Noel Paul Stookey

portrait of Noel Paul Stookey
Portrait by Sally Farr, courtesy of

Born: 30 November 1937, Baltimore, Maryland

While attending Michigan State University he played electric guitar with several bands, performed as a stand-up comedian, and worked as an emcee at local clubs. After graduation he moved to New York's Greenwich Village, working in a chemical plant during the days and as an emcee nights and weekends. He was a regular at Sunday afternoon jams in Washington Square Park. He lived downstairs from Mary Travers, when she and Peter Yarrow she brought Noel in for an evening of singing. The three were pleased with the blend and formed Peter, Paul and Mary, one of the most important and successful groups in folk music. PP&M toured and recorded actively through 1970, then pursued solo careers. Stookey had a Christian religious conversion in 1968 and has written a number of successful songs in that genre, despite his liberal politics which contrast strongly with most Christian-identified performers. He wrote "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" for Yarrow's wedding in 1969, he gave the rights to the Public Domain Foundation which has raised over $2 million for children's charities from it. He moved his family to South Blue Hill, Maine in 1973, establishing a recording studio and multimedia company. In 1978 Yarrow organized a benefit at the Hollywood Bowl (Survival Sunday), bringing the trio back together, inspiring them to restart the partnership in a way that allowed time for solo work along with some 45 concerts a year until Travers' health problems and death. Stookey's studio continues to create children's computer software, television shows, and music.

Biography from Wikipedia and Peter, Paul and Mary

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