and Bob Dylan
When Seeger, Agnes "Sis" Cunningham and her husband Gordon Friesen were considering launching a magazine devoted to protest songs, Turner became the key to the enterprise. Through his role at Gerde's, Turner rounded up contributors of protest songs for Broadside
during its first few years, many of them young songwriters like Phil Ochs, Bonnie Dobson, Len Chandler and Mark Spoelstra.
One of the up-and-comers Turner brought around was Bob Dylan
. Dylan, who had arrived in the Village in January 1961, signed with Columbia Records nine months later, around the time Turner was hired at Gerde's. The two became close friends and frequently hung out at taverns after Gerde's closed for the night. During one of their after-midnight sessions, Turner laid out the concept behind Broadside
for Dylan, recruiting him as one of the magazine's first contributors. Not long afterwards, Seeger took Dylan to meet Cunningham and Friesen at a get-together at their apartment. When the debut issue of Broadside
came out the next month, February 1962, among the five songs featured were Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" and a protest song of Turner's, "Carlino".
"Blowin' in the Wind"
A few months later, on April 16, 1962, Dylan showed up at Gerde's at a hootennany Turner was hosting. He had just written a new song called "Blowin' in the Wind" and wanted Turner to hear it. After listening to Dylan play the song in the club's basement, Turner had Dylan show him the chords. When he went up upstairs for his next set, Turner sang the song from Dylan's rough manuscript. It was the first performance of what went on to become the greatest folk song of the 1960s.
"Blowin' in the Wind" appeared on the cover of Broadside two issues later, the song's first publication. In July, Dylan recorded the song for his second album, Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, but it would be another year before the album's release. Meanwhile, Turner's group The New World Singers recorded the song for Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1, a collection of songs that had appeared in the magazine. This recording, the song's first release, came five months before Freewheelins and six months before the hit single by Peter, Paul & Mary.
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