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The Best of Broadside . . . a compilation of protest songs . . .

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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 04:00 PM
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The Best of Broadside . . . a compilation of protest songs . . .
just ran across this five-CD set on . . . expensive, but a great historical record of the protest folk song in American culture during the late 20th century . . .

Best of Broadside 1962-1988 Editorial Review
Historically, a broadside was a song (without music) or poem printed on one side of paper, dealing with a topical issue that usually was of a political nature. Itinerant writers peddled broadsides for a few cents, and their message served to spread the news or perhaps create a controversy about a current event.

In 1962 Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen began publication of Broadside, a topical song magazine that quickly would help to start a national movement. After the cold war '50s, a social, cultural, and political revolution was in the air. Broadside began publishing hundreds of songs of social dissatisfaction by musicians who later became the leading lights of the folk and protest movements. Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and dozens more all had their songs first published in Broadside.

This five-CD set is a marvelously comprehensive document of the magazine's songs and songwriters, all of whom were recorded by Folkways Records. The lyrics of each song are printed and extensive information is given about the context in which the song was created. Background material is provided on all of the songwriters, too.

The discs are compiled primarily around the main topics: labor, nuclear weapons, social injustice, Vietnam, civil rights. Eighty-nine songs in all are featured, most of which loosely could be termed "folk music" in style: basic rhythms, acoustic instruments, spirited singers. Listening to the songs and following the annotations serve to remind one of an era of potent protest in this country when music really mattered, and the songs themselves were the primary means of expressing dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

Broadside was a small publication, primarily a labor of love, but its historic legacy looms large when all of its material is brought together in such a well-researched, well-presented compilation as this one. -- Wally Shoup

NOTE: Agnes "Sis" Cunningham (who was also one of the Almanac Singers) passed away a couple of weeks ago.

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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 04:02 PM
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1. I remember that magazine
I lived for it in the 60's.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 04:04 PM
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2. I have always been tempted to buy this
The price tag scares me away, but someday I'm sure I will.
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