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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Mary Katherine Obit: Travis Edmonson of Bud &Travis (9 May 2009) (22) RE: Obit: Travis Edmonson of Bud &Travis (9 May 2009) 13 May 09

Travis Edmonson's son Steve posted this note to another public forum:

Date: Tues, May 12 2009 6:46 pm

I want to thank everyone who has sent me their condolences on the passing of my father, Travis Edmonson. Travis was quite an amazing man. His passing was not unexpected, as he had been quite ill for some time. While I was in Memphis for the BMA Awards, I was in constant contact with the hospital. When I arrived in San Francisco, I called his wife at the hospital and was told that he was expected to pass very soon. I had her hold the phone to his ear, and even though he was in a non-responsive state, I talked to him for a while, saying my good-byes. I received a call less than an hour later
with the news that he had passed.

Travis' musical virtuosity has been well documented. His rendition of
"Malagueña Salerosa" in particular, never failed to raise the hair on my neck. His knowledge of Latin American music (particularly the traditional Spanish language "Folk" songs from around the world, and music of the "Epocha de Oro," of the 1930's and early 1940's in México) was unequaled. His music was very popular in México and Latin America, and he continues to have many fans on both sides of the Río Grande to this day.

Travis, and my mother, Jo Ann Bryant (who managed the famous Hungry i
nightclub,) were in San Francisco for the whole "Beat" thing, and were
always involved in "left-of-center" politics. Travis wrote the anti-war song, "If I Were Free," for Peter, Paul & Mary, as well as many other songs that were recorded by groups like The Kingston Trio.

I have included a link to the L.A. Times Obituary, as well as links to a couple of his fan-sites for those of you who want to learn more about him. It would be impossible to encapsulate his amazing life in such a small space, but the information in the obit is fairly accurate. There are so many stories from his past, but many are not exactly G-rated. There was the wild side of Travis, so there are many stories that I can't share. One involves Suzanne Pleshette and a bathtub full of Dom Perignon. You get the idea. There was the ethno-musicologist side of Travis. He spent a good deal of his life researching and performing Folk and traditional music from Europe and the U.S. as well as from Latin America. As Erik Darling of The
Weavers said of Travis and his musical partner, Bud Dashiell, "Bud and
Travis were the best. No one of their ilk could even touch them. When they got on stage and did their thing, there was nothing like it. Wonderful!"
Bob Shane, founding member of the Kingston Trio, was in college when he first saw Travis perform in San Francisco. He has often said that Travis is his musical idol.

His interest in history wasn't confined to music. Travis accompanied his brother Colin traveling the mountains of México, living with and studying theYaquí Indians in the 1940's, which eventually led to the publishing of the first Yaquí-English dictionary. This all took place decades before the Carlos Casteneda books. Travis is still a "fariseo," or acolyte in the Yaquí religion, and the tribe has honored him many times in the past. By the time Travis came along, many of the musical compositions of early African-American musicians had already been listed as PD (public domain), and Travis fought hard to get royalties paid to the heirs of famous Americans like Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly.)

I have spent most of my life as a Blues musician, and I'm sure that this stems from my early exposure through Travis to Blues musicians who had crossed-over to the coffee-house circuit of the late 50's/early 60's. I can remember traveling with them and having many of them (like Josh White, Lightnin' Hopkins and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee) perform in my living room. Travis had friends in just about every genre of music. Through Travis, I met many Jazz musicians, from Roland Kirk to Jon Hendriks; Latin musicians, like the famous Latin composer, Lalo Guerrero, The Clancy Brothers (from Ireland,) and many more!

There will be a public memorial for Travis in Tucson soon, and I will post that information when the details are ironed out. Again, thanks to all of you for your kind notes of condolence.

Steve Edmonson
The Jackie Payne-Steve Edmonson Band

Bud & Travis Website (created and maintained by a fan here in the U.S.):

Travis' Website (created and maintained by a fan in Ireland.):

Travis' LA Times Obit:,0,6106526.story

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