Travis Edmonson, 76, a folksinger and songwriter of the 1950s and 1960s who was considered a pioneer by artists such as the Kingston Trio, died Saturday in Mesa, Ariz. A longtime friend, Mike Bartlett, said he did not know the cause of death but said Mr. Edmonson had a stroke in 1982 and had numerous health problems since then.

Bob Shane, a founding member of the trio, was in college when he first saw Mr. Edmonson perform in San Francisco. Mr. Edmonson became his idol after that. Shane said he and fellow trio member Nick Reynolds were inspired by Mr. Edmonson, who at the time was a member of the Gateway Singers.

Born in Long Beach, Calif., Mr. Edmonson spent his childhood in the border town of Nogales, Ariz. His proximity to Mexico helped shape his passion for Latin music. His signature songs include "I'm a Drifter" and "Malaguena Salerosa." - AP