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volume 3
november 2000

A message from the chair

Index of the journal Tracking  

  by Reebee Garofalo
(Co-Chair IASPM/USA) Spring, 1988
  At their 1987 meeting in Pittsburgh, the U.S. branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) decided to begin publication of a journal. That journal's title was Tracking: Popular Music Studies. From 1988 up to 1992 four volumes were published. Here, in the first issue, chairman Reebee Garofalo addresses the readers in his humorous way.

1 Hello fellow rock 'n' rollers. Having spent a good deal of Fall, 1987, trying to figure out how to run an organization like this on the telephone (mostly at my own expense), let me start by saying that it is a joy to have a journal like this to use for communication. Considerable thanks goes to Steve Jones for his editorial efforts. I have always related to IASPM as a magnificent international network of popular music enthusiasts. How to turn it into an ongoing organization has always been more of a mystery, at least to me. (By nature, I am a reluctant administrator.) Now, however, through the efforts of a number of hard working and dedicated members, things seem to be coming together on the organizational front.
2 The most immediate good news in this regard is that the Yale University School of Music has offered to host our 1988 National Conference on the weekend of September 30 - October 2, 1988 in New Haven, Conn. The conference is being organized as a joint venture between the U.S. and Canadian chapters of IASPM. Its theme will be "Racial, Ethnic, and Regional Cultures, and Popular Music." Given the participants and the theme, Yale has generously agreed to provide French and Spanish translation where necessary. There is also the possibility that the Yale Press might be interested in publishing the proceedings.
3 In his formal letter of invitation, Dean Frank Tirro assigned two Yale staff members, Vincent Oneppo and Jay Gitlin, to coordinate local arrangements for the event. They have been most cooperative. Our own Peter Winkler has agreed to chair the Program Committee, which also includes Gitlin from Yale, Jody Berland and Robert Saucier from Canada, Herman Gray from Boston, and myself. We envision a conference which encourages the presentation of traditional scholarly work, as well as workshops, multimedia presentations, and performances. As a Professional School, Yale is supportive of this mix.
4 We would also like to use this conference as the occasion for broadening the base of IASPM, as per the mandate from our last Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, to include more women and people of color in the organization. Given the theme, outreach to Black and Latino groups as well as other ethnic organizations would be particularly appropriate. Please send any suggestions for individuals or organizations which should be contacted to Peter Winkler as soon as possible.
5 Perhaps the biggest stumbling block standing in the way of IASPM / USA becoming a functioning organization has been our lack of ability to do outreach and future planning. It is simply impossible to grow as an organization so long as we continue to exist only from one conference to the next. A number of our members have been working hard to plan future conferences far enough in advance so that we will have time for the critical work of organizational development.
6 Our 1989 conference will be a joint venture with the Sonneck Society. It is scheduled for March 29 - April 2, 1989, in Nashville. Paul Wells will be our man on the ground for Nashville. Portia Maultsby has secured a commitment for our 1991 conference which will be a cooperative effort with the Center for Black Music Research, the College Music Society, and other organizations. The conference is scheduled for October 10 - 13, 1991, in Chicago. Portia has also made formal contact with the Society for Ethnomusicology on our behalf. And, for our 1990 conference she is pursuing the possibility of a cooperative effort with the American Studies Association.
7 On the international front, Charles Hamm and I attended a planning meeting for the next international conference to be held in Paris in the summer of 1989. There is still much work that has to be done to get the Paris conference off the ground. I feel confident that we will pull it together. Besides, even in the worst of all possible scenarios, how bad could Paris be during the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution?
8 As you can see, a fair amount of organizational work is being done. The Yale meeting will be important not only because it will be an attractive and exciting conference, but also because it will provide us with an opportunity to solidify the organization. I would urge members to try to attend the business meeting. We need to concretize plans for future conferences. We need editorial policies for our fledgling journal. We need procedures for how to run the organization. The business meeting is the place where this work will get done. We need your input and we need your support. If there are any items you would like to see on the agenda please get in touch with me. I look forward to hearing from you and I look forward to seeing you in New Haven in the fall.
  Sincerely, Reebee Garofalo (Co-Chair, IASPM / USA)
  This editorial was published in: Tracking: Popular Music Studies,
vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring, 1988)
  1997 © IASPM / USA