The musical soundtrack in my house growing up was decidedly eclectic. My dad, a trombone player through college, loved Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. We had all the record soundtracks of all the great musicals of the era as well, and I still know all the words to “Oklahoma,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “My Fair Lady.” My mom leans a little country, so I could also sing every single song on Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
As for Dylan and The Beatles and Rolling Stones, not so much. My parents were three-times a week churchgoers and Sunday school teachers. When we went on family road trips, we packed hymnals to sing in the car.
But we did have Peter, Paul & Mary records. I was singing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” when I was young enough to think it really was about flowers. And Mary Travers, and alto like I am, showed me sometimes, the beauty is in the supporting harmony.
She fought for harmony and peace in this country as well — an end to the war in Vietnam, a victory in the war against Civil Rights. Perhaps I picked those sensibilities up while singing along as well.
Grateful tonight, hearing of her passing, for both gifts. Godspeed, Mary.