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The American Revolution Documentary March 2016 Newsletter 

Dear The American Revolution supporter: 

Here's the latest news about The American Revolution, the documentary film in production that tells the incredible, true story of the early days of WBCN-FM, and the dramatic social, cultural and political changes in Boston and nationally that the radio station helped reflect and fuel in the late-1960s and early-70s.      

This includes an update on the production of the documentary and the exciting permanent collection of archival material gathered for the film that is being made available on-line through our collaboration with UMass Amherst's Special Collections and University Archives.


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The work of photographer Peter Simon from the past 50 years, including more than 50,000 original images, has joined The American Revolution archives, to be restored, digitized, cataloged and preserved for use in the documentary film and as part of the film's permanent public collection at UMass Amherst's Special Collections and University Archives. These include Peter's iconic photos from the late-1960s and early-70's chronicling the counterculture, protests, major musical artists and behind the scenes photos at WBCN and the Cambridge Phoenix, and continuing over the next half century for publications including Time, Newsweek and The New York Times. 

Peter's original images will join at UMass Amherst the career work of photographer Jeff Albertson, who along with Peter attended Boston University in the late 1960s, and also went on to photograph for the Cambridge Phoenix, Boston Globe and Rolling Stone.  Click here to see more of Peter's photos on the documentary film blog and click here to visit the film archives at UMass Amherst

Sounds of The American Revolution Online (Beta)

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Listen-in to the sounds of the early days of WBCN-FM, when the underground station, politics and rock and roll changed radio - and the world.

Click here to listen now:

This audio stream includes the archives shared for The American Revolution documentary film, which have been restored, digitized and are now preserved for future listeners. 

Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID's, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN's launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. This is just the beginning; more will continue to be added as we work to complete the documentary film.

If you have audio tapes or other material from the station's early days to share for the project, or a suggestion for a 'BCN classic tune(s) to add, please click here to let us know

And click here to visit the growing online The American Revolution archive collection at UMass Amherst.  

A non-profit, educational project of Lichtenstein Creative Media in collaboration with UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives and the Center for Independent Documentary; with Airtime; Berkman Center for Internet & Society; SoundExchange; WilmerHale; and Mass Productions. 

Danny Schechter (June 27, 1942 - March 19, 2015)

It's been a year since the passing of Danny Schechter, WBCN's intrepid News Dissector.  Danny will be seen and heard in The American Revolution and we continue to collect tapes and photographs of him and his work.  The photos below were taken of Danny in the production room of WBCN's studios at 312 Stuart Street in Boston during an evening newscast in February 1973.  Photographer: Jeff Albertson. 

You can click here to read the Boston Globe article "Remembering the News Dissector" by film producer Bill Lichtenstein, which chronicled Danny's impact on media and journalism.danny schechter montage 4

The American Revolution in Public Television Pipeline 

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The American Revolution is featured in the just-released PBS/public television pipeline of upcoming shows and films for broadcast to follow a national festival and theatrical release that will target theaters across the country.  

The American Revolution Production Update

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Work is continuing on the production of the feature-length documentary.  To date, 24 individual three-to-four hour sit-down interviews with WBCN staff and extended family, musicians and members of the media have been filmed for the documentary resulting in 80 hours of video material. This includes, most recently, an interview with former WBCN announcer Tommy Hadges.  Production stills from the shoots, which took place at the Endicott Estate in Dedham, MA and at a private home, are posted online at  There remain another four to five days of interviews to be filmed, primarily with WBCN staff/volunteers, musicians and listeners. 
At the same time, we’ve collected sufficient archival material for the production of the film. This includes 250 hours of rare audio tapes of seminal broadcasts from WBCN’s first seven years (as has been noted previously, WBCN had no archives from the station’s early days) as well as tens of thousands of original photos and films/videos of WBCN and Boston/Cambridge of the era. 

This novel and innovative approach to archive collection, by engaging the public in the process, has been called "a revolution in documentary filmmaking” by the American University's Center for Media and Social Impact
Additionally, donated archival materials, including over 100,000 images by photographers Jeff Albertson and Peter Simon, are being restored and digitized by UMass Amherst’s Special Collections and University Archives for use both by the film and for the permanent online collection.   Along with the documentary, the collection will preserve the original sights and sounds of WBCN and the era both for those who lived through it as well as for future generations interested in the radio station and media of the era and the impact they had on the extraordinary and historic events and times. 

Sights, Sounds and Memories Wanted 

7140750_origClick here to share your sights, sounds and memories with The American Revolution. 

In particular, we're looking for audio of early WBCN broadcasts; film, video, photos and memorabilia of the radio station, Boston Tea Party and the Cambridge Phoenix; concerts including on the Cambridge Common, local clubs and venues; audio or photos/film of live WBCN musical broadcasts; and political activities, protests and demonstrations during the era for use in the film.  

Support The American Revolution

We are currently working on editing a 12-minute segment from the film that will serve as a presentation reel for major underwriters. You can help support the completion of the documentary with a tax-deductible donation now to the Center for Independent Documentary, the project's 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsor. 

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The American Revolution
Production Offices
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
United States

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