17 September 2009

Thank you for the music

I've had the TV wittering away in the background, waiting for some mention of the death of Mary Travers. Not a word. When Michael Jackson died there was no other news the whole day, and the same happened on the day of his funeral. I can't recall a single song by Michael Jackson, but I can think of many sung by Mary Travers. I suppose it must be the generation gap.

Mary Travers: the singer who used pop stardom for the greater good:
Mary Travers, who has died from the side effects of chemotherapy aged 72, was the essence of the freewheeling Greenwich Village bohemian — even if Peter, Paul And Mary's Puff The Magic Dragon may suggest otherwise. Singing protest songs with a strident glamour, a shock of blonde hair shaking to the sounds of righteousness as two bearded folkie types played guitar on either side of her, Travers was the ideal public face for New York's beatnik scene. Prettier than Bob Dylan, less hectoring than Joan Baez, she made the idea of sipping overpriced coffee in a downtown dive, while a guitar player sang songs of freedom seem like the greatest thing in the world.

9 comments:

James Higham said...

Gosh, that's so long ago now, isn't it? Where does time go? Watch my late evening listening this evening.

Tauratinzwe said...

I agree, she was far more significant than Michael Jackson. Our culture has very distorted values. She is missed.

David Schantz said...

I'll remember the Mary that is shown in the photo at the link you posted. A beautiful lady and a great performer. Leaving on a jet plane will always remind me of a girl I knew when I was much younger.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sol said...

Travers' death was covered by the BBC and SkyNews here in the UK, and was the final piece on both the CBS and ABC news main broadcasts last night in the US (no one here shows the NBC news so I can't say what they did), including PP&M playing behind the closing credits.

Elizabeth Barrette said...

I will really miss Mary. I grew up hearing her sing. I never cared for Michael Jackson. But "Peter, Paul & Mary" were a traditional part of the holiday season fund drives on PBS and we always watched those.

Steve Hayes said...

Sol,

I couldn't watch every channel, but I had Sky News on most of the day, and saw not a mention. They were going on about a man who spent 27 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

When Michael Jackson died, it pushed all other news off. In Iran, people were protesting against alleged rigging of the Iranian elections, and the Iranian government were trying to suppress the protests and censor the reports. They failed to sensor the reports, but Jackson's death effectively did it for them, and dominated the news for 3 days.

I learned of Mary Travers's death from a blog, and saw obituaries in newsgroups, but saw not a thing in the mainstream media. That doesn't mean it wasn't there, just that I didn't see it. News of Jackson's death, on the other hand, was so in your face that you couldn't easily escape it. Every channel was full of nothing else, yet, as I said, I can't recall any of his songs.

Malcolm said...

it was PPM's performance of "Blowin' In The Wind" that first introduced many people to Dylan.

It now seems like a forgotten era!

Erik Donald France said...

Bridging the gap, I can name a fair number of MJ songs, but also have a foot firmly in the 60s -- lots of people love Michelle Phillips of the Mas and Pas, too. Sad day. Actually, seems like yesterday, the 60s, and in the grand scheme of things it was. RIP, Mary -- and thanks for posting.

Mthoko said...

I beg to differ. While not taking anything awy from Mary and also bearing in mind differences in the types of fan base, we must not forget the pure artistry of Michael Jackson. The man was a master of all genres of song, dance as well as a music video genius. The reason why the world came to stand still and websites crashed shows that the man was in a league of his own and achieved in his career what no other has ever achieved.

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