Born in Denver in 1939, Mary Watkins grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. She began her formal musical training at Pueblo Junior College (now the University of Southern Colorado) and Howard University in Washington, D. C. where she studied composition with Mark Fax and Russell Woolen and completed her bachelor's degree in music in 1971. After moving to California in the 1970s she contributed significantly to the women's music genre and the productions of Olivia Records, and subsequently became well known as a jazz pianist and composer. She received several awards and commissions including two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, one to produce her second album, Winds of Change (1983) and the other to complete the orchestral composition The Sword That Heals. Bus Stop is one of several cello and piano pieces completed in January 2000.