View Full Version : Good-bye, Mary Travers

09-16-2009, 08:30 PM
Some of us "older folks" grew up on the music of Peter, Paul & Mary. Mary Travers died today. :(

May she rest in peace.


Mary Travers, whose ringing, earnest vocals with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made songs like "Blowin' in the Wind," "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" enduring anthems of the 1960s protest movement, died Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. She was 72 and lived in Redding, Conn.

The cause was cancer, said Heather Lylis, a spokeswoman.

Travers brought a powerful voice and an urgency to music that resonated with mainstream listeners. With her straight blond hair and willowy figure and two bearded guitar players by her side, she looked like what she was, a Greenwich Villager from the clubs and the coffeehouses that nourished the folk-music revival.

Travers' voice blended seamlessly with those of her colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, to create a rich three-part harmony that propelled the group to the top of the charts. Their first album, "Peter, Paul and Mary," which featured the hit singles "Lemon Tree" and "If I Had a Hammer," reached No.1 shortly after its release in 1962.

The group's interpretations of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" translated his raw vocal style into a smooth, more commercially acceptable sound. They also scored with pleasing songs like "Puff the Magic Dragon" and John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

They quickly became one of the world's most popular folk-music groups. The albums "Moving" and "In the Wind," both released in 1963, rose to the top of the charts and stayed there for months.

Over the years they performed frequently at political rallies and demonstrations in the United States and abroad. After the group disbanded, in 1970, Travers continued to perform at political events around the world as she pursued a solo career.

Mary Allin Travers was born on Nov. 9, 1936, in Louisville, Ky. When she was 2, her parents moved to New York. Unique among the musicians who emerged from Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, Travers actually came from the neighborhood.

09-16-2009, 08:42 PM

Sail on Mary. :(

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-17-2009, 02:32 AM
I learned to play my uke by trying to play Peter, Paul & Mary renditions from their album.

Good memories, wonderful songs. We'll miss her.

09-17-2009, 06:11 AM
First song I learned to play on the uke was Blowin' in the Wind. We sang lots and lots of PPM songs in my youth group when I was a kid...

09-17-2009, 10:55 AM
For those of you who have not heard, Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary has passed away of leukemia. I will miss her.

Peter, Paul & Mary's music went all over the world, even to the jungles of New Guinea. They were my first exposure to the folk revival of the '60s. I still love their music, most of which is very well suited to the ukulele. I cannot recall whether they actually used ukulele in performance or not. Someone here will know.

Anyway, I will miss her lovely voice. :(

09-17-2009, 12:45 PM
I think my first uke song may have been Puff, the Magic Dragon....:(

09-17-2009, 12:46 PM
I just figured out Puff the Magic Dragon last week too.... :(

Ronnie Aloha
09-17-2009, 01:27 PM
Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea... sigh...

09-17-2009, 09:06 PM
When I was a kid my dad used to sing me to sleep with "Day is Done." I'll always have nothing but fond memories of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

09-17-2009, 09:26 PM
The first time I ever heard a John Denver song it was Peter, Paul, and Mary singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane". Their rendition was much more popular than John's own.

09-17-2009, 10:38 PM
I am not usually affected by hearing the about the death of a famous person, even when it is someone whose music I have loved but for some reason the death of Mary Travers has affected me in a way I never thought it would. I tried to do Leaving On a Jet Plane for a Youtube tribute last night but couldn't get through it without choking - how weird is that? I think it maybe that PP&M were a big part of my childooh with Puff The Magic Dragon being one of the first songs I ever remember knowing the words to.

09-18-2009, 01:41 AM
This group has been a great inspiration to me through the years, not just because their renditions were so beautiful, but because of what they stood for - trying to make the world a better place. Mary will be missed greatly.

09-18-2009, 02:18 AM
R.I.P Mary

09-19-2009, 12:53 PM
Casetone, I don't usually emote when a celebrity passes on either, but I was truly sad to hear about Mary Travers.

LazyRiver, groups that use their talent & energy not only to create beautiful music, but to promote social justice seem to be a rare find at the moment.

I seem to be getting increasingly sentimental. Tissue time.