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Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut!

18 Nov 09 - 12:02 PM (#2768477)
Subject: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Max

"Today, in these changing and challenging economic times, Sing Out! is struggling to survive. As we head toward our 60th anniversary next year, we need your support more than ever. I ask you to consider making a contribution to help Sing Out! get through this very difficult year AND to ensure another 60 years of sharing songs that we need to learn and sing." Read more here: http://bit.ly/SingOut


18 Nov 09 - 12:53 PM (#2768507)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

My paypal donation done! Thanks Max.


18 Nov 09 - 01:36 PM (#2768540)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Stringsinger

Sing Out! has problems. It is no longer the magazine that it was. I really liked it better under Irwin Silber. It was more controversial, more exciting because it stepped on some toes and more compact and argumentative (which isn't always a bad thing).

Sing Out! in my opinion has become more of a fan magazine with some important musicological articles. I'm not impressed with the songs they print. I don't see it as vital as it once was.

I realize that my opinion is in the minority but in this thread it may have been asked for.

Frank Hamilton


18 Nov 09 - 03:15 PM (#2768633)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: C. Ham

Frank,

Sing Out has been around for almost 60 years and it's been more than 40 years since Irwin Silber was the editor. The times they a-changed a long time ago.


18 Nov 09 - 03:31 PM (#2768638)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST,E Man

"Sing Out has been around for almost 60 years and it's been more than 40 years since Irwin Silber was the editor. The times they a-changed a long time ago."

Kind of like folk music itself. Not necessarily a good thing.


18 Nov 09 - 03:52 PM (#2768652)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

I have to agree with Frank Hamilton.
What was once an essential magazine for me is now but a shadow of it's former self. In fact it's unrecognizable. Like a well known magazine here in the UK that used to have some interesting articles it has become more of a "World Music" (what an awful term that is)fanzine. I still have all my old copies back to the late 50's but gave up around ten years ago when I found I was wasting my money. Any article that seemed it might be worth reading usually turned out to be very light weight.

So sorry Pete but it doesn't appeal to me any longer.

Hoot


18 Nov 09 - 04:07 PM (#2768668)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Jack Campin

Speaking of which, how is Irwin these days? He used to write a lot here and on Usenet - articulate, knowledgeable and to the point. The last I can trace of him on the web is from 2007. I hope he's not too ill to write.

If anybody knows, tell him he's missed.


18 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM (#2768669)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

When it was brand new, it was a thin, cheap-to-print, but interesting & vital magazine. Now that it is fat & colorful, it is watered down as to content. I sometimes read it at friends who subscribe, but I seldom see an issue I would spend the money on.
Perhaps, like many print magazines, people are finding the content they want elsewhere. It seems to me that Mudcat is in some ways a direct competitor, without attempting to be.

I have no idea how it will turn out... I own 50-60 older issues from when it was a monthly publication, and I will treasure those, no matter what happens. (I have a few from the first 3-4 years)


18 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM (#2768685)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: catspaw49

As one of the many who came to folk and then trad in the 60's, I remember seeing my first issue of SingOut! and being amazed such a wonderful thing existed. I soon met a guy who had lots of old copies and that was really great! But like others have already posted, I watched it deteriorate as it grew.......not all that uncommon sadly enough. I have only leafed through a few issues over the past couple of years and have no interest in subscribing or giving two bits whether or not it survives.

The world has changed.........some things are left by the wayside...........so be it.......


Spaw


18 Nov 09 - 04:47 PM (#2768706)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

Frankly, I think the magazine is still vital - perhaps more than ever.

For full disclosure, I do write for Sing Out!, and I have an article coming up on Loudon Wainwright and the Charlie Poole project.

I certainly agree that the magazine under Irwin Silber was a much needed source of information in the days before the internet, cable TV, and other forms of information.

Magazines need to change with the times, even if the old readers remains steadfast in the past. Back in what many of you are considering the "hay day", topical songs were timely when they appeared in the pages of Sing Out!    Today, by the time the magazine is published, the song has circulated on the internet, in forums like this, or have been played on one of the dozens of folk radio shows - which are more plentiful today than they were back in the 1960's.

Sing Out! needed to change, and those changes did not occur, the magazine would never have made their 50th anniversary yet alone be around for the upcoming 60th.   The magazine has taken a more worldly view instead of just folkusing (ouch!) on the music that surfaced in the U.S. during the folk revival.   Irwin Silber did an incredible job, but his viewpoint was the driving force in those days. I guess many of you agree with him, but I find that the magazine is more open to fresh ideas.

Less controversy? Perhaps, but look at what a divided community we became and how fractured the audience grew after the blip on the radar that was the folk revival.    Frankly, I think it is because of the guidance of people that followed Silber - notably Happy Traum, Bob Norman and of course Mark Moss - that the magazine is reaching a new audience.

Sing Out! is also more than a magazine. Their book publishing, radio show (hosted by Matt Watroba and heard on many stations and XM radio), plus their resource center provides a valuable commodity for this community. They have other plans for the future, and I would hope they receive the support they need.

It is a tough road. Everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion, and I respect that. I'm sure all of you understand that there are many people who have an opposite opinion of yours and want to see this magazine survive and we will do whatever we can to help support it. I believe Sing Out! is a vital and important resource that is playing a roll in the the perpetuation of ALL folk musics.


18 Nov 09 - 04:53 PM (#2768710)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

one more thing - fellow Mudcatter Bill Hahn and I are long-standing and VERY proud Sing Out! Radio Partners through our radio show on WFDU-FM.   

I actually met Bill Hahn for the first time at Sing Out! Magazine's 30th anniversary party.   I wonder who we will meet next year!


18 Nov 09 - 05:03 PM (#2768719)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Colin Randall

Haven't seen Sing Out for a while, especially when living abroad, but it has been a fixture of my life nonetheless.

I can do no better than match the gesture, however the amounts may differ, of Virginia Tam, second message in this thread.

My websites - including Salut! and, much more relevant to Mudcatters, Salut! Live - struggle along as labours of love with modest professional benefit, but I will donate one month's advertising revenue to the cause. To be measured in tens of euros, not thousands, I'm afraid, but think what we could achieve if we all managed something like it.


18 Nov 09 - 05:23 PM (#2768739)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

Well, Ron...in spite of my misgivings about the current format, I DO hope they find a way to balance things and survive. I do NOT think a few donations are gonna solve things, though. They need a serious look at format, audience and publishing schedule.

(I heard on the radio today that almost every print newspaper in the Wash DC area except the Post is in serious trouble...from little weeklies to several dailies. Print media is changing....)


18 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM (#2768745)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Desert Dancer

I'm a long-time subscriber, who enjoys reading Sing Out! just about cover to cover whenever it arrives. Unfortunately, subscribings's all the financial support that I can offer right now, but I have to chime in on the positive side here to counter those whose mothers ought to have taught them what (not) to say if you can't say anything nice...

~ Becky in Tucson & Long Beach


18 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM (#2768747)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Desert Dancer

As in, do you naysayers really truly believe the world would be a better place if it went away??


18 Nov 09 - 05:39 PM (#2768755)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST,The Folk E

The magazine sure has changed. It's gone from folk snobby to irrelevant.


18 Nov 09 - 05:41 PM (#2768758)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill H //\\

Ron has a great memory---he, if I am correct in this, introduced Ed McCurdy and we were all sitting on the floor at a union hall that was being used for the concert. I introduced myself to him and discussed his radio program on WFDU.

As to Sing Out---I still voraciously read each issue since it gives some great insights into a variety of artists---we also find who our community has lost as well as a brief guide to new recordings (which is of particular interest to radio folks--in addition to the audience that Sing Out attracts.

Newspapers and magazines are having hard times given the ubiquity of varied forms of media but there has to be a place for a "special interest" magazine that does not require using an Ipod, Computer, or some other exotic exlectronic medium to read some things in some more depth than you might find by reading some blurb on a search engine.

Bill Hahn


18 Nov 09 - 06:56 PM (#2768818)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Joe Offer

I had never visited the Sing Out!, headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and it's something I had always wanted to do. So, this October, I visited the magazine's office twice, on my way to and from the Getaway. The first visit, I talked with editor Mark Moss for an hour and a half, and then didn't have time left to explore the Sing Out! archives. So, I stopped on the way back and went through their entire library of books and recordings. I really enjoyed both visits, and I appreciated the time Mark spent with me. It's a fascinating place, and the people who work there are wonderful.

Sing Out! will soon be moving to a new location that it will share with the local public radio station. I hate the thought that it will be leaving its wonderfully funky current office, but I think a new office will be a lot more comfortable for the employees.

Yeah, I'd like the magazine to be oriented more toward people who make their own music and not the commercial side, and toward more traditional music; but I still enjoy the magazine very much.
I'll be sending a check.

-Joe-

I found an interesting article from Pennsylvania Center for the Book:From the text of the article, I gather it was written about 2011 (Pete Seeger was 91 years old)

    Who are these folks and their music?: A History of Sing Out! Magazine

    By Matthew R. Hengeveld

    Sing Out! Magazine has chronicled the folk music scene for over fifty years.

    Pete Seeger must have asked himself at a very early age, “What is folk music?” Son of a respected ethnomusicologist and folk singer by profession, Seeger, now 91 years old, has spent his life amplifying and exposing the value of folk music. Seeger embraces folk music as a living process, a music that changes with the people. For this reason, Seeger, as well as other “folkies” such as Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Lee Hays and Irwin Silber, banded together to create a publication that would grow alongside folk music tradition and assist in the growth and preservation of folk music. Sing Out! Magazine is the culmination of this effort.

    Yet, Seeger and the “folkies” conceived Sing Out! Magazine to be more than a digest of folk tunes. The publication took root in a time of civil unrest. World War II remained fresh in the minds of all people, it was the start of the “red decade” where conformity was demanded, the Old Left was making way for the New Left and people were fighting for their civil rights, equality and justice. Because Sing Out! was a publication of people’s music, there was no way it could ignore the people’s struggles.

    Pete Seeger championed the music of the common people and wrote a column with the image of Johnny Appleseed spreading political and musical truth.

    Sing Out! first appeared under a different name, the more politically charged People’s Songs. It published civil rights songs, songs of peace and traditional ballads. It favored equality and served as a prototype for the New Left, a group that disregarded the Stalinist focus on organization held by the Old Left. People’s Songs focused on being a non-commercial magazine that could not be found in common music outlets. Music and political activism meshed within its pages and the publication reached approximately 3,000 subscribers. However, after financial difficulty – a problem that would plague the anti-commercial publication – People’s Songs was forced to shut down in 1948.

    Two years later, in May 1950, the first issue of Sing Out! was published after some restructuring. Located on East 14th Street in New York City, the magazine set off with Editor Irwin Silber and staff, including Paul Robeson, Earl Robinson, Waldemar Hille, Howard Fast and Sidney Finkelstein. Pete Seeger and Lee Hays’ song, “The Hammer Song,” adorned the cover. This song proclaims:

    Well, I got a hammer
    It’s the hammer of justice,
    And I got a bell.
    It’s the bell of freedom,
    And I got a song
    It’s a song about love between all of my brothers
    All over this land;
    All over this land.

    Sing Out! saw commercial music as becoming detached from the people; too commercialized and lacking human soul. By placing the peoples’ music front and center, the new magazine proposed to join the true emotions of man – fear, harmony, excitement, anger and love – with music once again. There was humanity in folk music and the songs were Sing Out!’s tool for connecting the people and revitalizing folk tradition. Each issue contained instructional material on how to play traditional folk music. Robert Cantwell states in his book When We Were Good, “Between 1950 and 1952 Sing Out! urged its readers to carry [these folk songs] to schools, summer camps, and other small venues.”

    The magazine was lauded by individuals like Margot Mayo, a writer and teacher of music. She reports that folk songs have been some of the most popular amongst her young students. Songs that could only be found in the pages of publications like Sing Out! Songs like “We Will Overcome,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “The Hammer Song,” and “The Midnight Special” enamored her students and she praises the magazine for providing material for her to teach these songs in the classroom. Pete Seeger recalls in an interview with Will Schmid, “Incidentally, for [many] years this little magazine has made it possible to get songs that you couldn’t find anywhere else.”

    Pete Seeger continued his contribution to Sing Out! by writing “Johnny Appleseed, Jr.,” a column which included his personal thoughts of the state of folk music and theories that asked readers to denounce the commercialism of popular music and focus on the people. He would recount his every day musings and often discussed music he discovered while travelling.

    In 1962, the magazine contained an article introducing Bob Dylan, whom they praised as having truthful lyrics and a simplistic yet traditional method of playing music. Dylan was influenced by one of the magazine’s founders, Woody Guthrie– folk singer and political activist. Dylan would be the forerunner to the booming popularity of folk tunes in the coming years.

    Folk music’s popularity began to take rise. College-aged students drew from the music’s politics and non-conformity to create their own counterculture. This boom in folk music greatly assisted Sing Out!. Cantwell, in When We Were Good, describes, “by 1962 [Sing Out!’s] circulation more than doubled — a subscription list of 500 in 1951 grew to 25,000 in 1965.” Groups like The Kingston Trio became popular due to the counterculture’s boost, but with popularity also came the recurrence of commercialism and conformity. Purists argued that the new wave of folk was not genuine folk music because did not fit the oral traditions of the music. Others chastised the music for lacking political content. Yet, many embraced the new styles erupting from the folk music boom.

    Sing Out! was divided over the new popularity of folk music. Should it be embraced or reprimanded for now being so commercialized? Advertisers swamped the magazine. Moses Asch, in his article “To My Fellow Advertisers,” insisted that Sing Out! advertisers only submit truthful ads, as the magazine would not accept commercialized gimmicks. Although Sing Out! was greatly assisted by the money put forth by advertisers, it refused the hypocrisy of allowing commercialism to take hold in the publication.

    The magazine had its share of problems. Irwin Silber states that Sing Out! essentially worked “hand-to-mouth” and frequently met with threats of extinction due to financial meltdown. Rampant McCarthyism blacklisted several individuals tied to the magazine; one of these individuals being Pete Seeger. He recalls the blacklisting with little animosity though, as it gave him the opportunity to interact with new crowds and people. Yet, the blacklisting did cause a drop in readership. The magazine had some controversy over the blacklistings. After a reader had called for the jailing of Pete Seeger, Irwin Silber responded, “It is a sad day in the life of any nation when its artists must face the possibility of jail for artistic non-conformity.”

    The review of Bob Dylan’s performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 created, perhaps, the greatest controversy for Sing Out!. Bob Dylan debuted his “electric” style (using an electric guitar instead of acoustic) upsetting many folk purists. Irwin Silber portrayed the situation as disingenuous. Sing Out! compiled several accounts of the Dylan incident. Some praised the new style; others condemned Dylan as “no longer a neo-Woody Guthrie, with whom they could identify.” From this event, the magazine garnered somewhat of a folk-purist image. Irwin Silber contends in his interview with Richie Unterburger that Dylan’s switch to electric was not the defining point of his criticism. Instead, Dylan’s “moving away from his political songs” is what upset most “folkies”. “Folk-rock” the culmination of the merge in electricity and folk music, was widely unmentioned by the magazine at this time, preferring to vitalize traditional songs rather than aggrandize commercial tunes.

    In 1968 Irwin Silber left the editors seat and made way for Happy Traum, who saw great opportunity in the magazine. Rather than shunning new folk artists like Dylan and Phil Ochs, he allowed the magazine to embrace new traditions. This effectively fought Sing Out!’s purist stigma.

    Sing Out! initially took an anti-war stance as the Vietnam War occurred. However, the publication’s readership was not unified behind this viewpoint. The readership was torn; therefore the editorial staff had to make adjustments. Sing Out! devised a compromise by henceforth lessening the political content in the magazine and focusing on music. Cantwell, in When We Were Good, states, “[Sing Out!’s] credo was that of a global youth movement without an articulated politics.”

    Traum soon turned over the editor’s chair to Bob Norman. Norman focused on making an impact on the massive debt that had piled up on the magazine since its inception. The magazine’s financial difficulty had forced strict budgeting. Irwin Silber commented that the magazine was “teetering” after his departure, and it took a long time for Sing Out! to regain normalcy after the financial crisis.

    In the 1970’s, readership declined as folk music had lost a great deal of mainstream popularity. Editors came and went. However, all was not lost. Most contemporary folk magazines had disappeared by the late seventies. Sing Out! survived. As rent prices increased in New York City, the magazine relocated to its current location in Bethlehem, PA. Thanks to the efforts of current editor Mark Moss and the contributions from readers and dedicated folk artists alike, Sing Out! magazine was reborn, and in 2000, Sing Out! celebrated its 50 year anniversary.

    The magazine, now with a smaller, though heavily devoted, readership, has reached its niche. The magazine continues to provide readers with traditional folk songs and interviews of artists that are currently impacting folk music. Today it plays a significant role in the preservation of traditional folk music while also displaying contemporary artists with folk roots.

    Over the years, Sing Out! has grown to be much more than a magazine. Sing Out! currently publishes a widely used folk tradition song book Rise Up Singing. Sing Out! recently acquired Legacy Books, which offers some of the most informative folklore literature available. The Sing Out! Radio Magazine is a widely aired radio show containing folk music and interviews. The magazine also partakes in various music festivals such as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Old Songs Festival, the Clearwater Festival, Merlefest, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Walnut Valley Festival, and Bethlehem’s own Musikfest, among others.

    Sing Out! magazine’s large collection of music, documents, photographs, film, newsletters, periodicals, back issues, literature and song books, known as the Sing Out! Resource Center (SORCe), is one of the largest collections of its kind. It contains hundreds of thousands of items that have been either donated or collected over the magazine’s fifty-plus year publishing existence. Currently the Sing Out! staff is available to assist with any queries about the collection, also visitors are welcome to peruse the resource center. The Sing Out! Resource Center recently collaborated with the Oberlin College to create The Folk Song Index, a database of traditional folk songs.

    A contributor to The Mudcat Café, a folk music discussion website, has the following to say about Sing Out! Magazine:

    This magazine is where I first heard about Victor Jara and his music and life. Back then I wanted to know who were Don and Connie West and their daughter, Hedy and many others. Years ago I [hitchhiked] there just to see the place. In a way this magazine plants the seed and it goes from there. I think in the long run this magazine should be around for some very young kid to read and wonder who are these folks and their music.

    Currently thriving in Southside Bethlehem, PA, Sing Out! has a bright future paved out for itself.

    Sources:

    • Asch, Moses. “To My Fellow Advertisers.” Sing Out! 14:6 (1964). 1.
    • Cantwell, Robert. When We Were Good: The Folk Revival. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. 269; 272; 280.
    • Deitz, Roger. “’If I Had a Song…’ A Thumbnail History of Sing Out! 1950-2000 … Sharing Songs for 50 Years!” Sing Out! History. 1995; 2000. 22 Jan. 2010. <http://www.singout.org/sohistry.html>
    • Denisoff, R. Serge. “The Proletarian Renascence and Urban Folksinging.” The Journal of American Folklore 82:323 (1969). 61-62.
    • Lomax Hawes, Bess. “Reminiscences and Exhortations: Growing Up in American Folk Music.” Ethnomusicology 39:2 (1995). 179-181.
    • Lund, Jens and Serge Denisoff. “The Folk Music Revival and the Counter Culture: Contributions and Contradictions.” The Journal of American Folklore 84:334 (1971). 394-405.
    • Mayo, Margot. “Five Years of Folk Song Favorites.” Sing Out! 12:1 (1962). 37-39.
    • Nelson, Paul. “Another Review.” Sing Out! 15:5 (Nov. 1965). 6-8.
    • “Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut.” The Mudcat Café. 17 February 2010. <http://www.mudcat.org/thread_pf.cfm?threadid=125136>
    • Rich, Arthur L. “American Folk Music.” Music and Letters 19:4 (1938). 450-452.
    • Schmid, Will. “Reflections on the Folk Movement: An Interview with Pete Seeger.” Music Educators Journal 66:6 (1980). 42-46; 78-79; 81.
    • Silber, Irwin. Sing Out! 12:4 (1962). 67.
    • Silber, Irwin. “Review of Newport 65.” Sing Out! 15:5 (Nov. 1965). 4-6.
    • Sing Out! 1:1 (1950). Cover; 1.
    • Sing Out! 12:4 (Oct.-Nov. 1962). 2-8.
    • Tachi, Mikiko. “Commercialism, Counterculture, and the Folk Music Revival: A Study of Sing Out! Magazine, 1950-1967.” The Japanese Journal of American Studies 15 (2004). 187-211.
    • “The Sing Out! Resource Center.” Sing Out! 24 February 2010. <http://www.singout.org/sorce.html>
    • Unterberger, Richie. “Irwin Silber Interview.” Perfect Sound Forever. 25 January 2010. <http://www.furious.com/Perfect/irwinsilber.html>

    For More Information:

    County: 
    LehighNorthampton
    Spring 2010


19 Nov 09 - 01:16 AM (#2768970)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Clontarf83

Sent my cheque today. Sing Out is (to borrow a phrase) too big to fail...


19 Nov 09 - 02:55 AM (#2768984)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

If you are not happy with the form and content of the magazine, feed that back to the editors.

Simples!


19 Nov 09 - 08:17 PM (#2769528)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Charley Noble

I have a sentimental attachment to this magazine and will continue to support it with a long-term subscription. I do admit that I no longer find songs there that I feel compelled to learn, as I did in the past. Mudcat actually serves those needs better.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


19 Nov 09 - 08:44 PM (#2769545)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: sing4peace

I think Sing Out! deserves our support for all of the years it was there when no one else was. For the songs about the Rosenbergs, for the stories about Paul Robeson and Cisco Huston and for bringing us through the decades with songs and people for the changing times.

Your sister in song,
Joyce Katzberg


20 Nov 09 - 04:02 PM (#2770037)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Stringsinger

Sing Out! could probably be replaced with a magazine that is more vital in political content, edited better for song material, more reflective of local happenings. Maybe the answer is more magazines like Sing Out! used to be.

When an magazine has outlived its time and usefulness, what's wrong with saying that if you think that's the case?

For those who like it, then you can fund it.

As for "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" never accomplished
anything worth while in the arts.


20 Nov 09 - 04:15 PM (#2770046)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Art Thieme

These times are difficult for all. I subscribe to two magazines only.

#1 on my list is OLD TIME HERALD. For me, they are the closest to where I am in that I'm immersed in American and Brit trad music styles. Old Timey Music is vital as listening music / concert fare, but also, mostly actually, as THE music for dances.

#2 is SING OUT! I subscribe to them, even when I cannot afford it, for old time sake, and because Pete created a music world where I made a living of sorts for a long time. Also because Annie Hills is an old friend of mine---and she likes Mark, so I do too. I page through Sing Out to find out who had padded away since the last issue. Sometimes I find out that, amazingly, I might've written the obituary---but it was written so long ago I'd forgotten I wrote it ever.-------- So I subscribed for three years the last time because I keep hoping I won't be reading my own obit in there one day too soon. One or two articles do interest me in each issue. I play the CD that comes with the magazine and wind up wondering why I'm not open to the music I'm hearing---why it's so uninteresting to me!? (Usually it's because the language is not one I can get meaning from; and it's the words, along with an accessible tune, that determines if I'll enjoy it or not. At age 68, I know what I like.

All that said and noted, After keeping the magazine around for a month or so, I often realize that I will never open it again---so I guiltily pass it on to someone who has no clue what folkie stuff or the revival of ours was all about. (In recent years I don't keep books I'm sure I won't read again. Like Netflix, I send 'em back. One in 5 of the CDs I'll keep; the rest go off to a friend in Wisconsin.

The three year subscription was all I could afford. That'll have to be it. Stuff be tough. Medicaid makes certain we're broke.

As Pete and Eclesiastes have noted, "To everything there is a season..."

Lave to all,

Art Thieme


20 Nov 09 - 04:21 PM (#2770050)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST

Those were the days, my friends. Can't even get it in the U.K. now.
I have lots of copies from way back when the songs meant something.
There ain't a Leadbelly or a Woody around these days.


mandomad


20 Nov 09 - 05:12 PM (#2770080)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Stewart

Well, I thought my subscription was running out. It is, but
I still have one more issue coming (according to my label),
that is the Fall09 issue (maybe by Winter10).
I'm undecided whether or not to renew, because
I read only an article or two, if that.
and many of the songs are of no interest to me.
I have a collection of old Sing Outs that I still
go back to for old songs. And I have all of the CDs
that have come with the more recent issues.
Recently, I've started ripping the songs I do like
off the CDs and burning new CDs just to listen to.
That way I have quite a collection of listenable CDs.

Still I'm undecided whether or not to renew.
Sing Out1 ain't what it used to be any more.

Cheers, S. in Seattle
where the rain is still coming down


20 Nov 09 - 05:15 PM (#2770082)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

"When an magazine has outlived its time and usefulness, what's wrong with saying that if you think that's the case?"

There is nothing wrong with voicing an OPINION, ever. As long as we realize that there are opposite opinions with equally valid reasons, life moves on. The only way to make change is to say what you need to say.

It is very obvious that Sing Out! does not speak to those who are looking for it to be something it is not.   To those of us who DO find the new directions appealing and a breath of fresh air, then we will do whatever we can to support it.

Sing Out! has NOT outlived it's time, and it is more useful than ever. That is an opinion shared by many, although apparently not as many on Mudcat.


20 Nov 09 - 05:39 PM (#2770092)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

When a magazine has outlived its time and usefulness, what's wrong with saying that if you think that's the case?

Having your opinions is fine but not sure it is correct or fair to do it in the same thread which is trying to raise awareness and support.

I don't agree with how much it costs pharmaceuticals companies to develop new cancer drugs. But I still donate to research. I would never think it appropriate to dissuade others, especially on the charity's air time.


20 Nov 09 - 05:40 PM (#2770094)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam


20 Nov 09 - 05:48 PM (#2770097)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: catspaw49

This thread is about funding SingOut! Some folks are and they tell me why. Some folks aren't and they too pass on an opinion. In this thread there are opinions on both sides and in the middle.......just like life. I can't see what the problem is with Frank or Bill or even myself making comment. We're not trolling or flaming, just discussing or conversing.

I can see how many of you feel thanks to your excellent explanations. Some of us are letting you know how we feel and we too gave some explanations.

How is this a problem?


Spaw


20 Nov 09 - 06:13 PM (#2770116)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

I interpreted that this thread was started specifically to create awareness and support for Sing Out.

I didn't get the idea from the title, or the original post that it was a forum to discuss its merits or lack. The latter which would defeat the purpose of the thread.

Maybe I still don't understand how things work here in Mudcat and I should shut my big gob.


20 Nov 09 - 06:17 PM (#2770120)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Stringsinger

The thread caption says "Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut". It didn't say
"Please save SingOut and don't post if you disagree". It also didn't say "We are trying to raise support so negative responses are not required."

I think my post is appropriate. I think it would be productive to keep a discussion on this topic going and not censor disagreements.


20 Nov 09 - 06:55 PM (#2770139)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

It may be that this thread will shed some light on what Sing Out is...and is not... and allow folks to think carefully about how to proceed.
A few folks are of the opinion that it should be saved no matter what because of its historical value and special place for FOLK.

Ron Olesko and Bill H. are involved daily with all aspects of almost everything answering to the broadest possible concept of 'folk', and I certainly see why they would want a vehicle for helping them do this. Others don't follow some of the newer trends, and get little from the magazine these days.
   It is not clear why the magazine has problems. It may be format, and it may be just 'being' print media.
   I have no objection to it being continued.... I want ANY well-done magazine which speaks to a specific audience to do as well as possible...even if it is "The Cannonball Collectors Quarterly", but all print media needs to review the various aspects of what they do... and how they do it.
Please... if anyone has $$$ to spare and wants to contribute, more power to them! I can barely afford my membership to the http://woodcollectors.org/ in order to get THEIR magazine...which has recently gone from monthly to bi-monthly to reduce expenses.

It ain't easy.....


20 Nov 09 - 07:16 PM (#2770149)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

When I first began to play and sing folk songs, "Sing Out!" was an indispensable publication for all us youngsters in the 1950's. I still have a number of the older, more compact publications from that era, with great tips on playing and performing, excellent thought-provoking articles and a wonderful trove of songs. Like many young people in the Eisenhower years, I was essentially apolitical. The music was more my meat. I woke up, like many others, when Jack Kennedy lived and died.

Since I have not seen the magazine in many years, I have no way to compare. It sounds like "Sing Out!" is struggling to keep its audience in this era of an exploding array of electronic alternatives. In this they are far from unique. People get both their music and their politics on-line, for the most part.


20 Nov 09 - 07:51 PM (#2770169)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

"Ron Olesko and Bill H. are involved daily with all aspects of almost everything answering to the broadest possible concept of 'folk', and I certainly see why they would want a vehicle for helping them do this. Others don't follow some of the newer trends, and get little from the magazine these days."

Thanks Bill D. - I am very proud of that fact. It's actually not the "broadest" concept of folk, but it is following the definition of what makes a tradition and the fact that traditions evolve and new ones are created. That was one of the reasons the magazine was founded back in 1950. If you start to leaf through the letters column over the years, you will see that the discussion that is being carried on here is nothing new.

Frankly, if you take a look at the latest issue you will find the usual columns - Faith Petric's "Folk Process" column is still in there, so is Joe Hickerson's brilliant "Songfinder", and I see Ken Perlman and Dakota Dave Hull are writing columns that teach banjo and guitar respectively. Dan Keding's column for storytellers still shows up too. I also count 7 traditional songs appearing, and most of them aren't your usual suspects. There is a great song from Danny Schmidt, a incredibly poetic songwriter, and an article about Danny from Matt Watroba.   I thought the article on Feufollet was a great introduction to this young band that is carrying on an important tradition, and there are other great articles.

I'm not doing a commercial, I don't get paid. I do write for them from time to time and I'm honored to be part of the tradition. I realize it is not for everyone, but it DOES appeal to many people.

Also, if you take the time to read the note, you will realize that there is significantly more than just a magazine at stake.   All magazines are suffering, but Sing Out! offers a lot more - and their plans should be of interest to every folkie. Their resource center alone is an important factor!

I don't begrudge anyone from having a different opinion, and I encourage letters to the editor or send Mark a suggestion on articles you would like to see. Complaining about your dislikes in a forum like this really doesn't solve anything, except add to the growing chorus of complaint that seems to be building around Mudcat.


20 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM (#2770196)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Joe Offer

I talked about this with Mark Moss when I visited Sing Out! in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, last month. There are a lot of harsh things said about the magazine at Mudcat, and it hurts the people who work so hard to keep it alive. The folk music community in the United States is neither large nor prospering, so it's important that we support each other.

I can't find the current issue just now - I think that's the one that has a wonderful obituary for Sandy Paton. The issue I found right away was 52/4 (March/April/May 2009). It has articles on the Tannahill Weavers, Nimrod Workman, and Billy Edd Wheeler, plus an article about Croatian music (complete with pronunciation guide), plus the Faith Petric and Joe Hickerson columns I read religiously, plus a CD of music I haven't heard before. And I always use the reviews to guide me to the new music that's available.

Yes, I suppose it's a magazine oriented more to folk music consumers rather than to people who make their own music - but there's lots of stuff for us music makers, too. So, before you criticize the magazine to loudly, take another look - it's all we've got.

-Joe-


20 Nov 09 - 08:55 PM (#2770202)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: catspaw49

.........oy......................okay............I'll send them a couple of bucks if they do a feature article on the newly formed "Anne Frank Drum Corps"....................

Spaw


20 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM (#2770206)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Desert Dancer

Sorry, Spaw, and all, it's just depressing when a small organization that's worthy of some respect at least, even if it's not all you'd hope it would be, asks for some support from those who value it, and virtually all the first string of responses are negative. If you don't value it, don't send money. Is there a need in this context to try to convince others that it's not worth it "any more"?

Folks whine about the decline of the genre... negativity breeds negativity. It's pretty tiresome here. And now I'm getting grumpy about the grumpiness. Sigh.

~ Becky in Long Beach


20 Nov 09 - 09:06 PM (#2770208)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Max

YouTube Video - Pete Seeger on Sing Out!


20 Nov 09 - 09:36 PM (#2770215)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

I listened to Pete... and there is a link to the 'donate' page at Sing Out there, with a transcript of Pete's remarks and Sing Out's explanation of their situation.

The part that is relevant to this thread reads as follows...
   "We simply must retire the debt Sing Out! has been forced to accrue. We know that an infusion of funds from friends like you will help us create the all-important stable financial platform needed, so that we can move forward into 2010 and beyond."
*IF* that is all that donations are aimed towards, perhaps some donations... plus the cheaper office space they are getting... might actually put them in a position to keep going for the foreseeable future. Of course, they don't publicize the amount or type of "debt...(they) have been forced to accrue", and I guess they probably won't. A little clearer explanation of why the debt and what is changing might help some to decide whether and how much to give.... but I must admit, that is only my personal musing.

   I think I ought to go look at a few recent issues and read some of the articles & letters...etc., and see if I see more than I did in my last few opportunities. I DO know a couple places where I can examine some recent issues.

In spite of my misgivings, I do hope that solutions can be found.


20 Nov 09 - 10:26 PM (#2770240)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Joe Offer

Are old issues of Sing Out! available online in any form? I want to make a donation, and I already have a life membership, but it would be nice to be able to access all of the issues of this magazine.
Anybody know where it's available?
-Joe-


20 Nov 09 - 10:29 PM (#2770241)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

Joe... I think I once found an index to them, but I have never seen a place for complete access.


21 Nov 09 - 12:54 AM (#2770275)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Joe Offer

Many articles from Sing Out! are available here (click) at findarticles.com - but only from issues since 2006. I'm looking for the OLD ones.

-Joe-


21 Nov 09 - 08:17 AM (#2770380)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

I don't believe that Sing Out! is available online except for more recent issues that are available as online subscriptions. With their financial issues, a project like an online collection would require a reasonably significant investment.


21 Nov 09 - 09:00 AM (#2770399)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

Sigh! What Sing Out needs is server space and volunteers willing to digitise and electronically publish the old issues. What I wouldn't give to be living there and have that kind of time to donate.


21 Nov 09 - 09:25 AM (#2770417)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: artbrooks

Like several people here, I subscribe and enjoy reading Sing Out. I pay the extra few bucks a year for the CDs, and load them 5 or 6 at in time in the car CD player for long trips. One of the things I appreciate is that the music mix is very varied...my wife wouldn't believe it, but I do enjoy something other than "all-Celtic, all the time" occasionally. I enjoy the music reviews in the magazine and, since we don't exactly live in the music mainstream, sometimes use them as guides for purchases. It certainly isn't perfect, but what is?

Sing-Out also produces that much-maligned but also much loved and widely used song book, Rise Up Singing.


21 Nov 09 - 11:27 AM (#2770500)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Desert Dancer

Darn, Art, You had to mention that?? For some folks it really is grounds to actively campaign against SO!

;-)

~ B in LB


21 Nov 09 - 06:41 PM (#2770781)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill H //\\

The three year subscription was all I could afford. That'll have to be it. Stuff be tough. Medicaid makes certain we're broke.

   Not to waylay the thread which, in fact, was merely a call for support of the magazine and has evolved, as most things do, into other issues. Art Thieme's problem I fully understand since I am in his age group---even moreso--but I just wanted to comment on the Medicaid comment---taint so. Bookeeping is the issue--the government's. There are always $$$ for Corp. bailouts (think GM etc;), misguided wars, and more. Let's not blame financial problems one the few things that is done for the public good. They always print more money for the political priorities. How we got where we are as a nation given all these political self interests is something I cannot fathom.

Now to Sing Out! I guess the main problem is that it is not too large to fail so that leaves it up to us plebians to help out a great resource for small community. People, The Star, US, Soap Opera Magazine don't need help and I wonder what, other than nonsense, they contribute besides making oodles of money.

   I have a friend who does not like comedy or anything lighthearted (still wonder why we are friends) and he cannot believe that the audience for The News Hour on PBS, NPR, and such is miniscule compared to the networks and cable channels that deliver the equivalent of the magazines listed above. Think of Sing Out! as this community's PBS or NPR.

Bill Hahn


23 Nov 09 - 02:46 PM (#2771999)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: VirginiaTam

refresh


23 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM (#2772068)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: billhudson

I have always looked at Sing Out like a National Geographic. Something you read put back the magazine on the book shelve and then maybe pick up again and keep going back.
This magazine is where I first heard about Victor Jara and his music and life. Back then I wanted to know who were Don and Connie West and their daughter, Hedy and many others. Years ago I hitch- hike there just to see the place. In a way this magazine plaints the seed and it goes from there.
I think in the long run this magazine should be around for some very young kid to read and wonder who are these folks and their music.


23 Nov 09 - 05:07 PM (#2772096)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Bill D

I was able on Sat. eve. to look thru, at a friend's, several issues from 2005-2006... (nothing newer..I believe she no longer subscribes).

Yes... I do see articles and content I'd like to have access to, and if money were no object I'd do it for the 30% or so I really care about. At about 60% I'd find the money, no matter what.
It really is tedious being 70 and on a fixed income and since I'm a picky old curmudgeon about content, I just balk. That is sort of irrelevant to the current issue, but I had opened my mouth earlier....so....


I really DO hope it works out...it would be sad to see an institution fail, like I have watched many local bookstores fail for 20 years.


08 Nov 12 - 01:34 AM (#3432841)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Joe Offer

Sing Out! Magazine arrived today, Volume 55, No. 1, dated Autumn 2012. The magazine is greatly reduced in size - 48 pages, instead of the 136 pages in the previous issue - Volume 54, No. 4, dated Fall 2011 / Winter 2012. The current issue has no reviews, no obituaries, no Joe Hickerson "Songfinder" column or Faith Petric parodies section. The opening letter from Editor Mark Moss says that magazine has had serious financial problems, and had to cut back severely. What's left is still a very good magazine. Let's hope these changes will allow the magazine to survive.
Keep up the good work, Mark.

-Joe Offer-


08 Nov 12 - 07:41 AM (#3432938)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Wesley S

Ditto from me. Let's hope Sing Out makes it. To lose this resource would be unthinkable.


08 Nov 12 - 07:46 AM (#3432941)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: kendall

Change is inevitable. Resistance to change is also inevitable.


08 Nov 12 - 08:34 AM (#3432967)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: GUEST,Desi C

I strongly reccomend Pete's Sing Out book, one of the best selection of songs ever, most with chords, worth every penny


08 Nov 12 - 09:22 AM (#3432991)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Charley Noble

I'll ante up again but it's probably hopeless. Sing Out! would do better going to a digital format.

Charley Noble


08 Nov 12 - 12:48 PM (#3433118)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Stringsinger

When I was younger in the early Fifties I couldn't wait to get my little copy of Sing Out!, an exciting controversial, argumentative, politically aware, and highly musical and honest mag.

I collected them all and always had one at the bottom of my guitar case.

Then, I think it was browbeaten by those who didn't like the political content.
The name of the magazine comes from Pete and Lee's song, "If I Had a Hammer,
I'd sing out danger and I'd sing out a warning". If this were the goal of Sing Out!
I would support it in a heartbeat or a New York minute. Irwin was irascible, hard hitting, sometimes rubbing people the wrong way and I loved every minute of it.
I loved the dialogue between Irwin and Izzy Young and when SO became more of
a scholarly fanzine, I lost interest. I want Sing Out! to be its noisy, controversial,
non-commercialized, hot headed self again without the emphasis on insider star folkies who I really don't care about (which Irwin went after) or long winded dissertations.. I want to see it agitate like it used to because there is so much that needs to be said today as the US slips into a corporate state. I don't want SO to go there. I liked it when it was "street" and people spoke out against injustice. Yes, times change and people get complacent. SO was a beacon of light in the political darkness and I wish it were feisty again.


08 Nov 12 - 01:16 PM (#3433140)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut
From: Mark Ross

I sure agree with you Frank. That was the SO I loved way back when.

Mark Ross


24 Apr 21 - 08:06 PM (#4103411)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut!
From: Joe Offer

Sing Out! hasn't been in print for quite a while - it published sporadically at the end, and its last print issue was Volume 55 #4, Spring 2014 - marking the death of Pete Seeger. It's still coming out with occasional online articles at https://singout.org/ and as a podcast at https://singout.podomatic.com/


I'd still like to see online PDF copies of the entire run of the magazine. The Sing Out! Website hosts the run of Broadside Magazine, but doesn't have its own back issues online. I wrote to editor Mark Moss, offering to underwrite the posting of back issues, but I never heard back from him.

Apparently, the archives of Sing Out! are at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:


24 Apr 21 - 10:42 PM (#4103424)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut!
From: Phil Cooper

I had a subscription from High school in the early '70's till they went digital. I did pay for an online subscription, I got the first issue for the year, but had difficulty actually accessing. The next issue, I could just see the cover and not even get to the table of contents. When I wrote, I got an answer about making sure Zinio had my correct email address. I made sure it did. I never got more issues of the magazine. But I still get junk emails from zinio.