Noel Paul Stookey reflects on the story behind ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’

Stookey spoke about launching “Just Causes”, his favorite memory with Peter Yarrow and Mary Travers, the genuine story behind “Puff the Magic Dragon”, and ending up being a born-again Christian. It has been great, truly. Sang each others’ songs.

Found out from each other. After you finished a set you would either spend time with the other folkies or go to the next program to see and hear what the other artists were doing. What is the story behind “Puff the Magic Dragon”?

There are numerous theories that still exist about that song. Stookey thinks that bad Puff was a victim of his times for a bit. When Peter composed the extra verses, it was clearly about this little boy who had actually grown up and no longer believed in Puff.

It was about a kid coming of age.

However the times in which the tune was launched gave you a window of interpretation. Carol Burnett was there dancing. The president was singing along arm-in-arm with Gene Kelly who also did some tap dancing. Jacqueline Kennedy was flirty with Yves Montand.

And the president was very personalized. However the smile originates from being in the rear seat of the limo that was tackling 60 miles an hour through D.C. areas behind authorities escort. What were these 3 kids performing in this limo?

That was a fun moment. What was the name of that song they sang when everyone applauded? Well, the song was popular and it was released as a single. The singer/songwriter, called the “Paul” in the 60s folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary, just recently released “Just Causes”, a compilation of 15 tunes, each highlighting a theme of social issue, consisting of the drug, appetite, and environment trafficking, to name a few.

The star paired each tune in with a proper non-profit organization to gain from the albums net profits.

And Stookey is no complete stranger to singing for an excellent cause. They likewise protested the Vietnam war and joined the battle to enhance the working conditions of California’s farmworkers, just to call a couple of. Peter went on stations and provided examples of how “The Star-Spangled Banner” could even be interpreted as a song about drugs.

It was either Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Singapore, but they refused to play it because they felt it was about drugs. The song still brings individuals happiness. At age 83, Noel Paul Stookey still has plenty to state.

But the effect of folk music in the 60s was much more about the message than it was about the design. Even The Beatles advised them of the reality that they are a community of human beings and they share issues aside from just romance, which has an impact. It is certainly obvious in hip hop and rap, especially in the early years.

It is about making a statement.

It is about making a message, whether it is the environment, homelessness, ballot rights, inequality. We all have to be aware of the reality that folk music is alive and well. It is just wearing a lot of different clothes, playing a lot of different instruments, and being a lot of different voices.

Noel Paul Stookey shows off a 12 string guitar tailor-made by a Maine craftsmen. He invests much of his time at his home in Blue Hill, Maine. How did he pick the songs and the charities that he wished to support in this album specifically?

A lot of the tunes that Stookey composed were, to start with, about awareness. Not a great deal of them are story songs, however after 50 years, there were 15 that were pretty certainly linked. For example, “Jean Claude” was a song about two boys caught up in the Nazi occupation of France.

The memory Stookey has, the one that gives him the greatest smile, was when the three of them dressed formally following an event of John F. Kennedy’s 2nd year as president.

Stookey ended up being a born-again Christian in the late 60s. It altered whatever, including his relationship with his family. It gave him well balanced.

Stookey was extremely fortunate in the late 70s to understand that the most crucial thing to him was his family and not a profession. So he set the bar low. In terms of career success, that is not to say that Peter, Mary, and him did not miss out on the joy, the attention, and the benefits that came from the performances of the 60s.

And after that when they returned together again in the 80s and 90s until Mary died in 2009, they had an extremely faithful, interested, and involved audience. “Blowin in the Wind” was written by Bob Dylan, however it was Peter, Paul, and Mary that truly made the tune world-famous. Bobby and Stookey went back a year or two before the trio got together.

Stookey was master of events at the Gaslight Café and Bobby was a going through singer/songwriter.

So they had a really comfortable relationship. As a matter of reality, Bobby wrote the liner notes for their 3rd album. Everybody was included with folk music and they all showed up to support each other. Not everyone gets to Washington, D.C.

And would not it be good if was supported by a remembrance and awareness institution even more West? They selected the Dallas Holocaust Museum. There is likewise “Tom Quick”, a tune about America’s indigenous individuals.

Stookey was actually touched by the First Nation’s Development Institute, which works to enhance conditions for Native Americans. They supply grants and training. Stookey thought that really worked. And “The Connection” works with Partnership To End Addiction.

There is a need for households to get to the heart of the matter in regards to the addicts requirements and desires.

And to supply assistance for those households. “Just Causes” is not the release so much. It is what it is about. That really gets Stookey up and going on a lot of levels. He was simply a young kid from the Midwest who fell for rhythm and blues.

Stookey had his own band in high school and played guitar. And Greenwich Village was a wake-up call with the music of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Josh White. He has been learning over the last 50, 60 years. He has come in contact with some really wonderful individuals at some actually fantastic moments like the March on Washington.

It awakened all of us. Noel Paul Stookey is still passionate about music decades later. Stookey understands Bruce Springsteen plays acoustic guitar and he has been on Broadway. And he understands there are other folkies who are easily more determined by people due to the fact that they play acoustic guitar.

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