Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: October 19, 2008

Peter YarrowLast night, WOSU hosted a special dinner and concert with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. The legendary folk singer was on his game all night in our studios at WOSU@COSI. He preached, admonished, and joked in between playing guitar and singing some of the classics like PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, which he co-wrote and LEAVING ON A JET PLANE (before which he asked everyone to hold hands with the person next to them…whether they knew them or not).

At 70 years old, he was incredibly entertaining for the intimate gathering of 140 in our studios. We had a couple from Lima celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, a young folk singer from Mansfield who was extremely excited to hear Peter, and a variety of folks who brought their PP&M albums from the early 60s. Everyone had pledged to WOSU in the spring, which allowed them the privilege of this rare, private concert.

Operation RespectPeter focused early on one of his major projects called Operation Respect (www.operationrespect.org), an effort to combat school violence and bullying and respect differences in people. Yarrow said the program was in 22,000 schools and many foreign countries. He also railed against the TV reality dating shows that are so detrimental and influential to our children. He is astounded “by how much people have lost their moral compass” on these programs.

Peter Yarrow is a true folk legend and its great to have an opportunity to see him in person. He has also committed to supporting PBS and public stations across the country through efforts such as last Saturday night’s special concert in Columbus. And we cannot thank him enough!!