. so that we all understand “live”…no re-do’s or overdubs, no rehearsals… Just read the chart. And, lest me forget…peter and paul both played guitar,leaving me to wonder…what should I play?  Having worked with James Brown live taught me how to groove with 2 other guitarist. That is to say,I wouldn’t have to play funky, but I would have to listen.

What a formidable team they made, Mary definitely ran the show, but peter was the spokesman, paul was the glue that kept them all together. They were awesome and the live audience could not have been more receptive to their distinct brand of storytelling. They held that audience in the palms of their hands. Even the  dialogue  in between songs seem to allow them a perfect intro to the next song. Their years of working together created a seamless triad of harmonious swells and dips in their chorus, that I will remember forever.

 

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2 Responses to “Peter, Paul and Mary”

  1. Steve Klevas March 29, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    I am working on a project detailing and chronologizing the American top 40 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 singles chart for the entire decade of the 1960’s. I have run into difficulty trying to ascertain which studio(s) in particular PP&M recorded their hits. I know that Milt Okun worked at RCA and that Bud Schwartau, their engineer, was based at A&R, the studio owned by by the legendary Phil Ramone, but beyond that I am afraid I’m at a loss. Aside from a note on Album 1700 that the tracks were recorded at A&R no information is available. I wonder if you would be willing to help me figure this out as I would definitely like to get it right. Peter, Paul & Mary were iconic during the 60’s, doubt that I would be as interested in music today is not of their early influence. They were one of the few groups at that time that do not sound as if they were swimming in there own polish yet they were eminently professional and as determined to get their message right as anyone in the recording industry. I thank you for your patience and any and all help you may be able to provide.

    • guitarlos1 September 10, 2017 at 7:49 am #

      Hello Steve,
      I worked with PP&M while recording at RCA studio in N.Y.C.
      (studio A). Other than that I can only comment to agree on their professionalism, passion and grace.

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