Mary Campbell, whose childhood affection for the big bands and opera she heard on her radio set the stage for four decades as a music writer for The Associated Press, died Friday. She was 78.
Campbell died in Bloomington, Ind., according to her sister, Ruth Miller.
From symphony to rock ‘n’ roll, from Duke Ellington to Beverly Sills to the Dixie Chicks, Campbell covered the entertainment scene, earning respect from the artists she wrote about and devotion from the public who followed her profiles and reviews.
“Mary Campbell is a most admired reporter, not only because she writes so well but also because she knows an interesting story when she hears about it,” celebrated conductor-tenor Placido Domingo once said.
At a party for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary in the 1990s, Mary Travers politely greeted the many luminaries in attendance but spent much of the evening huddled in a corner with Campbell, catching up with her old friend.
“It will be hard to think of The Associated Press without Mary Campbell on its staff,” said crooner Tony Bennett upon her retirement in 2000.
Many of her readers likely agreed.