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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
Page 16
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 16. December 1978 - January 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 23, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/871.

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.

(December 1978 - January 1979). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 16. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/871

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.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 16, December 1978 - January 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 23, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/871.

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 Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1978 - January 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~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 UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 16
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_546ao.jpg
Transcript Margie Talks About Her Music by Barbara Karkabi Could it be you ask too much, lovable lady I wonder what you're thinking, beautiful woman It seems like a fog is settling in within your eyes And the weight of something is pulling your shoulders down. -Beautiful Soul, by Margie Adam She walks on stage quietly, her long and lanky body seeming tremendously vulnerable. Yet, when Margie Adam sits down at the piano, throws back her curly head and begins to beat out the music of her songs, she becomes a woman filled with energy and fire. Her recent concert in Houston was an almost-continuous rap session, combining her songs with her feelings about what it's like to be a woman in the seventies. Her between-songs talks were stylized, witty and personal-"so, I think what I'll do tonight, is sing a little and talk a little, so just sit back and relax." "Or," she turned to her audience after another song, " on the other hand," she continued ... as if the entire performance was an ongoing dialogue or story. The raps, like the other devices Adam uses, such as coming out into the audience after the show and holding workshops, are a means of bridging the gap between audience and performer, something which is very important to her. The daughter of a Broadway show composer and a classical pianist, Adam began writing instrumental music in 1963 and soon went on to music with lyrics. But, even though Adam knew she had a talent, she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in English literature, thinking of becoming "So, I went off to the country," she says, "and the lyrics came in hours. They just came spilling out, I was writing all the time. It was as if my muse paid me back for taking the risk and said, "Ok, Marge, here it is." After that, things just seemed to fall into place for Adam. Kate Millet held the Woman's Music Festival in 1972 and Adam drove up and performed in that. "I didn't even know how to use a microphone," she recalls, "but everybody seemed to love my songs." Following the festival, a group of women invited her to perform in Los Angeles and Adam laughingly recalls that she marched off to the local Veterans Hall and asked to learn how to use their sound system. But, in spite of all that, she never meant to be a performer. She always intended to get somebody else to sing her songs. "I just didn't see a style I wanted to pattern myself after. All the acts I saw were so limited, they were all somebody else's packaging and commercial calculations," she says. Even her style, which appears to be totally natural and spontaneous, took years of working with audiences to achieve the intricate blend of songs and philosophies. In fact, she says, it was her audience that encouraged her to keep on performing. ii There is a circle of community that can occur in women's music and I want to pass that feeling on." an English teacher or a copy editor at Time magazine. "It just hadn't ocurred to me to face my music, because it was far too personal a thing. I think many women are afraid to fail at a talent which is almost too personal for them to reveal," Adam says. But, fortunately for Adam, she had some real help and encouragement at a crucial point . In the early seventies, after working at unfulfilling jobs as a secretary and an English teacher, she decided to take one year off and "confront my muse." One year out of a lifetime she says is not much, compared to years of frustation. "Basically, my style evolved from the permission my audiences gave me—my act is me. Obviously, in an hour and a half you can't reveal all of yourself, but it is me." The qualities she tries to evoke on stage are a combination of strength and vulnerability. She sees herself constantly developing these two elements, along with the need to express what feels good and what feels bad; self-affirmation and a basic respect for other people. Adam believes that these are truly feminist and humanist values, which she hopes her audiences will discover in themselves. "I believe it's really important for women to see that vulnerability can coexist with strength. It is possible to be in touch with our own feelings and still not lose control of our lives. I try to project that in my concerts. So many of us have been taught that it's bad to be in" touch with your feelings, and we just have to get away from that," she says. From these feelings stem songs like I've Got a Fury, about the importance of expressing anger and Beautiful Soul, a song about battered women. Adam says that her favorite song varies from night to night. "But, if I were only able to share one thought, if I had the opportunity to get into everybody's brain, I would choose Best Friend. "Musically, it has a kind of inevitability that makes it totally accessible to aud- ences. I didn't force any of it. By the time I get to the chorus, it is absolutely inevitable that the audience repeat the refrain. I live to get those kind of responses. Plus it's a dear and beautiful song that I wrote for myself," she says. Adam was not always in the vanguard of the women's movement. Her awakening came in 1970, when she worked as a registrar's secretary. She remembers that because she was behind a counter, people treated her as if she were nothing, even though she had a degree. "Previously, I had thought that the women's movement was for people that couldn't get on, which is typical of my class. Although, it had all been real easy for me, I soon discovered that for most women it wasn't, and the truth of the matter is that it's no fun," Adam says. So Adam decided to write about her feelings, and has received rave reviews all over the country for her women's music. She has also formed Pleiades Record Company, which produced her album Margie Adam: Songwriter, and employs only women. Adam considers herself to be a true product of the women's movement. She believes her audiences have had everything to do with her songs and introductions, "because they've been up-front about what they want to hear." Her lyrics have changed as she has been educated about the reality of women's lives. "That's why I make it my responsibility to communicate with audiences, it is just so important. There is a circle of community that can occur in women's music that really gets me off and I want to pass that feeling on." The Margie Adam Concert was co- sponsored by Off the Wall Productions, the Breakthrough Foundation, and the UH University Feminists. 16 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH DECEMBER/JANUARY 1979