Broadside is a storied magazine that has carved its niche in the annals of American music history. The publication was established in 1962 by Agnes “Sis” Cunningham and her husband Gordon Friesen. Broadside was conceived as a platform for the burgeoning folk and protest music movement that was gaining momentum during the tumultuous 1960s in the United States.Image:broadside-sample-cover

The magazine took its name from the historical “broadsides”, which were single sheets of paper printed on one side, often containing ballads or political commentary. True to its namesake, Broadside became a repository for songs that were imbued with social and political messages, reflecting the zeitgeist of the era. The pages of the magazine were adorned with lyrics and music, often accompanied by the earnest illustrations.

Broadside was instrumental in launching the careers of a pantheon of iconic musicians. These included the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Janis Ian, who were among the litany of artists that found their voices amplified through the magazine. The magazine’s commitment to fostering new talent was manifest in its ethos, as it avowedly provided an unadulterated platform for musicians to share their artistry.

Notably, Broadside eschewed commercial interests and was resolutely independent in its editorial stance. The magazine was often produced in the modest environs of the founders’ apartment, with contributors often engaging in the process of assembling the publication.

Broadside remained in circulation until 1988. However, its legacy was indelibly etched in the annals of American music. The magazine was not only a reflection of the times but also a catalyst that propelled the folk and protest music movement. Its pages were a tapestry of songs that were emblematic of the dreams, struggles, and aspirations of a generation.

Even though Broadside has ceased publication, its spirit endures in the pantheon of music it nurtured and the indelible mark it left on American culture. It remains a cherished artifact, a testament to the power of music as a vehicle for social change.{{Categories}}

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