Singer Mary Travers dies aged 72

 

Mary Travers, a member of the Peter, Paul and Mary trio that played a prominent role in the 1960's folk music revival and helped popularise the work of such artists as Bob Dylan, has died, according to media reports .

The New York Timesquoted Travers' spokeswoman, Heather Lylis, as saying the folk singer had died of cancer at a hospital in Danbury Connecticut. The Timessaid she was 72.

Travers, known for her strong voice and long, blonde hair performed alongside guitarists Peter Yarrow and Noel "Paul" Stookey in one of folk music's most popular acts.

The group's version of Blowin' in the Windby a young Bob Dylan helped transform the song into a civil rights anthem and introduced his music to a wider audience.

The group also scored big hits with If I Had a Hammerand Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, co-written by folk artist Pete Seeger.

Among the group's other hits were Lemon Tree, Puff the Magic Dragonand Leaving on a Jet Plane.

The trio's members were also noted for their political activism. They performed at the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and at demonstrations protesting the Vietnam War.

Travers kept up her activism after Peter, Paul and Mary broke up in the early 1970s. She performed as a solo artist before the trio reunited later for benefits and other concerts.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Travers grew up in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. She was influenced at an early age by Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Leadbelly and other major folk musicians.

"I was raised on Josh White, the Weavers and Pete Seeger," Travers told The New York Timesin 1994. "The music was everywhere. You'd go to a party at somebody's apartment and there would be 50 people there, singing well into the night."

Reuters