Broadside (magazine)

Broadside magazine was a small mimeographed publication founded in 1962 by Agnes ‘Sis’ Cunningham and her husband, Gordon Friesen. Hugely influential in the folk-revival, it was often controversial. Issues of what is folk music, what is folk rock, and who is folk were roundly discussed and debated. At the same time, Broadside nurtured and promoted important singers of the era. The mimeograph machine used to produce the magazine had been discarded by the American Labor Party. The mixture of hand-drawn musical notation, typewriter text, and the occasional hand-drawn illustration or photocopied news story anticipated a look that would be more common in zines 20 years later. By the end of the 1970s, Broadside had essentially ceased publication. Several of the songs recorded for Broadside over its lifetime were released in 2000 as The Best of Broadside as a 5-CD boxed set, which is the only way most of the recordings are available. During the 1960s, Broadside put out three folio-sized trade paperback songbooks, Broadside Volume 1, Broadside Volume 2, and Broadside Volume III . Each contained slightly under 100 songs, photo-reproduced from the original magazine. The first volume had a sewn binding, although the latter two used the glued binding more common for trade paperbacks. Each volume featured a foreword, the first by Cunningham, the second by Friesen, and the third by Irwin Silber. As Irwin Silber wrote in his foreword to Broadside Volume III, ‘A whole generation of song-writers, some of whom have become household names in the America of the 1960s, made their first appearances in Broadside…’ Among those whose careers began there, Silber listed Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs (a major Broadside contributor; see also Sings for Broadside (Folkways, 1976) and The Broadside Tapes 1 (Folkways, circa 1980), Buffy Sainte-Marie, Janis Ian (originally under her real name, Janis Fink), and Arlo Guthrie. Other, more established songwriters also contributed to Broadside, some of them (in Silber’s words again) with ‘songs which commercial publishers didn’t know what to do with…’ Among these, Silber lists Pete Seeger, Nina Simone, Billy Edd Wheeler, and Malvina Reynolds. …”
Broadside Magazine: The Issues (1-26)
The Best of Broadside 1962-1988: Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine (Audio)
YouTube: The Best of Broadside 1962-1988: Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine 82 videos

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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1 Response to Broadside (magazine)

  1. Kenny Wilson says:

    Reblogged this on Kenny Wilson's Blog and commented:
    Here’s a link to information about the incredibly influential magazine Broadside.


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