Thursday, September 17, 2009

Henry Gibson (1935-2009) & Mary Travers (1936-2009)

As Ivan Shreve wrote on his Thrilling Days of Yesteryear blog, the Grim Reaper must be working overtime this week. On the heels of Patrick Swayze's passing on Tuesday, we said goodbye on Wednesday to two icons of the 60's.

Henry Gibson was the poet laureate of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, carrying a large flower as he read his poems. Fortunately, he wasn't typecast in that role. Prior to Laugh-In, Gibson appeared with the Three Stooges & Adam West in "The Outlaws is Coming" (1965), but is better remembered for his post-Laugh-In work, including films such as "The Blues Brothers" (1980), the animated musical "Charlotte's Web" (1973), "Nashville" (1975), and "The Incredible Shrinking Woman", the latter two reuniting Gibson with fellow Laugh-In alumnus Lily Tomlin. Gibson's other television credits included guest appearances on shows as diverse as F-Troop, The Dukes of Hazzard, and, most recently, Boston Legal. Gibson was 73.

Mary Travers, 72, was 1/3 of the folk trio Peter, Paul, & Mary. Even though Travers, Peter Yarrow, & Noel "Paul" Stookey split in the early 70's, they would reunite periodically, usually at the beck & call of PBS for pledge drive concert specials, it seems. Peter, Paul, & Mary's biggest hits were the children's classic, "Puff, the Magic Dragon", and the John Denver-penned #1 hit, "Leaving on a Jet Plane". Mary passed away after a lengthy battle with lukemia.

We'll see how many "classic oldies" radio stations pull out some Peter, Paul, & Mary tracks over the next few days in tribute. Rest in peace, Henry & Mary. You will be missed.

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