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Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19
Page 22
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Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 22. November 19, 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 2, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 19, 1977). Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 22. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6356

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 22, November 19, 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 2, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 19, 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 37 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 22
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_534au.jpg
Transcript WineWormn&fong By Blake Green There is wine-a frosty bottle of Reisling on the table; women-one swaying to and fro in the big rocking chair, others moving about in a back room of the Mission district flat. And there is song-or rather, a lot of talk about a particular kind of music. Margaret Adam, songwriter, pianist and singer, nestles her curly head against the rocker's back, sips her glass and discusses the relatively new, still predominately underground musical phenomenon of which she is a part: women's music. Women have been creators and practitioners of the art since its inception. The muses, after all, were goddesses. But female talent and its influence have been viewed as secondary to their male counterparts. "We owe our musical heritage," Adam says, not without the proper appreciation, "to three northern European, white, middle to upper-class men: Bach, Schoenberg and Stockhausen." Lyrics written by men have often been notoriously sexist ("just like a silver dollar goes from hand to hand, a woman goes from man to man") and those by women songwriters also have reflected the dependent, subsidiary role of women. Throughout the country, there are probably no more than 20 female musicians—Holly Near, Chris Williamson, Meg Christian, along with Adam, are among the best known—who make their living in this area. The first National Women's Music Festival in Illinois in 1974 was when "we got focus," Adam says. "Womansong," as Adams calls it, "represents a validation of women in general. It is one of many entities in women's culture that models strength" and its goals are consistent with feminist strivings for "self-affirmation." Aside from the obvious aspects of this type of music—that it is written and performed (and, idealisticaUy, recorded, distributed and promoted) by females, Adam says it differs from traditional music in three areas. The first, lyric content, is fairly obvious. Writers start "with the assumption that each person in a relationship is strong instead of two weak parts making one whole." No more "if you leave me, I shall surely die." Performance, the second, means "the connection between the audience and the performer . . . the performer's willingness to be vulnerable. Honesty is what women's music is all about. When I'm done performing I go right into the audience or the lobby. It is real important to break down the distance ... to de-mystify the performer." The third area, form "is the most difficult to explain." Adam's own style has been described as a combination of "jazz, pop, ballad and soft rock." She says she has a "neo-classical, neo-romantic" music background coming from "my dad who wrote show tunes and my mother who played classical. "Women's music," she says, "is as broad as women are. One of the main things ... is our willingness to experiment ... to do things you're not supposed to be able to do with rhythm, tone, melody and chords. In whatever form, women's music includes a deliberate attempt at consciousness-raising, not only "to focus attention on oppression," Adam says, but to present opportunities not often available to women in all areas of the industry-lighting and sound, for instance, as well as performing and writing. This means, she says, "that we have to spend a lot of time and energy finding women able to do these things. If a woman is hired only because she's a woman, we'll destroy ourselves." By what Adam calls "some joyous quirk of fate," she has financial backing for her first album "with total artistic freedom. It is a tremendous responsibility. There is no sense in making an all-woman product if that's all you can say about it." Feminism and music seem strange bedfellows to some people. Even those who accept the association sometimes assume that strident, martial sounds should be the natural outcome—not exactly the "beautiful sounds" Adam talks about. Men are not always welcome at women's music concerts. "Some women," said Barbara Price, California concert promoter, "just feel more comfortable in the company of other women, and we want to accommodate them, too." Even when men are invited—as they usually are to Adam's concerts—the audience initially seems to expect from her what she describes as a "virulent attack on men—ugliness and threatening. You have this feeling that the audience is just waiting for the thing that's gonna freak them." It is hard to imagine Adam, who conveys a certain gentleness when she is at her most earnest and positive, as purveyor of militant hostility. Proving that this kind of music and hers in particular is not "anti-male but pro-woman" is, she says, one of the most important aspects of her performance. Margie Adam lives in Davis, Calif., "where the streets end in fields—much like Lompoc, the town where I grew up," and she admits quite candidly that her age -28-is not the only reason she has not been a feminist for long. "I used to think: 'what's this politics, man?' I just wanted to get up on the stage and sing. But I wasn't in touch with my privilege. I had grown up in a middle- class family and been given everything. I was encouraged to be a strong woman all my life. My parents said you can do anything and I believed them. What involved me in women's music was the realization of how many women didn't have that support." Now she feels that "when a woman has the space" to say something publicly and she chooses to say " 'I'm not into women's lib, I've always been independent,' that sets us back. I find that woman accountable by her ignorance. "Feminism," Adam says, "is absolutely consistent with humanism. Women's music has a tremendous capacity to heal. A lot of people would like to dismiss the whole women's movement as a bunch of lesbians. "There's no question about it," she says, the audience "is part lesbian, but it is part bisexual and part straight. It spans all relationships. What women's music is trying to say," she says, leaning forward, "is that it is important that we —men and women—are all strong so that no one messes over anyone." Reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle, January 28, 1976. Copyright Chronicle Publishing Company 1976. MARGIE ADAM, singer, songwriter and pianist DAILY BREAKTHROUGH NOVEMBER 19, 1977 PAGE 21