September 16, 2009

Rest In Peace Sweet Mary

From the Peter Paul and Mary Website:
"Mary Travers passed away today. After successful recovery from leukemia through a bone marrow/stem cell transplant, Mary succumbed to the side effects of one of the chemotherapy treatments. We all loved her deeply and will miss her beyond words."

Tell Me That You'll Wait for Me

Influenced by the likes of Josh White, the Weavers, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger, Mary Allin Travers was born on Nov. 9, 1936 in Louisville, Kentucky. She later grew up in Greenwich Village, New York City where she was 'discovered' by manager Albert Grossman who put her together with her future partners Noel Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow. Mary, who had a very powerful and beautiful voice (till the end) and long, straight blond hair that she became almost as famous for.

PP&M were at the forefront of the great folk revival of the early 1960's. The group had hits with such tunes as: "Puff the Magic Dragon", "If I Had a Hammer", "Lemon Tree" and "Stewball". Their versions of "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" helped make stars of budding songwriters Bob Dylan and John Denver respectively.

Known for their political activism, "Blowin' In the Wind" became civil rights anthem for the band and the world, they would march with Martin Luther King in Selma, Ala.,and perform at the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and at demonstrations protesting the Vietnam War throughout the 60's.

The group disband in the early 70's, but over the years they regrouped several times performing at such events as a 1978 anti-nuclear benefit organized by Peter Yarrow, Live Aid, Amnesty International Benefits, and the 1995 anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

Peter Paul and Mary continued to tour right up until this year. On a personal note, I've had the pleasure of seeing the trio three times. In 1986 when the group performed on their 25th Anniversary tour at the Miami Marine Stadium, performing all their hits as well as their newer material "El Salvador", and "No Easy Walk to Freedom". And then twice at The King Center in Melbourne, Florida in 1998 and 2002.

At the time of that first Melbourne concert in 1998, my wife Jen and I had just opened our folk music venue Kool Beanz. So I thought it appropriate to take Jen to see PP&M for her birthday. I called for tickets a week before the show, and to our great luck a couple had canceled their Front Row/Center seats moments before, so we had the best seats we could have dreamed of! To top it off, our good friend Fred Migliore helped arrange to get us backstage where we met the group, they signed my portrait, and I got to live a life long dream of sharing with Mary Travers.

Rest In Peace Mary.

"Java" John Goldacker
September 16th, 2009

I will for sure play some Peter Paul and Mary music on my show
AN ACOUSTIC RECORD Monday September 21st at 10pm.
Tune In:
WFIT 89.5fm in Melbourne Florida
or On-Line:





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