60s' singer Mary Travers dies at 72

The cause was complications from chemotherapy associated with a bone-marrow transplant she had several years ago after developing leukemia, said Heather Lylis, a spokeswoman.

Travers brought a powerful voice and an unfeigned urgency to music that resonated with mainstream listeners. With her straight blond hair and willowy figure and two bearded guitar players by her side, she looked exactly like what she was, a Greenwich Villager directly from the clubs and the coffeehouses that nourished the folk-music revival.

“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.

Travers’s voice blended seamlessly with those of her colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, to create a rich three-part harmony that propelled the group to the top of the pop charts. Their first album, “Peter, Paul and Mary,” which featured the hit singles “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer,” reached No 1 shortly after its release in March 1962 and stayed there for seven weeks, eventually selling more than two million copies.
The group’s interpretations of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” translated his raw vocal style into a smooth, more commercially acceptable sound. The singers also scored big hits with pleasing songs like the whimsical “Puff the Magic Dragon” and John Denver’s plaintive “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Over the years they performed frequently at political rallies and demonstrations in the United States of America and abroad.

After the group disbanded, in 1970, Travers continued to perform at political events around the world as she pursued a solo career.

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