Puff the Magic Dragon
As amazing as it may sound now, back in the day Peter, Paul and Mary, a great folk trio, released a record called "Puff The Magic Dragon" and some folks went crazy. Turns out that those people thought that the song was a thinly veiled song about marijuana, and it was on the radio where the kids are listening!
Well, it was a huge hit and the kids and mostly everybody else loved That Dragon Puff, and it was about dope, but unless you knew you couldn't be sure, so it stayed on the radio. That was just a bump in the road in their amazing career during the folk music craze of the late 50's and early 60's.
Their biggest influence was on the career of young Bobby Zimmerman (Dylan) who had wandered into NYC from Hibbing, Minnesota, via Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota, where he dallied for awhile and attended some classes. At the time he was devoted to Woody Guthrie and made a pilgrimage to see the iconic folk master of the Dust Bowl years in a hospital in the New York area where he was slowly dying from Huningtin's Disease. The newly minted Dylan decided to follow in Woody's big footsteps.
Blowin' In the Wind
Bob was a singer-songwriter, but as an unknown artist he didn't have a contract to record his stuff. Luckily the folks in Peter, Paul & Mary heard a compostition of his, "Blowing int he Wind," an-antiwar song that fit into the zeitgeist of the time. It became an anthem and brought Dylan into the spotlight where he was able to achieve the fame and musical success he desired.
Later in his career Jim McGuinn's group The Byrds would serve a similar purpose popularizing Bob's songs in a rock and roll style. But there was much more to Peter, Paul and Mary's songbook than Dylan compostitions, they also had big hits with songs like the previously mentioned Puff the Magic Dragon, and "If I had a Hammer." The folk craze was huge and short.
If I Had a Hammer
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