Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls talks about her folk inspiration

By Emily Saliers
November 27, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Nov. 9, 1936-Sept. 16, 2009

Peter, Paul, and Mary was the first folk record I listened to, and it helped inspire me to pick up an acoustic guitar. I can’t underestimate the influence of Mary Travers on me, a fledgling folkie kid with a guitar who wanted to sing protest songs. Her social message was unwavering and true, her voice clear and strong, and the fact that she was a woman made her a role model for me and countless others finding our voices in social activism through music.

Travers died of leukemia-related complications in Danbury, Conn.