Peter Yarrow

Perhaps no one personified the folk music trend of the 1960s like Peter, Paul and Mary.

With a repertoire that included not only their own songs but covers of songs by Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary became superstars.

One of their most enduring hits was the wildly popular, to this day, Puff the Magic Dragon.

But it wasn’t until 2007 that the story of Puff the Magic Dragon was turned into an illustrated children’s book. That was the effort of Peter Yarrow, the co-writer of the song. And the book turned into a huge, huge commercial success.

That year is when I first met Peter yarrow, and we talked about his book about puff. A couple of years later we had another interview when he came out with another similar book based on their song. Day is Done.

And that interview, the one you’re about to hear, happened just a few weeks after the untimely deaf of Mary Travers.

So here now, from 2009, Peter Yarrow.

Peter Yarrow turned 84 in M ay. He lives in New York.

Mary Travers died in september 2009 at age 72


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Eric Burdon

Who knew that a little boy born to a lower middle-class family in England, who grew up with asthma and put up with teasing from his classmates, and like to smoke by the time he was aged 10, would grow up to become one of the world’s greatest rock singers?

That’s kind of the short version of the life of Eric Burdon, who in 1962 joined a quartet that soon became known as the animals. Burdon was their lead singer.

As a leading member of the British invasion, the animals produced a number of hits.

In 2002, Eric Burdon wrote an autobiography, a book called. Please Don’t let me be misunderstood. And that’s when I have a chance to talk with him by phone. So here now, from 2002, Eric burdon.

Eric Burdon is 81 mpw/ Amd still making muisc.


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Otis Williams

It was around this time in 1961 that a group of five young men formed a singing group called The Elgins. They were good, so good that Berry Gordy signed them to a contract at Motown. Trouble was, there was already a group called The Elgins, so Gordy asked them to find a new name.

That’s when they became The Temptations. Their leader and founder was baritone Otis Williams.

And over the next five decades, the temptations establish themselves as one of the most popular and most enduring soul music acts.

Otis Williams in upper right

In 1988, Williams wrote a book that was part memoir, part story of The Temptations. And that’s when I had the chance to meet him .

So here now, from 1988, Otis Williams.

Otis Williams is 80 now. He still performs occasionally with the Temptations.


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Dwayne Hickman

In the early 1960s, one of America’s most popular teenagers was an actor who wasn’t even a teenager .

Dwayne Hickman played the clean cut, girl. Crazy, likable lead in the TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

After the series ended, Hickman appeared in several beach movies alongside such figures as Frankie Avalon and Annette Funiciello.

Later, he became a television executive, working with CBS on many iconic TV series

In 1994 Hickman wrote a memoir, and that’s when I have the chance to meet him.

So here now, from 1994, Dwayne Hickman.

Dwayne Hickman died this past January. He was 87.


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Betty Friedan

The roots of the modern feminist movement can be traced directly back to a single book published nearly 60 years ago.

It was called The Feminine Mystique. Its author was a young would-be journalist named Betty Friedan. It is widely regarded as the spark that lit the fire of the feminist movement.

But that was only the beginning for Betty Friedan. Three years later, she co-founded the National Organization for Women, and was its first president.

She also helped establish the National Womens Political Caucus. And she founded what was then known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, known today simply as NARAL.

In 2000, Friedan wrote a memoir called Life So Far.

This was actually my second interview with her, but the first in which I got to ask more personal questions.

So here now, from 2000, Betty Friedan.

Betty Friedan died on her 85th birthday in 2006.


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Dexter Scott King

Dexter Scott King was only 7 years old in 1968 when his father Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

But his memories of his late father remain sharp and crisp.

And those deeply personal recollections sometimes contrast with the public views of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2003 at the age of 42, Dexter Scott King wrote a book called Growing Up King, and that’s when I had a chance to meet him and talk with him.

So here now from 2003 Dexter Scott King


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Judy Collins

Songs recorded by Judy Collins have become some of America’s most enduring favorites.

With a debut album in 1961 at a debut concert about a year later and then a number one single shortly after Judy Collins became a fixture in American music, particularly the folk music genre.

But with a musical upbringing that included everything from classical to country to folk to pop. Judy Collins resisted labels

She in fact learned to trust her heart. That’s why she called her 1987 autobiography. Trust Your Heart and that’s when I had the chance to meet her.

So here now. From 1987. Judy Collins

Judy Collins is now 82. She lives in New York.

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William Shatner

Back in the fall of 1993, when I had scheduled an interview with actor. William shatner, it was fascinating to watch the generational divide in the office where I worked.

When he walked in, the oldest among us could be heard saying Captain Kirk is here!

The next oldest we’re saying TJ hooker is here!

And the youngest, at that point in the early ’90s, we’re saying the guy from rescue 911 is here!

William Shatner has undoubtedly been one of the most durable actors of our time, appealing across generations and across genres.

But to most, he is still most commonly remembered as captain James t. Kirk of The starship Enterprise. You remember, that 5-year mission to explore new worlds, that ended up only lasting three seasons?

By the time Shatner published his book Star Trek Memories in the Fall of 93. He had learned that not all of his Star Trek co-stars regarded him so very highly after all. As you’re about to hear.

So here now from 1993 William Shatner:

William Shatner is 90 now and os still acting.

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Gloria Steinem

Ms. Is turning 50

Photo by NARAL Pro-Choice America

It was in December 1971 that a staff writer for the New Yorker named Gloria Steinem created what would become, the following summer, Ms. Magazine.

The December debut was actually an insert in the New Yorker, and it instantly catapulted stynom to the forefront of the feminist movement.

Fast forward to 1992. Gloria Steinem wrote a book called The Revolution Within, and that’s when she and I sat down for one of our several conversations over the years.

So here now, from 1992, gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem will be 88 next March. She remains active as an organizer and lecturer.

William Kunstler

The New York Times once labeled William Kunstler “America’s most controversial lawyer.”

What earned him that distinction was his defense of the so-called “Chicago Seven,” a group of young radicals who tried to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

But the Chicago Seven were hardly Kunstler’s most controversial clients. He also represented clients ranging from Jack Ruby to U.S. Marine and Russian spy Clayton Lonetree, to the man known as The Blind Sheikh, the man behind the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

I met William Kunstler in 1994, when he wrote his autobiography, a book titled My Life As a Radical Lawyer.

So here now, from 1994, William Kunstler.

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William kunstler died just a year after our interview, in 1995. He was 76.