With their beautiful harmony vocals and gentle melodies, Peter, Paul & Mary were the most popular folk act of the 1960s. While Bob Dylan was unquestionably the genre's most influential and revered performer by the mid-1960s, it was Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers who helped him to reach a larger audience with their accessible '63 renditions of his "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." In addition to Dylan, the group also championed the work of Gordon Lightfoot and John Denver, most notably with the wanderlust tales "For Lovin' Me" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (a runaway hit in '69), respectively.
All of the aforementioned tunes are presented on THE VERY BEST OF PETER, PAUL & MARY, a 25-track set carefully compiled by the trio itself. This 2005 collection focuses almost exclusively on the '60s and '70s work of PP&M, with the exception of the deceptively breezy "El Salvador" (from '86) and 2003's "Don't Laugh at Me," which finds the threesome in fine voice more than 40 years after the group was founded in New York City's Greenwich Village. Also included are three early-'70s solo tracks–one apiece by Yarrow, Stookey, and Travers–rounding out this wonderfully selected disc, which is a must for any folk collection.
Peter, Paul & Mary: Noel "Paul" Stookey, Peter Yarrow (vocals, acoustic guitar); Mary Travers (vocals).
Recording information: 1962 - 2003.Dirty Linen (p.85) - "It's fun to see the group really lay its politics on the line in 'El Salvador,' and 'Weave Me the Sunshine' is as vibrant as anything Peter, Paul, and Mary ever recorded."
Peter Green is regarded by some fans as the greatest white blues guitarist ever, Eric Clapton notwithstanding. Born Peter Greenbaum but calling himself Peter Green by age 15, he grew up in London's working-class East End. Green's early musical influences were Hank Marvin of the Shadows, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, and traditional Jewish music. He originally played bass before being invited in 1966 by keyboardist Peter Bardens to play lead in the Peter B's, whose drummer was a lanky chap named Mick Fleetwood…
Originally a two-LP set, The Very Best of Poco was a decent compilation in its time, assembling the group’s best-known songs from singles and album cuts in a straightforward order with no particular surprises.
Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader. The brilliance of his 1950s and '60s work, however, can't obscure the fact that he made few classic tracks after the mid-'60s, though he recorded often and performed until the year before his death.
The material here was recorded for the Verve and MPS labels, and this two-disc, import retrospective of the work of legendary pianist Oscar Peterson is not only representative, but solid from top to bottom, showcasing many of his finest moments on wax in both live and studio recordings with his great trio of Herb Ellis and Ray Brown as well as in other settings. This is as fine an introduction as there is and, for the money, simply cannot be beaten.