Mary Travers

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All the Flowers Have Gone – A Personal Tribute to Mary Travers

Tonight I ask where the flowers really gone? Mary Travers, who died of Peter, Paul & Mary on Wednesday evening, at the age of 72, from leukemia at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.

An American treasure, an icon, an idol of my generation – Maria was a singer and songwriter of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, along with her male colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey. It began in 1961 at The Bitter End (for those of you whonot recognize the name, is a folk music locally in New York City's Greenwich Village). The group was the inspiration of manager Albert Grossman, was looking to create a super group of folk song, while he also manages the international chart toppers, Bob Dylan. Grossman certainly was a good idea of how Peter, Paul and Mary folk in America were so many of us in 1960 and from there to symbolize.

The trio became one of the most successful folk groups singingClassics like "500 Miles", "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Blowin 'in the Wind" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" They also performed the epic song of an era and a cause, "If I Had a Hammer in the 1963 March on Washington, DC, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 's I Have a Dream speech was delivered. Peter, Paul and Mary won five Grammys and had 13 Top 40 hits. Their songs crossed generations. "Have Puff the Magic Dragon said," often disguised messages about drugs and marijuana, theytaken a long time ago, as it really was about … A dragon! And the children know and love this song until today.

For me, Peter, Paul and Mary were my college years anthem. As students, torn between preppy fraternities / sororities, and burn our bras / draft cards, we lived for their music and the beads around his neck. Having them live on the campus of Florida State University in my first year in the mid-sixties, we were collected at home in our dorms and stairwellswith our guitars, we do it often. The staircase was groovy echoes that allows us to voices sound so much better – especially for me on the top floor, need all the help I could get! Picked that night, but, as we jingled, and singing about dragons, flowers, and hammers, we have little to know that Mary was admitted to our modest infirmary.

The campus grapevine, however, worked secretly, so we quickly found out and rushed there to gather with candles and hold our breathWaiting for word. Mary had collapsed from exhaustion was the report that we received, but said the rumor (and I say RUMOR) that she had had a miscarriage.

Your music and Mary's vocals in particular peppered my life in my early adult hood. Traveling to college in Canada with my best friend, my cousin, and his best friend, it was PP & M and John Denver on the 8-track! This was a lofty joyous trip – take it for whatever you want to understand it — me this tripwas unadulterated luck! I had no idea that I would not only lose your best friend, but also my cousin, both brain tumor, all within the last few months. So it is not surprising, or almost surprising in some way with me, that Mary Travers has now died of cancer and lost for all of us too. Not surprising, but oh so heartbreaking.

Tonight I'll probably pick away dust from my old guitar, what John Denver taught me, in his interpretation of "This Old Guitar"that:

"This Old Guitar taught me to sing a love song

It showed me how to laugh and how to cry

It took me to some friends of mine

And brightened a few days

She helped me through it a lonely nights

Oh, what having a friend on a cold and lonely night "

John Denver, now gone, took a hit several years later by Peter, Paul and Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane", one of my favorites.

The words say so much to many, but especially forme, and especially today evening. My guitar and the music associated with it, the music of Denver, and Joan Baez, but especially Peter, Paul & Mary spoke to me during these years and in the years since and to this day. Their music has taught me how to laugh "and to cry, like". And tonight I'm crying. I call for a loss of a great lady, it means so much to so many. But I also know their music will live on and that bring us all some peace when peace is what Mary all her life and would be representedwant their legacy.

I hope you feel like a pair of Peter, Paul & Mary 's song …. and my favorites! Thank you inform me, my thoughts, and if you have time, you hear some of this wonderful music, you will not regret it.

And I'll let the words Mary sang "Leaving on a Jet Plane"

"Now the time has come to leave you

One more time Let Me Kiss You

Then close his eyes, Ill on the road.

Dreamto get through the day "

Peace.

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October 26, 2009 - Posted by | Mary Travers Articles | , , ,

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