Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mary Travers!

She's 70 today. Hard for me to believe. As a child of the "folk revival" that began with the Kingston Trio in 1958, I still think of all these people as being in their 20s. For that matter I still think of myself as being in my 20s. Talk about denial!

Swingin' Chicks of the '60s: Along with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, she was in one of the biggest, and most durable, folk groups in music history. Addressing their impact, writer John Court wrote this on the back of Movin', their '63 album with "Puff, the Magic Dragon" on it: "While they are already this country's signally important popularizers of folk music, their serious interpretations of folk classics command the respect of the idiom's most inveterate critics." One other way they had an impact on the '60s was to propel the career of a struggling young folkie. Peter, Paul and Mary were discovered in '61 by Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan's manager. In '63 they helped Dylan get some early fame by bringing his "Blowin' in the Wind" to #1 on the charts and "Don't Think Twice" to #9. And you've gotta admit her group's heart was always in the right place throughout their long career: You name the benefit, they probably appeared for it, including the famous '63 March on Washington in which Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I have a dream speech."


Glen Davis said...

Every time I've seen her on TV all I could thin is I bet she could thump both those scrawny bald dudes on stage with her.

Bill said...

The last photo I saw looked like a balloon in the Macy's parade. But she didn't look like that always.

folkie said...

Smart, guys, smart!

Did you know Mary has been extremely ill with leukaemia? A bone marrow transplant was performed in past months and her health has improved.

Bill said...

I heard that she'd actually done (or was planning to do) a gig with the guys. I hope that's true. I have many LPs by the group, and I'd like to think their voices would continue to be heard for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

That's right, Bill. They're back, singing, since December, last, "keeping on, keeping on."

If only I could go - I'm in Oz!

Alison. (folkie)

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday Mary. I have a new respect for you since I know that you are a transplant recipient as I am. Other people don't know what you went through. They don't know what it is to be in isolation and to stare out the window at the city streets below.
Keep up the good work, happy birthday, and many many more.God bless the people on the 11th floor.
Best Wishes