Remembering Mary Travers

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Peter Paul and Mary
Mary Travers
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Remembering Mary Travers

Today we remember Mary Travers, the woman that put the “Mary” in Peter, Paul & Mary, who died on this date in 2009.

Born in 1936 in Louisville, Kentucky, Mary Allin Travers was a folk singer well before teaming up with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, having been a member of a group called the Song Swappers during the second half of the 1950s, but it took encouragement from friends and colleagues to take her singing seriously enough to actually pursue it as a career. That decision certainly paid off for her: when Peter, Paul & Mary formed in 1961, it seemed as though she and her compatriots had a career in the blink of an eye, with their self-titled debut topping the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Over the course of the next few years, they earned a number of hit singles as well, including “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” “Puff (The Magic Dragon),” “Blowin' in the Wind,” and “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.”

Although Travers, Yarrow, and Stookey went their separate ways in 1970 and stayed that way throughout the majority of the '70s, they reunited in briefly in 1972 for a pro-McGovern rally, and then again in 1978 to protest nuclear energy, and the latter performance went so well that they decided to reunite for a summer tour. By 1981, they were more or less back together on a permanent basis, and they basically stayed that way until Travers' death in 2009.

To remember Ms. Travers, give our official Peter, Paul & Mary playlist a spin and see just how much wonderful folk-rock she contributed in her lifetime.