Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary died on Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 72. The cause was cancer, a spokeswoman said.
Peter, Paul and Mary were hugely influential during the folk music revival of the 1960s. Their rendition of “Blowin’ In The Wind” helped introduce the world to Bob Dylan, and the band had international hits with peace anthems like “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and “If I Had A Hammer.” They were known for attending political rallies and anti-war protests, and participated in the 1963 march on Washington. The band was also beloved for their versions of John Denver’s “Puff The Magic Dragon” and “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane.”
The New York Times writes, “the group’s direct, emotional style of performance lifted audiences to their feet to deliver rapturous ovations. Ms. Travers, onstage, drew all eyes as she shook her hair, bobbed her head in time to the music and clenched a fist when the lyrics took a dramatic turn. On instructions from [manager Albert]Grossman, who wanted her to retain an air of mystery, she never spoke.”
After Peter, Paul and Mary split up in 1970, Travers launched a solo career, recording the albums Mary (1971), Morning Glory (1972), All My Choices (1973), Circles (1974) and It’s in Everyone of Us (1978).
Peter, Paul and Mary reunited in 1978 and continued to tour and record. A box set of their recordings, Carry It On, was released in 2004.