Peter, Paul And Mary

Peter, Paul And Mary performing "If I Had a Hammer" (video still)

Indeed the times they were a-changin’. One of the key markers on the landscape came in 1962: the debut album from folk trio [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Peter, Paul and Mary[/lastfm].

Peter Paul And Mary album

Peter, Paul and Mary (Warner Bros. Records, 1962)

Assembled in New York City by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Dylan[/lastfm]’s manager, Albert Grossman, Peter (Yarrow), Paul (Stookey) and Mary (Travers) would become not only become one of folk music’s most enduring and successful acts, they would crash the boundaries of the pop charts.

Imagine how it sounded to hear “If I Had a Hammer,” the call for justice written by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pete Seeger[/lastfm] and Lee Hays, nestled on Top 40 radio between the cotton-candy sweetness the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Four Seasons[/lastfm]’ ”Sherry” and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Little Eva[/lastfm]’s popolicious dance hit “The Loco-Motion.”

That’s what the charts sounded like in 1962, when PP&M released their debut record, the self-titled 12-cut, 35-minute collection that would spend three-and-a-half years on the Billboard album chart and spawn two singles, the aforementioned “If I Had a Hammer” as well as Will Holt’s “Lemon Tree.’

It has since sold over 2 million copies, certified double-platinum in 1986.

What was hot almost half-a-century ago? Find out with more Best Sellers from the ’60s here…


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