The beloved folk trio that brought Bob Dylan's songs to the masses, marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and sang Grammy-winning children's songs has lost one of its voices.
Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary, died Wednesday in Danbury, Conn., at age 72 after battling leukemia since 2004. She had received a bone marrow transplant several years ago and was able to resume performing, but her condition worsened and she was unable to appear at the group's July 31 concert at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y., site of the Woodstock concert. Trio mates Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey turned the show into a tribute instead.
Travers, a Louisville native, moved with her family to New York's bohemian Greenwich Village in the early 1950s and eventually began performing with Pete Seeger and other artists in the booming folk revival.
In 1960, Yarrow's manager Albert Grossman, who soon would also manage Dylan, assembled the trio with Travers as the vocal and visual centerpiece, and it quickly became the liberal voice of what would become one of America's most turbulent decades. The group's beatnik look and pristine, close-harmony singing was an immediate hit.
Their 1962 debut album featuring If I Had a Hammer and Lemon Tree won them two Grammys, and the follow-up album Moving hit No. 2 on the charts on the strength of the lost-innocence tale Puff the Magic Dragon. But they established their political protest legacy with their third album, which featured Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's Alright and Blowin' in the Wind.
The trio disbanded in 1971, launching solo careers Travers released five albums that never achieved the heights of their collaborations.
Over the years they remained politically active, performing at the 1995 anniversary of the Kent State shootings