Peter Yarrow 'The Colonoscopy Song'
Posted on Nov 15, 2011 05:20am

Dr. Maria Oquendo

"The Colonoscopy Song"

"The Colonoscopy Song" speaks for itself and background on the project is contained in CBS' press release below.

The CBS Cares team feels ­very privileged to have been part of CBS' collaboration with Peter Yarrow. All the more when he said that he was doing "The Colonoscopy Song" in tribute to Mary Travers of Peter, Paul a­nd Mary who passed away recently. The trio's music and message helped define the 60's and their passion to touch other's lives was legendary. Peter Yarrow is very much engaged in that fight today, as illustrated by this song.

CBS Cares also appreciates the invaluable contributions of our longstanding medical partners, NIH/NCI, MGH/Harvard Medical School, and Paul Miskovitz, M.D. of Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian. Their knowledge, resources, and credibility have made many of our health projects possible.

During this project, colonoscopies turned up life saving information for two people known to certain members of the CBS Cares team. The issues are very real and we hope that you will take the time to read the information on screenings below provided by our experts. And of course to enjoy the song and send it to others!

Kind regards,

The CBS Cares Team

Press Release

March 9, 2010 – As part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, renowned folk singer, writer, and social activist, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, has teamed up with CBS to deliver a serious health message to CBS viewers and audiences beyond: getting a routine colonoscopy saves lives. Many experts feel that colon cancer can be eliminated as a killer if everyone has routine screenings.

As part of the collaboration, Yarrow worked with CBS to develop and record "The Colonoscopy Song," a lighthearted track and video that marries humor with serious content to assert that Yarrow's colonoscopy that turned up a polyp might well have saved his life. Yarrow, who worked with CBS on the song which debuted this morning as part of the CBS campaign to prevent Colon Cancer, brought a special commitment to early cancer detection because of the recent loss of his dear friend and singing partner, Mary Travers. Travers died from the delayed effects of a powerful chemotherapy treatment that, nevertheless, made it possible for her to defeat Leukemia with a successful bone marrow transplant, and gave her four more years of life than she otherwise might not have had.

"With the fragility of Mary Travers leading up to her successful bone marrow transplant, I became more and more involved with helping to raise money and awareness for the prevention and cure of cancer," said Yarrow. "When cancer hits you personally, you understand the cruelty of this disease, and then you really commit to doing all you can. However, with colon cancer, you can prevent its onset with a colonoscopy, a relatively simple procedure that provided me with a crucial early warning when my colonoscopy turned up a polyp. I only wish that Mary's advancing leukemia could have been discovered and prevented by such a test. The trio has just released a new CD, ‘Peter, Paul & Mary with Symphony Orchestra: The Prague Sessions' that is a tribute to Mary, as is this humorous but also totally serious colon cancer song, penned in the mindful wake of the passing of Noel Paul's, and my, beloved friend of 50 years."

CBS, which supported National Colon Cancer Awareness Month through the "CBS Cares Colonoscopy Sweepstakes" last year, will provide company-wide support to promote the song. CBS Records produced and will distribute the song and accompanying video while CBS Cares (the pro-social division within CBS that creates public service announcements) will promote it on the Network through PSAs that will debut during 60 MINUTES featuring Yarrow and Alan Kalter of LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.

CBS will make the song available to CBS RADIO stations across the country which will be broadcasting PSAs in support of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. CBS Interactive will feature the song on, and on CBS Radio's digital assets. Additionally, CBS Marketing will distribute the song and video through Healium™, the medical waiting room entertainment and education network powered by CBS; CBS Outdoor will promote the song on a number of their billboards.

"Thousands of lives are needlessly lost every year to colorectal cancer," said Matthew Margo, Senior Vice President, CBS Program Practices and Executive Producer of CBS Cares. "We are thrilled to work with Peter on a project intended to boost awareness of the importance of colonoscopies. At CBS Cares, we are proud of our track record of tackling issues that are not always openly talked about, but impact the lives of millions of Americans. By teaming up with Peter – and leveraging the talents and strengths across many platforms at CBS – we hope to defuse some of the awkwardness surrounding this important medical screening."

"The Colonoscopy Song" is already seen by some medical experts as an important asset in the effort to boost awareness of the life-saving potential of colon cancer screenings. Medical experts who have partnered with CBS on this project include the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, who will provide content on colon cancer screenings and distribute the song to various NCI partners and audiences; and Massachusetts General Hospital, which will play the song in its various facilities and help distribute the song to hospitals, health care organizations and trade associations locally and nationally to enlist their help in spreading the message about the importance of regular colon cancer screenings.

Various Gastroenterologists at Weill Cornell Medical Center will play the song in waiting rooms for patients awaiting colonoscopies, and the song will become part of the gastroenterology curriculum at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and Qatar. The Mayo Clinic will pair the song with an interview with one of their doctors and distribute it via their social media initiatives.

"The Colonoscopy Song" will be made available on iTunes later this month, with all proceeds going to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), co - founded by Katie Couric with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non - profit organization.

The CBS Cares team at the shoot for "The Colonoscopy Song"
Front row (from left to right): Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Alan Kalter of the Late Show with David Letterman
Back row (from left to right): Michael Pollack, Matthew Margo, Molly Strongwater, Brie Allio, and Mark Hershey

Special Thanks

The CBS Cares Team wishes to warmly thank the following for their invaluable contributions
(in alphabetical order):

Tony Arancio, Donita Boddie, Beth Bradford, John Burklow, CBS Communications, CBS Digital Radio, CBS Human Resources, CBS Interactive, CBS Marketing, CBS News, CBS Outdoor, CBS Radio, CBS Records, Patrick Confrey, Martha Hertzberg, Lenora Johnson, Alan Kalter, Bob Lynch, Katie Marquedant, Massachusetts General Hospital, The Mayo Clinic, Paul Miskovitz, MD, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Stacy Neale, Puff, the Magic Dragon, Red Thread Productions, Kevin Salem, Isaac Schiff, MD, Peggy Slasman, Peter Slavin, MD, Joel Streed, Ken Sunshine, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Peter Yarrow