Broadside (Mass.) Collection

  • 1962-1968
  • 1 box (1.5 linear foot)
  • Call no.: MS 1014

When The Broadside first appeared in March 1962, it immediately became a key resource for folk musicians and fans in New England. Written by and for members of the burgeoning scene, The Broadside was a central resource for information on folk performances and venues and throughout the region, covering coffeehouses, concert halls, festivals, and radio and television appearances.

Assembled by Folk New England, the Broadside collection contains a complete run of the Boston- and Cambridge-based folk music periodical, The Broadside, with the exception of the first issue, which has been supplied in photocopy.

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Background

When The Broadside first appeared in March 1962, it immediately became a key resource for folk musicians and fans in New England. Written by and for members of the burgeoning scene, The Broadside was a central resource for information on folk performances and venues and throughout the region, covering coffeehouses, concert halls, festivals, and radio and television appearances.

The rapid growth of the folk scene in Boston during the mid-1950s was propelled in part by the popularity of hootenannies held at the YMCA and local hotels, and by a growing number of live music venues, catching on especially in the city's colleges. As the scene grew hotter and more complex, a former MIT student and then-Air Force reservist, David Wilson, recognized the need for a publication to share information for performers and fans. Dashed off on a mimeograph machine in March 1962, the four-page first issue of The Broadside appeared nearly simultaneously, and entirely coincidentally, with similar Broadsides in New York and Los Angeles.

Published biweekly, Wilson's Broadside published performance schedules for the major coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge, including Club 47, the Unicorn, and Yana, as well as many smaller venues and clubs as far away as Mooncusser on Nantucket and the Silver Vanity in Worcester. It regularly ran news of television and radio appearances by folk performers, published announcements and reviews of new albums, short sketches on folk performers, and a shifting slate of columns by David Wilson (Ramblin round) and later by Casey Anderson (Folk scenes New York), Ed Freeman (Notes From A Variant Stanza Collector), Peter Stampfel (Holy Modal Blither), Robert J. Lurtsema (On The Scene," and Jan Chartier (Coffeehouse Theatre). Although its circulation may never have topped 5,000, its reach was amplified by the informal circulation of copies among friends and aficionados.

Scope of collection

Assembled by Folk New England, the collection contains a complete run of the Boston- and Cambridge-based folk music periodical, The Broadside, with the exception of the first issue, which has been supplied in photocopy.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Folk New England and David Wilson, Oct. 2017. Folk New England's copies of The Broadside were donated originally by David Wilson, Jim Kweskin, Rick Sullo, Meredy Amyx, Tom Curren, and other anonymous donors.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Feb. 2018.

Bibliography

See Thomas Curren, About the Broadside of Boston

Digitized content

The Broadside have been digitized and is available for viewing online through SCUA's digital repository, Credo.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Broadside (Mass.) Collection (MS 1014). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Cambridge (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Folk music--New England--Periodicals
  • Popular music--New England--Periodicals

Genre terms

  • Periodicals

Link to similar SCUA collections