On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The American Revolution Documentary Collection serves as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people.
Listen to some of the radio station (below) as you browse:
- photographs of the music, counterculture, and protest scenes by Jeff Albertson, Peter Simon, and Clif Garboden;
- material from Don Levy about his psychedelic clothing store, a staple of the counterculture in the Boston area;
- issues of the Cambridge Phoenix from editor Jean Grillo; or
- the papers of former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein, who is producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974.
Selected recordings from the American Revolution Documentary Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/
Folk New England is an organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and interpreting the cultural legacy of folk music in all its forms, with an emphasis on New England’s contributon. Numerous collections are organized under the umbrella Folk New England Collection.
- Look through a complete run of the music periodical, The Broadside.
- Browse through Folk New England ephemera.
- View photographs taken by Charlie Frizzell and in the collections of musicians Bill Keith and Jim Kweskin.
- Or, come to SCUA to view the Betsy Siggins Papers.
Additional content available on the Periodicals page.