Peter, Paul & Mary – A Holiday Celebration (1988)

frontcover1One of the most successful folk groups of the 1960s (“Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”), Peter, Paul & Mary reunited in 1978 and have pretty much continued playing together for people of all ages. This celebration is helped along by the New York Choral Society and includes many familiar Christmas songs. While none of them possess an extraordinary singing voice or dexterous musicianship, their talents combined make for a sound greater than the sum of its parts. Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” is their one concession to their success as topical performers. The rest is festive and often moving. (by Rob O’Connor)

Always a favorite holiday album, “A Holiday Celebration” has not only the warmly familiar harmonies of Peter, Paul and Mary, but also the vocal support of the New York Choral Society. This 1988 album was recorded live, which has always been the best way to listen to this particular trio of folk singers sing. Most importantly, this is a “holiday” album, which means it is not limited to just Christmas songs, but covers the entire spectrum of the season. There are conventional Christmas songs (“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”), religious songs (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”), Jewish Songs (“Hayo, Haya”), Children’s Songs (“The Friendly Beasts”), familiar poems set to music (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”), old PP&M classics (“A Soalin'”) and even the obligatory protest song (“Blowin’ In the Wind”). Truly, there is something for everybody on this album. Mary Travers is featured on a beautiful song you have probably never heard before, “I Wonder As I Wander.” This is just a lovely album and as soon as I listen to it each year I am in the mood for the holidays. This is also the first album I put on each year when it is time to trim the tree. (by  Lawrance Bernabo)

I add the complete show without edita and a nice Christmas single by Peter, Paul & Mary from 1969.

Recorded live, and chosen from the PBS Television Special
“A Peter, Paul and Mary Holiday Concert.”

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Personnel:
Noel „Paul“ Stookey (vocals, guitar)
Mary Travers (vocals)
Peter Yarrow (vocls, guitar)
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Dick Kniss (bass)
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New York Choral Society conducted by John Daly Goodwin
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Orchestra conducted by Robert DeCormier

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Tracklist:
01. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Campbell) 2.45
02. A Soalin’ (Mezzetti/Stookey) 3.45
03. The Friendly Beasts (DeCormier) 3.26
04. O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Stookey/DeCormier) 3.04
05. I Wonder As I Wander (Niles) 3.46
06. The Magi (The Heart Of A Man’s Palace) (Henry/Yarrow) 3.52
07. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 5.12
08. The Cherry Tree Carol (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.19
09. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Moore/Quinn/Stookey) 4.32
10. Hayo, Haya (Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.57
11. Light One Candle (Yarrow) 3.10
12. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 4.08
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13. A Holiday Celebration (full album -no edits) 45-65
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14. Christmas Dinner (single, 1969) (Stookey) 2.57

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