EXPIRED: 09/16/09 –Mary Travers, 72, was a tall blonde flanked by a pair of goateed guitarists. As folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary they mixed music with liberal politics: their version of “If I Had a Hammer” became an anthem for racial equality.
But equally important is the oft-misinterpreted of “Puff (The Magic Dragon).”
Travers health deteriorated rapidly after her first battle with leukemia.
Travers was known as the tall blond in the famous folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary when she started collaborating and performing with the then two bearded men, Peter Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey. However, her passion for music started much earlier. After her parents moved to Greenwich Village, she quickly fell in love with folk scene and began singing backup for The Weavers. This was shortly after meeting Pete Seeger who lived in the same apartment building as her family.
However, when manager Albert Grossman was looking to “find a nobody that he could nurture and make famous,” Travers was selected and finally tasted stardom on her own with Yarrow and Stookey. Together, they wrote “Lemon Tree” and, since Grossman was also managing Bob Dylan at the time, they were also famous for performing his song, “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Another song they favored with a rendition was John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jetplane.”
After a few Grammy’s the band disbanded, and all three launched their own – less successful – solo careers.