September 16, 2009

Mary died!

So sad!



Now the time has come to leave you...

79 comments:

victoria said...

Tears flowing for a lovely singer.

former law student said...

Too bad.

I saw Peter Yarrow not too long ago. He is currently stumping around with, and performing on behalf of John Garamendi, now a candidate for Congress from California.

chickenlittle said...

I've always loved that brief musical interregnum between the classic '50's rockers and the British Invasion when American folk & surf briefly reigned. I was too young to remember the period properly, but just old enough not to forget it.

Beth said...

This isn't a celebrity death. I feel loss, loss of an artist, of a voice that helped shape my love for music, that I heard when I picked up a guitar and learned this song. I'm sad.

ag said...

I got to know her some years ago when we overlapped as customers of the same New York City bookstore. I happen to read a lot, she read significantly more than I, and on a broader range of topics. A friendly, unassuming, very nice person.

kentuckyliz said...

Oh I didn't know. Their music shaped my life (b. 1965, parents owned/played the records). May she rest in peace.

John Stodder said...

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" is one of those perfect pop singles. RIP.

shoutingthomas said...

She was a commie.

Really.

Not that that means that her death isn't sad for her friends and associates.

I'm just saying anything about whether she should live or die... but she was a commie. I can't get too sentimental about the commies. I live among them, not far from where Mary lived. They're crazy.

Peter, Paul & Mary was referred to, often, as "two beards and a dyke."

An accurate description.

Gary said...

I am so saddened by her passing.

One of my all-time favorite albums is Peter, Paul, and Mary's "In Concert".

Memory eternal.

The Drill SGT said...

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

The unofficial anthem of the Army during the Vietnam war.

one of my favorite songs, but I dislike the later artistic version Althouse found. The album cut was much plainer and more profund in its simplistic beauty.

RIP

PP&M had some classics. I've got their Greatest hits on my car CD right now along with the Mama's and the Papas.

Michelle did not have nearly the voice of either Cass or Mary, but her best was damn good. My favorite with Michelle in the lead, (and those were rare) was "Dedicated to the One I Love"

Penny said...

"Mary died!"

OMG! Does Jesus know? Who is going to call him?

You know, there was always something about, Mary.

To this day I can't put my finger on it exactly. She was just "odd".

T J Sawyer said...

So sad. Had all the albums from their first. Saw them in concert several times too.

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" instantly transports me back to Vietnam. It was every G.I.'s favorite in 1970.

We drove out to Mitchell, S.D. almost exactly three years ago to see PP&M perform at the dedication of the McGovern library. At that time it was clear that Mary no longer had the marvelous range that characterized her best years. Still, it was great to see them all in concert again.

May she rest in peace.

Chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chase said...

Loved Peter Paul and Mary. Their politics didn't matter to me - they just sounded so beautiful. Listened over and over to my parents' copy of "Movin", their second album, the one with "Puff, the Magic Dragon". Learned to play that and "Blowin in the Wind" as my first 2 songs on the guitar. Played and sang "Puff" for my children at bedtime, and thus our whole family shed some tears tonight when we heard the news. I am still stirred every time I listen to them singing "If I Had a Hammer"

Mary Travers, among the best of the passionate all time singers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Drill Sgt

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

The unofficial anthem of the Army during the Vietnam war.



I performed in USO (state side) shows during that time....68-70 It was one of the songs that we always included (I was part of a duet). I felt so sad that the guys to whom I was singing this particular song might never be able to come home again and yet glad that they enjoyed our performances, insignificant as they might have been in the big scope of things at that time. I often wonder how many of them ever think about us and the songs we sang for them.

So sad about Mary Travers. PP&M were a big influence in my early music. I think they did one of the best modern renditions of Brother Can You Spare a Dime.

Such a big influence on the folk music movement. Historic. The passing of an era in some ways.

shoutingthomas said...

OK, I'll go back to the commie biz.

Peter, Paul & Mary lived within a rat's nest of commies associated with Pete Seger.

Now, I'm not saying these issues are not complicated, but this is a group that praised the Soviet Union and kissed Stalin's ass for decades, until well into the 70s and 80s.

The only analogy I can think of is that old saw: What would you think of a cabaret singer who was an adherent of Hitler and Nazism?

I haven't got an answer, but you've got to ask it about Mary Travers. She was an adherent of a genocidal political cult.

I guess you've got to acknowledge that Peter, Paul & Mary recorded some very nice songs. Maybe you've also got to acknowledge that their politics were crazy. And, maybe you've got to wonder about the damage they did with their crazy politics.

In the Hudson Valley, where this commie cell was located, the answer is always that these people were so "passionate" about social change and their motives were so pure, that you can't blame them for being Stalinists.

Unfortunately, the result is that they remain unrepetent Stalinists, and their politics are never thoroughly repudiated.

Ralph L said...

"Jet Plane" is a John Denver song, isn't it?

Fittingly, NC public television is running a membership drive right now.

Puff and Hammer were major songs of my childhood, too, after we wore out the Jack Gifford Pooh record.

Roman said...

Many, many great memories, loved the music, couldn't stand the politics.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ shoutingthomas


Shhhhhh... this isn't the time or place. Hush up.

miller said...

I'm sorry to hear this. They wrote and sang lovely songs.

Fun to listen to, earnest, gentle.

We'll miss them.

The Crack Emcee said...

*Giggle*

They're dying. They're all, finally, dying.

Sorry, Ann, but, having lived in San Francisco, I've heard too many hippies say "I don't care!" when shown they're doing wrong by the rest of us - especially over the last eight years.

I welcome the end of their tyranny.

Good riddance.

save_the_rustbelt said...

At my age this is happening all too often.


RIP

Donna B. said...

John Denver wrote "Leavin' On A Jet Plane" but PPM made it famous.

She had a great voice. And hair.

shoutingthomas said...

The second answer of the old line commie folk singers is that you can't fault them for their decades of beatifying the Soviet Union and Uncle Joe because their songs are evidence of their incredible sensitive natures.

Listen, I know these people. I'm a musician. I've been living among them for my entire life.

The depth of their incredible sensitivity, and their incredibly emotionally moving songs is their "evidence" that their crazy politics are unchallengeable.

People can be downright evil, and still have the capability to sing songs that make you cry. It's a learned skill. It is, in fact, a manipulative political propaganda skill.

nina said...

I raised my daughters on those songs. It's really nice to read comments here on the memories of others who were equally moved by the songs. Regardless of political inclination. Such simple, beautiful sound.

The Crack Emcee said...

Shouting Thomas,

Give it up, dude. This is exactly why I despise hippies: they'll excuse anything - including the murder of millions - as long as they were entertained.

Let's leave them to their lies and delusions as they abandoned so many others - along with common decency - so many times before.

Fred4Pres said...

I was never much of a folk fan, but I did like Peter Paul and Mary.

I like Pete Seeger too, even if I do not care for his politics too much. Nice guy. Good singer.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hi Nina.

Revenant said...

I have to call attention to this particularly idiotic line from the NYT article:

in sharp contrast to clean-cut folk groups like the Kingston Trio, which avoided making political statements.

Among The Kingston Trio's hits were the anti-nuclear "Merry Minuet" and a cover of Pete Seeger's antiwar song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone". Even "MTA" started out (before they covered it) as a protest song.

Good to see those NYT fact-checkers are still hard at work.

chickenlittle said...

I like Pete Seeger too, even if I do not care for his politics too much. Nice guy. Good singer.

He's still kicking at 90 too.

Bob Shane (b. 1934) is the only one left from the original Kingston Trio.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh, if I had a haaammer,
I'd hammer in the mo-o-orning.
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this laa-aa-and.
Oh I'd hammer in mo-orning
Every thing would look like a naa-aa-ail
I'd hammer up, and down and I'd hammer through mah fingers
Through mah fingers and mah toes through mah toes and mah fingers
I'd be a hazard with a hammer
and a power saw. I'd take the staple gun and use it
Like to-oo-oy.
I would be --
a danger to myself
and to my neighbors.
I would ...

I'm sorry. Got carried away there. God's speed, Mary.

rcocean said...

"Blowin' in the Wind" is a great song. Wonder why it was written and song in 1965 instead of 1938?*

When the commies pushed peace -they always did it well - but only when it benefited the commies.

* BTW, I know Dylan couldn't have wrote it in 1938 - my point point is more general - dummy.

Randy said...

500 Miles performed in 1964 in Sydney, Australia. RIP

Chip Ahoy said...

The tragedy of this news has caused me to mix more cold butter by weight than flour with two types of cheese then roll it out and fold it in thirds and then do that four times rapidly building up to twelve layers until finally covering it like a pizza with chipotle and bacon then rolling it into a cylinder and chilling it in anticipation of slicing it and baking it into feuilletage for Deena's fundraiser on Friday.

Cedarford said...

Ralph L said...
"Jet Plane" is a John Denver song, isn't it?


Yeah. John Denver left a tremendous number of great songs, even sappy songs that has stood the test of time. Learned many of his as a kid, including "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (done more country than Folkie) in a chorus as a kid.

There were some wonderful female voices that came out in the 60s. Mary Travers may have been one of the 2nd tier..when you consider who else was out there you can contrast her to in pop, folk, stage, country at the time. But she was distinct and memorable.

RIP, Mary.

PS, shoutingthomas, outside ideologues people rarely care about performer's personal politics. Or only in the context of them going out and using their celebrity to advance their personal politics.

miller said...

...in sharp contrast to clean-cut folk groups like the Kingston Trio, which avoided making political statements...

The NYT really said "which" instead of "who"? That just seems odd. They make it sound like TKT was a robotic sound machine. Or a qualifier: TKT which was apolitical, as opposed to the many other TKT groups which were NOT apolitical.

I must be tired, but the "which" really bothers me. It's either hypercorrect, or just wrong.

Mark Daniels said...

A few thoughts on Mary Travers at my own blog: http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2009/09/mary-travers-is-dead.html

Yeah, copy and paste the old fashioned way.

By the way, the verification here is "undeva," as in Mary Travers, "undiva."

Methadras said...

Terrible news. I sweat voice that now adds even more color to the chorus of angels. I will rejoice for her because now she will be singing for a new band who eagerly awaits her arrival.

Joan said...

Aw. I loved Peter Paul & Mary, but my fervor cooled as I got older and couldn't deal with their politics. I saw them in concert and it was a bit too much. But Mary had a really lovely voice, and their music has stood the test of time so far.

Chip Ahoy, a couple of things -- first, that "If I had a hammer" revised lyric set was awesome, and second, how can I wrangle an invitation to all these parties you cook for, before attending? You have very lucky friends, my good man.

janicole said...

R.I.P Mary! You are a great artist and a very lovely singer! ---you left but not through a jet plane!
wood furniture

Dan said...

I saw them in concert by accident. It was mid-80's and I had tickets for Peter Gabriel at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland. I misread the date on the tickets, went to the site, and camped out in the lawn area. The crowd looked awfully strange for Gabriel, though...a lot of families, the crowd older than expected, etc. Then PP&M took the stage and I knew what was wrong.
They put on a good show, but I was too shocked by my own stupidity to appreciate it fully that night.

Republican said...

@shoutingthomas:

I'm siding with you. PPM musical activism outweighs any beauty in their work.

Mary might be the first to defend your right to criticize her commie beliefs, since she made a career of it.

LarsPorsena said...

I was just thinking about the whole
folk scene yesterday while watching
"A Mighty Wind"

A Chris Guest tribute to folk.

Susan said...

I think I'll remember Henry Gibson more often and more fondly.

If I had a sickle, there would be no recordings of "If I Had a Hammer."

Scott M said...

I accepted an invitation to see PPM here in St Louis a couple of years ago. While the vocals and music were fine, as expected, the activist tone was thick enough to slice.

Outside the theater (the Fox, if memory serves), there were all manner of poorly washed types handing out literature of various leftist stripes. This was around 2006...you know, when the Democrats in Congress were saying we'd lost the war in Iraq...and this idiot was handing out poorly Xeroxed flyers for an immediate pullout.

I asked him how many people had died as a result of our military action. He estimated somewhere around 3 million. I asked him if he could wave a magic wand, how many would die after the last American boot left Iraqi soil. He said the killing would stop instantly and that the only reason there was any violence at all was completely due to American imperialism.

I asked him if he was familiar with the term pogrom, to which he said he wasn't. I asked him to look it up and walked away.

Rialby said...

Sad to hear about Mary.

Now, question on the Jimmy Carter post which generated 411 comments!!! How do you see the next set of comments after 200 or so?

Paco Wové said...

Rialby: you have to click on the "Post a Comment" link. That page should give you links to look at "newer", "newest" comments.

John said...

To anyone who has ever had to get on a plane and go to war, Vietnam or anywhere, Leaving on a Jet Plane is a powerful song. Although John Denver wrote it, Peter Paul and Mary owned it.

miller said...

Rialby, you can also follow along by "subscribing" to the post.

If you are logged in to blogger *before* you post, you'll see a "[ ]
Email follow-up comments to (youremailaccount)" option.

Click the checkbox and post; your post and any subsequent posts will go to your account.

This is a thread-by-thread setting, so you can set this up for interesting threads and then ignore threads where FLS or MUL post.

Or, if you end up subscribing to a post where the detritors appear, you can either unsubscribe (in blogger) or you can let your e-mail client filter them out. That's the easiest way; you don't have to slog through miles of dreck.

miller said...

I think a lot of the youth who voted for Teh One™ think deep down inside that they'll take care of that issue the way they take care of other issues: Mom and Dad will pay for them.

It's when they get a job and realize the government is stealing 20-30% of their paycheck that the truth dawns -- but thankfully for the Democrats, by then it will be too late.

I'll never forget the conversion of my son from a feckless youth to a young man: it happened with his first paycheck. He opened it up, saw how much the government & union removed "for the privilege of being his servant," and he said some very uncomplimentary things about his public servants.

Makes me proud to have children that refuse to vote for tax increases or government control--they no longer are swayed by the "it's for the children" ads and campaigns.

David said...

Music aside (and her music was good) Mary Travers was a fox. The hair--what a look! And she had this slightly disengaged aura, something beyond cool, an "I know something" look. It was very confident, very sexy. Then the voice would come moaning out. I was in college during PPM's peak of popularity, and Mary Travers was The Woman.

John said...

"Now, question on the Jimmy Carter post which generated 411 comments!!! How do you see the next set of comments after 200 or so?"

Hit the "post a comment" link. You will then be in the post a commment screen. At the top of the comments there will be links for "newest" and "oldest". Hit the "newest" link and you will see the other 200 comments.

It took me a while to figure that out to. It is a seriously annoying feature of blogger

David said...

Yeah, yeah, I know Mary's politics were stuck in the 60's. So what. It was about the music.

Roger J. said...

What Drill Sgt said

leaving on jet plane was a viet nam anthem for most guys who served there (Tony Bennett's I left my heart in San Fransisco was probably the other one)

RIP Mary Travers.. Some things will not be forgotten and your voice is one of them.

LutherM said...

It was a long time ago; after the Army, in Graduate School.
I heard Peter, Paul and Mary's version of "Blowin in the Wind" on the radio and thought it was fine.
A little later, I discovered Bob Dylan.
It seemed to me that Dylan and Joan Baez were real, while PPM was commercial.
(I still feel that way.)

DADvocate said...

“She was obviously the sex appeal of that group, and that group was the sex appeal of the movement,” said Elijah Wald, a folk-blues musician and a historian of popular music.

Every teenage boy in my generation fantasized about Mary. I sang her songs to me kids. I also played the "Peter, Paul and Mommy" cd for my three youngest kids many times. "Day is Done," "Going to the Zoo," "Boa Constrictor" and "Puff, the Magic Dragon" thrilled my kids for years.

Their music was always clean and fresh. I am truly saddened.

Big Mike said...

If I worried about the politics of musicians then I'd have missed out on a lot of fine music.

I heard Peter, Paul, and Mary in concert holding hands with the second-most beautiful woman I ever dated. A week or so before that concert some idiot at a national news magazine had attempted to "decode" their song "Puff the Magic Dragon," with the idea that "Puff" was a reference to marijuana. (Because roaches and dragons were closely related animals, perhaps? Who knew?) The article went on and on, and included the far-fetched notion that the "sea" where Puff lived was a veiled reference to cocaine.

So the trio stepped up and assured us in the audience that there was nothing to it, but -- they warned us -- spurred on by that intrepid journalist they had done some research and discovered a much-sung song that certainly did have some suspicious lines in it. And they began to sing for us.

Oh, say, can you see ("see" standing for cocaine, Mary informed us). And the rockets RED glare and the bombs bursting in air.

Okay, maybe you had to be there.

Good bye, Mary Travers. May angels sing you home.

Robert Burnham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Burnham said...

Back in high school (early to mid-1960s), we called the group Peter, Paul, and Indescribably Delicious.

John said...

I am not getting the attraction to her as a young woman. At best she was a cute hippie girl. But no better than cute.

rhhardin said...

Rob Bartlett on Imus: if I heard right, ``Was she harvested for her tusks?''

Shanna said...

Yeah, yeah, I know Mary's politics were stuck in the 60's. So what. It was about the music.

Which was also stuck in the 60’s? I kid, I kid! Didn’t know they sang all of these songs, beyond puff which I guess everyone knows that.

I am going to have leaving on a jet plane stuck in my head all morning, but I’m hearing the John Denver version.

twolaneflash said...

Memories. I saw PP&M in Chattanooga in 1963 with my best high school friends. What wonderful harmony and guitar playing. Like many, I have a PP&M song book, now 40+ years old, from which I learned to play several of their songs. Thanks for the memories, Mary. RIP.

Susan said...

(The other Susan)

A couple of commenters have mentioned her hair. She may have single-handedly popularized the straight hair of the late sixties. It was the way she tossed it around when she performed.

I saw her in concert with PPM in the sixties. A beautiful canary.

traditionalguy said...

Many military men leaving to go overseas are booked onto flights that leave at 5:00 AM, and the empty Airport seems to add to the pain of parting with them for a year.

John said...

"Many military men leaving to go overseas are booked onto flights that leave at 5:00 AM, and the empty Airport seems to add to the pain of parting with them for a year."

I have always said the week before I left for Iraq was much worse than any week I spent over there. When you are there you are too busy to be sad very much. And it is kind of an adventure. But the week before you leave when you realize you are leaving everything you know and are not gaurenteed to come back sucks.

The upside is the feeling you have when you get on the plane to come home is the greatest feeling you will ever experience. You know you made it in one piece.

My father, a Vietnam veteran, told me the night before I left for Iraq that most people wake up in this country and get to live here and never do anything in return for this good fortune. I, however, would never be one of those people. And that is a good club to be in. I will never forget that.

Beth said...


If I had a sickle, there would be no recordings of "If I Had a Hammer."


Another conservative for free speech, and free markets.

John said...

"Another conservative for free speech, and free markets."

And another liberal who doesn't understand humor or irony.

miller said...

Beth said...
If I had a sickle, there would be no recordings of "If I Had a Hammer."

Another conservative for free speech, and free markets.

Oh Beth, now you just sound churlish. It was just a joke. Plus the comma wasn't needed, so grammar FAIL.

former law student said...

As a kid, I assembled a plastic model of an AC-47 (militarized DC-3) supposedly referred-to in Vietnam as "Puff, the Magic Dragon."

dbq -- thank you for discouraging the Red baiter. Why a never-was feels it necessary to crap on a talented musician's memory is beyond me.

miller said...

Why anyone feels the need to spit on someone's grave immediately after they die is beyond me.

I disliked EMK immensely, but I would not have wished his end on anyone, and I did to speak ill of him at the time, out of respect for him as a human being and for the sake of his family.

Mary Travers was simply a great musician who made music that was worth listening to. Sure, she was way-out-lefty, but the songs were catchy.

They got more pretentious and preachey after they hooked back up, but I remember the classics.

miller said...

Of course, "I did to speak ill of him at the time, out of respect for him as a human being and for the sake of his family." should have been "I did not speak ill of him at the time, out of respect for him as a human being and for the sake of his family."


I blame blogger and these tired old eyes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What wonderful harmony and guitar playing. Like many, I have a PP&M song book, now 40+ years old, from which I learned to play several of their songs.

Me too!!

I taught guitar to children during those times and Puff the Magic Dragon was a big hit. The trick to teaching kids music is to pick songs they like and will enjoy singing and playing for their friends. Puff was one of those for sure.

No matter what you think about their political leanings, PP&M made some really good songs that encouraged a whole generation of young people to try their hand at music. A very good thing.

rhhardin said...

You have to be very careful with sickles. They're hand injuries waiting to happen.

Scythes, on the other hand, are safety personified. You can't hurt yourself with one even if you try, owing to geometry.

You get to use your morning hammer peening the scythe, every couple of hours of cutting or so.

I reject the spelling pien.

And peen fills a gap between peel and peep.

rhhardin said...

I taught myself to play the ukulele at camp, by deciphering the chorder that came with it.

Then it turned out that that's the same as the top four strings on the guitar, chordwise, so I went to guitar.

Then it turned out that if you tune the G string down to F# you get a lute tuning.

So I took up the lute, which is better for picking up babes anyway.

Beth said...

Why anyone feels the need to spit on someone's grave immediately after they die is beyond me.

Because it's funny! Jeez, make up your mind.

Beth said...

I have an excellent sense of humor - that's why I pointed out the irony in a conservative who doesn't value speech and market forces. I forgot they haven't valued those things for so long, it wasn't funny anymore.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...
As a kid, I assembled a plastic model of an AC-47 (militarized DC-3) supposedly referred-to in Vietnam as "Puff, the Magic Dragon."


Not "supposedly". Many Green Berets survived in isolated camps because Puff or Spooky was on station all night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73SciCMf9Rw

The radio call sign for these highly modified C-47’s was “Spooky”. Each of Spooky’s three 7.62 mm miniguns could selectively fire either 50 or 100 rounds per second. Cruising in an overhead orbit at 120 knots air speed at an altitude of 3,000 feet, the AC-47 could put a high explosive or glowing red incendiary bullet into every square yard of a football field-sized target in three seconds. And, as long as its 45-flare and 24,000-round basic load of ammunition held out, it could do this intermittently while loitering over the target for hours.

So impressive were the Spooky aircraft in action that they were named after “Puff the Magic Dragon,” a popular song at the time. The “Puff the Magic Dragon,” reference derived from the seemingly unending sheet of flame and noise produced by the thousands of minigun tracer rounds pouring forth from the night sky directly onto the helpless Vietcong below. From this spectacular display, the aircraft predictably came to be known as “Dragonships.” Seen from a distance, these Dragonships seemed to roar as they spat a never-ending stream of bright red tracer rounds from the mouth of the miniguns to the ground below. If the show was spectacular, the results were deadly.

miller said...

"I have an excellent sense of humor - that's why I pointed out the irony in a conservative who doesn't value speech and market forces. I forgot they haven't valued those things for so long, it wasn't funny anymore."

I'm not sure this is funny.