Goldenrod Music records
Scope and Contents
The Goldenrod Music records contain catalogs, meeting minutes, sale statistics, internal correspondence and correspondence with retailers and artists, and other administrative records of the company. Additionally, this collection contains records of other companies associated with Goldenrod founder Terry Grant, including the Goldenrod Records LLC record label, Mellow Muse Productions, Act Two Productions, and River Women Productions. Also included in the collection are posters and press information for Tenth Muse Productions (provided by current Goldenrod owner, Susan Frazier) and some records relating to Ladyslipper Music. Particularly rich in the collection are artists' press kits and promotional photographs, photographs and ephemera from music festivals, as well as approximately 700 recordings in vinyl, cassette, and CD formats by lesbian and feminist women musicians. Born out of the second wave feminist movement and women's music movement, Goldenrod was originally one of more than 60 independent women's music distributors, and as a result of the evolving music industry, became the last still in operation. This collection is a rich resource for information on women's music, musicians and entertainers, and the broader evolving music industry.
- 1974 - 2011
Conditions Governing Access
The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.
Biographical / Historical
Goldenrod Distribution Inc. (also known as Goldenrod Music) was founded in April of 1975 by Terry Grant (b. 1951) and is still operating under the ownership of Susan Frazier and MJ Stephenson. Goldenrod Music is a wholesale distributor primarily of independent women's music labels to music stores, bookstores and gift shops. Goldenrod also sold recordings nationwide at concerts and festivals such as the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MichFest) and the National Women's Music Festival. Their mission is to "promote and market music which affirms the lives and passions of Women, Lesbians and members of other alternative diverse communities and self-identified cultures, empowering them and encouraging personal growth and positive social and political change" (Catalog, Spring 2006). They market music and media in the genres of women's music, gay men's music, New Age, Celtic, Native American music, folk, blues, jazz, comedy, world, holiday music, children's music, songbooks, and videos. At the business' peak, Goldenrod represented nearly 800 artists represented in its catalogs, including Sweet Honey in the Rock, Holly Near, Ani Difranco, Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams and Melissa Ferrick. Prior to the advent of digital downloading, Goldenrod’s sales were close to $2 million, while only having a staff of twenty. They also produced concerts of women musicians and had a retail outlet in Lansing, MI.
Goldenrod Music acquired other businesses across the country, including Horizon Distribution in 1985, a Boston-based company distributing across New England, Paradigm (west coast), and Ladyslipper Music's wholesale division. Other records contained within the collection include the separate Goldenrod Records LLC (founded in the mid 1990s by Grant, Frazier, and Lori English), a record label licensing recordings from artists and releasing them on their label. Artists on the label included Tret Fure, Cris Williamson, Sistrum and Nedra Johnson. Mellow Muse Productions (founded 1977 by Grant, Sue Emmert, and Susan Wittcoff) produced many concerts of touring women musicians, mostly in the Lansing-East Lansing area and Detroit. Act Two Productions and River Women Productions (also involving Grant, Emmert, and other women) continued the work of Mellow Muse. Tenth Muse Productions (Susan Frazier was involved in the collective) was a business based in Kent, OH.
approximately 121 Linear Feet (62 boxes)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Terry Grant in December 2015
Serials integrated into cataloged holdings include: Hot Wire, ML82 .H69; Paid My Dues, ML1 .P1052; Ladyslipper catalogs and resource guides, ML156.2 .L329; Curve, HQ75 .D4 (Goldenrod mentioned in vol. 17#6:2 and vol. 19#8: 40); Girlfriends, HQ75.5 .G48; and Olivia Records Distributor's Newsletter, ML82 .O45
The majority of the collection was processed by Lydia Tang, with the assistance of Irene Benvenuti, January 2016. Cathy Illman cataloged the sound recordings, with the assistance of Joshua Barton, Autumn Faulkner, Devin Higgings, and Lucas Mak. Processing is still ongoing.
Sources consulted in the creation of this finding aid include: Galford, Chris, "Goldenrod owner says goodbye to a changing music industry," City Pulse, December 3, 2010, accessed January 12, 2016 http://lansingcitypulse.com/article-5180-goldenrod-owner-says-goodbye-to-a-changing-music-industry.html Lavey, Kathleen, "Music distributor enters fourth decade of marketing indie artists," The Argus-Press, December 11, 2005, 6A "Goldenrod Music," Women Arts, last updated February 4, 2005, accessed January 12, 2016: http://network.womenarts.org/network/profile_1192.html Leventhal, Micki, "Goldenrod Records: Facing the music," Windy City Times, November 24, 2010, accessed January 12, 2016 http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29572
- Feminism and music -- United States -- Sources
- Lesbians -- Political activity -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
- Music trade -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
- Women -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
- Women in the music trade -- United States -- History -- 20th Century -- Sources
- Women musicians -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
- Finding aid for the Goldenrod Music records
- 4 Published And Cataloged
- Lydia Tang
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script