Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Sep 16th 2009 11:15PM by Steve Baltin
Travers teamed with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey in the early '60s in Greenwich Village and, before long, they were ambassadors and voices of the scene. The trio helped expose many fans to the work of Bob Dylan when they performed 'Blowin' in the Wind' at a 1963 march on Washington and placed both that song and his 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright' on the 1963 album 'In the Wind.'
Perfectly capturing the mood of the country before the British Invasion and the Summer of Love, the trio turned gorgeous harmonies and resolute political beliefs, which they maintained throughout their tenure, into commercial stardom, placing three albums in the top six of the Billboard charts in 1963. It was a rapid rise from their 1961 debut at New York's Bitter End club.But the genteel nature of the way they sang Dylan's politicized words as well as 'If I Had a Hammer' and 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?' came across as a soothing voice in a time of tremendous upheaval. They reached beyond political thought as well, scoring a massive hit with 'Puff, The Magic Dragon,' which is still considered a classic children's tale.
After their initial success, Peter, Paul and Mary made occasional forays back into the charts, including a hit in the late '60s with John Denver's 'Leaving on a Jet Plane.' The trio separated in 1971 with Travers going onto release five solo albums without matching her remarkable early success with Yarrow and Stookey.
The trio reunited several times, often for political causes, such as a 1978 show to fight nuclear power. According to the New York Times, Yarrow, in a statement, described her vocal style and personality as "honest and completely authentic," while Stookey, in another statement, wrote, "Her charisma was a barely contained nervous energy -- occasionally (and then only privately) revealed as stage fright."
She is survived by her fourth husband, two daughters, two grandchildren and a sister.