Travis Edmonson, the warm-hearted folk singer with an operatic vocal range and the timing of a top comic, passed away in Mesa, Arizona on May 9, 2009.
Widely known as part of the duo Bud & Travis, he was born in Long Beach, California on September 23, 1932, growing up in Nogales, Arizona where the nearby Mexican border played a major influence from childhood through the rest of his life.
His kinship with Latin music caused him to incorporate Mexican songs in all his shows, as a performer during his military service and in his early solo career at San Francisco's Purple Onion.
His first big break was to be invited by Lou Gottlieb (later of The Limeliters) to join The Gateway Singers, resident group at the legendary hungry i. After three years recording and touring with the group, he formed Bud & Travis with Bud Dashiell, the two making immediate waves with their fresh and vibrant presentation of American and international folk music, including a substantial Latin repertoire as major ingredient in their sell-out shows.
They recorded eight albums for the Liberty label from 1959 - 1965, punctuated by a hiatus in the early sixties when both pursued solo careers, Travis Edmonson being one of Frank Sinatra's initial signings when he formed the Reprise label.
One of the early singer-songwriters, Travis Edmonson's songs included such chart hits as Truly Do, Cloudy Summer Afternoon, If I Were Free and The Time of Man (which he performed before a joint session of the United States Congress).
From 1965-1982 Travis Edmonson enjoyed a successful solo career on the folk circuit, tragically brought to an end in 1982 when he suffered a paralysing stroke as the result of a brain aneurysm.
Highly regarded for the intimacy of his performances (even those in large arenas) and his inspirational touch, he will not only be remembered as one of the first American artists to introduce Latin music to United States audiences, but also for his soaring voice which ranged over octaves.
Travis Edmonson's final illness began in December 2008 as the result of biopsy surgery, and he remained hospitalised until his death in Mesa, Arizona on May 9.
Bud & Travis
Bud & Travis appear on "The Dinah Shore Show"
Travis Edmonson's best-selling album
"Bud & Travis in Concert
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Travis Edmonson made his breakthrough with The Gateway Singers, resident group at the hungry i
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