PHOTO: Peter Yarrow sings "Puff The Magic Dragon" with, from left, AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg, AMI Entertainment's Mike Maas, Ecast's Ryan Smith and AMOA (national) president Donovan Fremin.
DOUGLASTON, NY -- The Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York paid a special tribute to music on Feb. 27 at a fundraiser and celebration that honored jukebox music providers AMI Entertainment Network Inc. and Ecast Inc. The association of amusement machine and jukebox operators also bestowed an award on folk music legend Peter Yarrow, 73, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame.
AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg, PLK Vending (Woodside, NY), presented awards to the jukebox companies and Yarrow, a native New Yorker. AMI's Mike Maas and Ecast's Ryan Smith accepted the honors on behalf of their organizations.
This year, the regional trade group's fundraising event departed from its traditional "Man of the Year" format. Maas is a past recipient of AMOA-NY's Man of the Year award, as were Rick Kirby, Robert Geschine and Kevin Fritz of Betson Enterprises, along with Firestone Financial's David Cohen, Raw Thrills' Eugene Jarvis and Tricorp Amusements Inc.'s Chuck Peitz
Now Yarrow joins some of the most recognized names in the jukebox and coin machine industries as New York's Jukebox Artist of the Year. Upon receiving the award, the American singer, who found fame with the 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, returned the compliment to the jukebox industry for the critical role it plays in the music business.
Yarrow co-wrote (with Leonard Lipton) one of the group's most famous songs, "Puff, the Magic Dragon." He told the AMOA-NY guests that "Puff is clean," debunking several myths of the meaning of the song's lyrics. Maas, Ryan and Goldberg then joined Yarrow for an impromptu performance of Puff the Magic Dragon. Also taking part in the sing-along was Donovan Fremin, president of the national Amusement and Music Operators Association.