Posted by rflacks on:
This week on my radio show, we'll be listening to Mary Travers; voice. She died last week after a long bout with leukemia at age 72. Back in the sixties, folkies like me were a bit disdainful of Peter Paul and Mary who took traditional songs and the new songs of protest and made them commercial The Weaves and Pete Seeger had been blacklisted; PPM took their repertory and popularized it. And they were the ones who made Bob Dylan's anthems world famous. We much preferred his raw and original voice to what we thought was there bland arrangements. And in person the trio seemed almost puppet like in their scripted performances.
Hearing the work today opens up a different view. First of all, they were musically far more complex and interesting than one might have thought back then. And it's clear that the great songs of protest that they made big hits would not have been as widely known and cherished. If you want to be reminded of their work (and also hear some terrific recent performances by Mary and the trio) tune in Thursday at 6 pm pacific time. For locals it's at 91.9 FM. You can get it streaming at www.kcsb.org. And I have found work that Mary did when she was at Elizabeth Irwin High School, as a member of a group called the Song Swappers. You'll hear her teen age voice belting out a classic labor hymn.