Peter, Paul & Mary: Carry It On

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The importance of being earnest is vividly illustrated in Carry It On, which chronicles the enduring work of folksingers Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers, who at the time of this comprehensive, 80-minute documentary had already marked their 40th anniversary as a trio.

There are nearly three dozen tunes (or parts of tunes) here, ranging from "Lemon Tree" in 1962 to several new performances from '03. And while their earlier music now sounds somewhat tame, even quaint (or, in the case of "Puff the Magic Dragon," cringe-inducing), at the time, Peter, Paul and Mary's pro-civil rights, anti-Vietnam War stances were considered rather radical, helping pave the way for Bob Dylan (whose "Blowin' in the Wind" they performed at the same '63 rally in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I have a dream" speech) and the evolution of pop music's social conscience.

These days, they've found a niche performing for kids and making programs for PBS (it's the perfect match). And while they may have lost their hair and their figures, Peter, Paul and Mary remain as committed as ever to making music that provokes, inspires, and entertains.