Skip to main content

tv   Tavis Smiley    October 30, 2010 12:00am-12:30am PDT

12:00 am
angeles. i'm tavis smiley. tonight peter yarrow and noel paul stookey. in 193e, peter paul and mary performed two songs at the famous march on washington, later joining dr. king on the walk from selma. the children's book is dedicated to mary traver's who passed away last year at the age of 72. legendary musicians, coming up right now. >> all i know, his name is james. he needs extra help with his reading. >> i'm james.
12:01 am
>> yes. to everyone making a difference? >> you help us all live better. nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis is working to improve financial literacy and working for economic empowerment. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> please to welcome peter yarrow and noel paul stookey. the legendary musicians made up two thirds of the peter paul and mary. next year will mark 50 years
12:02 am
since they burst on the music scene with the most iconic songs of the entire generation. the latest project is the new book, book for chirp, called the night before christmas. it includes a companion c.d. from the project. here they are performing. ♪ ♪
12:03 am
tavis: chatting during that clip. >> can you believe how mary was? what that spirit was. every time i see it, it comes back so powerfully. such a force. tavis: where does the music go without mary? >> well -- first mary stays with it. she's here. and she's not here. she's profoundly her legacy and her presence is -- is so important. because tavis, she -- she was a model for -- for young women who didn't want to play games, who didn't want to lie and didn't want to try to -- to sneak and try to get their way in the world and climb the ladder but wanted to be who they were and accepted for what they were. that's what mary demanded. they looked up to her, not as academic talking about it but as a woman who personified it.
12:04 am
now she's gone be the reality has become ever more powerful in our hearts. tavis: i want to ask this question. i'll start with you, actually before i ask that question -- i got to ask this first. paramedic. >> you're a flip-flopper. tavis: i was looking at my research and it took me two minutes to figure out that you were noel. i was totally in the dark about noel. peter paul and mary. >> paul took over my name. really, when our manager said, have you -- if noel changed his name to paul, you could be peter paul and mary. the sound was so beautiful. i said, well, i'll take it as a middle name but guess what? it works. peter paul and mary worked quite well. >> i was born -- ♪ i was born 10,000 years ago ♪ ♪ there's nothing in this world that i don't know ♪
12:05 am
i saw peter, paul and moses playing ring around the roses, with the guy that said it isn't so. >> so the sound was there in the folklore. we just did it. tavis: you guys are a riot. so here's the question, so i don't get accused of being a flip-flopper. >> a flip-flopper is a intelligent person who changes position when the circumstances changes. >> spoken like somebody that does it a hot. >> a person that doesn't do that either ignorant or sleeping. >> we refer to it as evolvement. reconsidered my position. >> or devolved. tavis: let me evolve to the question here. how did -- i'll start with you, paul, how did -- did the two of you become so progressive. it is all in your music.
12:06 am
>> that's right. you answered your own question. i'm a young rock and roll kid from the midwest. i come in. i got jazz chords behind me. i'm a bugaboo about major sevens and i come to this folk thing and they were so involved with the folk legacy and fallowed the weavers closely and knew woody guthrie. >> very recorded. >> so i learned -- first hand, and -- loved -- loved the ethic that was transmitted through the music. that's why i said you answered your own question. you said -- the pluske is so instructional. i say it is the first info tainment. you see women selling cosmetics but in the old days, guys on the street would make up the songs. >> which side are you on? >> the king or queen or the circumstances they lived in. that was information as well as
12:07 am
it was entertaining to the people. so folk music is -- pretty powerful, pretty powerful medicine for changing your heart. >> what -- what do your progressive roots come from? >> same as noel except my mother was born -- she was a schoolteacher for 30 years. she was a member, when it was considered bad to be a member of -- of what is it? >> the teacher's union. >> the teacher's union. >> it is true. don't laugh. >> you could get fired for that. >> well, not -- but you know manned parenthood, you know. she was a progressive from the word go. and she -- she absolutely lived that -- that point of view and mary would go -- if you're a jewish kid from new york, it takes your background. mary went and then -- went to the white house with other teenagers when the rosenburgs were set to be executeded.
12:08 am
mary had the great singer went to russia. paul robson sick -- singing her lullabies. we were steeped in that. i grew up -- >> you can't hear a song by woody guthrie or pete seeger to be brought in with the defense of the defenseless and taking a stand for a community. that's a very engaging and powerful moving. tavis: what is it like? let me preface this by saying, aye said many times on this program that ier. ly regard dr. king as the greatest american we produced. that's my own assessment. do you agree? we in agreement? >> yes. >> yes. but let go of my hand. >> i want the genius to rub off. tavis: i regard him as the greatest american to be
12:09 am
produced. what is it like when ozzie davis, the late, great ozzie davis introduces you at the march on washington and you perform these two songs. what is it like? >> like being welcomed to the thanksgiving table by your pop. we sound like part of the family. >> i will answer it in slightly different terminology. >> i guess you would. >> that's what made peter paul and mary strong. we each had a different take on it. when we came together, it became something we could express. to me, mary was standing there with me during the speech. she took my hand and said, peter, we're truly watching history being made. she totally got it. standing in front of a quarter of a million people saying to each other, what ever brought us here, now we're together and sharing this moment, we will never give up. we will -- we will pursue this and we did.
12:10 am
and -- obama could have been somebody that targeted a lynching, certainly wouldn't be able to use a water fountain in washington d.c. the fact that dr. martin luther king could put it not only in terms of policy but in terms of poetry and inspiration and they -- then we sang, everybody knew this song because this was -- this was -- this was a very, very big song at the time. >> well if i had a hammer, i would hammer in the morning. hammer in the evening, all over the land. >> all over this land. >> i'd hammer out a wall. >> i'd hammer -- >> the route between the brothers and sisters, all over the land.
12:11 am
all over this land. >> when we sang that, the people were saying, they were saying in their hearts and this is what music does. this is why these books are important, to bring that kind of music back, they were saying, we -- with are connected with each other. we're singing the song. our hearts are wed to one another. we will not give us this struggle. because we have a sense of love and purpose and people -- people who have that, and with mary and the last -- the last four years of her life, it was pure. love. >> to your point about mary, how did mary -- what was it about that moment that allowed mary to know, standing with you at the march on washington -- that moment was historic? i ask that because i talk to people that were part of historic moments and they had no idea it would be historic. >> mary told me and she repeated it on stage during our concert
12:12 am
that was the first time those 250,000 people that -- that there was a -- a ose owe these are her words, a palpable feeling of hope. now -- the last time you thought that was during the obama campaign, wasn't it? >> yes, we can. well she felt it anyone. -- there was one other thing. she -- we manneralized in her positions, because you know we were progressive and progressives in those early years was not a popular position. that she said that people standing together not in power, not without wealth. ordinary people if they stood together could change things. that's when she came to the belief that might happen. if people don't believe that in our own, they're not going to act as if what they do matters. you know, to your point earlier about dr. martin huther king.
12:13 am
i think that much of what king -- king has expressed is now just being discovered. this whole thing about the vietnam war. those letters from the jail. there's powerful stuff. and it goes far beyond -- beyond the civil rights movement, even though the civil right movement was important. peter and i and mary discovered fol the civil right movement -- we understood that -- it had evolved, speaking of evolvement into the human right movement because now -- we had concerns about with improper use of nuclear power. we had concerns about -- about the united states involvement in anything rag a el salvador. >> to your point, noel, about dr. king and the vietnam war, as you both well know, king causes demonized. >> oh, yeah. >> he would buy -- by his own community. >> he would get disinvited to the white house by l.b.j. everywhere in the country, the
12:14 am
day after he gives the speech, he have they would come down on him. we recognize how right he was. >> because he said, this is what we have to carry in our hearts, that's why he is the greatest american, there's no peace without justice and justice without peace. if there's injustice, there will be a -- a fragmentation at the -- if this is so great, people will -- will rise up. there was nothing achieved in the civil rights movement in my mind that was done through saying, we will force them. it said we will, we will imf embrace them. >> it was nonviolent. >> it continued through the vietnam movement. >> whatever happened to the notion of love in our public discourse, because if you -- if you -- in the peter, paul and mary tradition or the dr. king tradition, try to talk about and utter the word love in public
12:15 am
discourse today, you're laughed off the stage. yet when you think about bobby kennedy and you think about dr. king and peter paul and mary what happened to love in public discourse. >> i want to answer this musically. ♪ i'm a little boy with glasses ♪ ♪ the one they call a geek ♪ ♪ a little girl who never smiled ♪ ♪ because i got braces on my teeth ♪ ♪ i know how it feels to cry my self to sleep ♪ ♪ i'm the kid on every play ground ♪ ♪ the i'm the one that is chose last ♪ ♪ i'm a teenage mother trying to overcome my past ♪ ♪ you don't have to be my friend but is it too much to ask ♪ ♪ here he comes now ♪ ♪ don't call me names ♪
12:16 am
♪ don't get your pleasure ♪ ♪ from my pain ♪ snothse ♪ we're all the same ♪ ♪ someday we'll long past ♪ ♪ don't laugh at me snods ♪ ♪ we're talking about esp ♪ ♪ i'm deaf and blind ♪ ♪ aren't we all the same ♪ >> what happened to it. we have a nation with a bruised heart. because the issue is not just policy change but heart change. if we reach the children, so that they could stop this cycle of hatred and fear so they stop injuring each other and emotional violence and physical violence that is causing kids to -- that take their own lives, what we will do is restore the
12:17 am
heart of america. that's our number one task. >> if you're -- it is your number one task. >> if i was a cynic. i was a cynic, what is wrong with peter paul and mary? they been at this for 50 years. and a whole lot changed. the world is scarier now than it has ever been. the nuclear threat still exists. we're engaging in wars while you talk about peace. i could say, y'all been at this 50 years and nothing accomplished. >> i would say, look what happened with the women's movement. women couldn't vote for -- some time ago. they were play things. they could be nurses or librarians or teachers. look what happened. look at the people in congress, look at the environmental movement that has grown up out of this. look at mostly the civil rights movement that has changed -- look -- look. manifestation.
12:18 am
you're sitting on the shoulders of a civil rights movement and what i saw -- when i saw obama win and i saw jesse jackson, you know i don't always love but i always respect, i cried with him because we are a nation that has made extraordinary change. >> these things are not always measured by the numbers. love is a very sults long lasting, long-suffering and patient force in the world. if you listen to popular music by youtube -- i think the word love is beginning to take on a significance in our lives that it continues to have before. in the 50's, when folk music came along. everything was a love song. love me tender, love me true. then there were -- >> that was very good by the way. >> i'm going to vegas. >> two shelves knightley.
12:19 am
two drink minimum. >> i'm saying, love is long-suffering. to understand it in its larger and more collective appearance. that's the new -- that's the new wave and the musicians are announcing its arrival. it will have an impact. >> why do folk legends end up like this? >> let me explain. because of -- and but now, because of realities of music becoming a business, the bottom line is -- is dollars, live nation, they have their place. it is very hard for people like i said, for people once at the top of the charts to get a whelm in. in publishing that -- that has not happened. this book and the puff the magic dragon that preceded it, and judy collins over the rainbow with traditional songs. >> tom's marvelous story and
12:20 am
days. these are a way in. pop sold over a million copies. if i put out a -- a -- put out -- listen to this. >> keep talking. i'm doing background. >> let me show the pictures. >> before you got out of here -- we're going to sing puff the magic dragen. we got to sing a little that. ♪ this is aing on -- >> ♪ ♪ the night before christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse ♪ ♪ stockings were hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that st. nicolas would soon be there ♪ ♪ the children nestle all snug in their beds while visions of sugar -- sugar plums danced in their head ♪ ♪ mom in her kerchief and i in my cap had just settled down for
12:21 am
a long winter's nap ♪ ♪ when out -- away to the window i flew in a flash and on and on and on >> you guys are killing me. i love it. plus it has mary's last recording. >> tell me the story about how you guys got here when she was fading. she was -- >> to record this. >> she did not give up. >> until -- until the day before she died in 2009, she was performing with us. in a wheelchair and with oxygen and she said, you're going to make the book. i spoke to her and said, do you want to do a narrated version. she did. and when you hear her speak it, she's in the middle as she ordinarily is. and knows, would you like to -- >> why don't you read that poem
12:22 am
by clemen to all of us. >> we'll sing along and play along. we recorded it. >> a little puff the magic dragon. >> then we could close it out -- okay. ♪ ♪ puff the magic dragon ♪ ♪ live by the sea ♪ autumn mist in a land ♪ ♪ puff the magic dragon ♪ live by the see seau ♪ frol i think in the autumn mist in the land called holl la lee sthodse ♪ that's enough. >> hand me the book back. peter, one second before you guys play us out -- the new book from peter paul and mary is called the night before
12:23 am
christmas just out in time for the holidays. i want to thank noel, peter for coming on the program. they're going to close us out. before they do that, thank you for watching. >> you're the best tavis: i love you back. until next time, keep the faith. ♪ hey ho nobody home hey ho nobody home ♪ ♪
12:24 am
12:25 am
♪ ♪ [applause] >> i'm now worthy. [laughter] tavis: you guys are amazing. >> for more information on the show, visit tavis smiley at >> join me next time for a preview of election day 2010 and the claimed haitian born author. that's next time. we'll see you then. >> all i know is his name is james. he needs extra help with his
12:26 am
reading. >> i'm james. >> yes. is >> to everyone making a difference. you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. >> with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial hit raese and remove obstacles to economic empowerment one at a time. >> and from crubt shuns to our pbs -- vibt shuns to our pbs stations from viewers like you. thank you. contributes -- contributions from viewers like you. thank you. from viewers like you. thank you. ♪
12:27 am
12:28 am
12:29 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on