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Folk Legend Dropped From Festival Over 1969 Incident

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary was pardoned, but is still paying
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2019 12:42 PM CDT
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In this July 20, 2014, file photo, singer-songwriter Peter Yarrow, of the 1960s era musical trio "Peter Paul and Mary," claps and encourages the audience to sing along.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

(Newser) – A music festival has disinvited folk singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary over his 1970 jail sentence for indecent liberties with a 14-year-old girl. The Press and Sun Bulletin of Binghamton reports that board members of the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in upstate New York cited negative reaction to Yarrow on social media in their decision to remove Yarrow from the festival's lineup, reports the AP. The 81-year-old was to appear Sept. 8; a replacement has not been announced. Yarrow was sentenced to three months in jail over a 1969 incident in which the 14-year-old and her 17-year-old sister went to his hotel seeking an autograph and he answered the door naked.

President Jimmy Carter pardoned Yarrow just before leaving office in 1981. At the time, the Washington Post reported Yarrow's petition for a pardon described the incident as his "most terrible mistake" and hoped a pardon would help his young children understand society had forgiven him. "When booking this artist we were not aware of" the incident, the festival's president tells the paper. "Some members of our community expressed concern, and after further investigation and careful consideration, the decision was made to remove Yarrow from the music schedule." (Don McLean slammed UCLA "morons" after an honor was announced, then rescinded.)


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