Mary Travers, one-third of the 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary who helped popularize the work of Bob Dylan and sang hits such as "Puff (The Magic Dragon)," has died, aged 72, after battling leukemia.
The group's version of "Blowin' in the Wind" by 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 Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," co-written by folk artist Pete Seeger.
Along with "Puff," the group's other hits were "Lemon Tree," and "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.
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 Times in 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."
If there's any one reason I'm as slightly Liberal as I am today, it's because of my early (and ongoing) love of folk music. I had all the same artists influence me as Ms. Travers did, PLUS Peter, Paul, and Mary.
I owe ya a big debt of thanks, hon, and I'm not the only one. Godspeed.