Letter from the Founders: Turning 50
We’ve long had a digital edition on the web for subscribers, but with this, our 50th issue, Elmore will launch an iPad edition, an interactive Elmore that makes it easy to connect the information in the magazine to the rest of the physical and digital world. Read about an interesting CD? Click through to iTunes to hear and buy. Want to know more about the artists in our articles? Click to their home pages. See a guitar, banjo or harmonica and want to know more? Click. No, we’re not abandoning print, we’re enhancing an already terrific source of music knowledge. More good news? The first one’s free.
When we started Elmore, we had a vision for a genuine music magazine, one which addressed music lovers’ overlapping interests but didn’t try to be everything to everybody. We knew that people who like the blues probably also like rock or soul; jam banders might well like newgrass; folkies and rockers both follow Dylan; the evolving relationships between individual musicians and genres are as interwoven as Jerry Lee Lewis’ family tree. We uncover those connections, add insight and introduce our readers to great music both inside and outside of their comfort zones.
For the last 30 years, magazines have launched with multimillion-dollar campaigns, but we decided to forgo the corporate hype and follow the path real music has taken for the last 1000 years—grass roots growth. We partnered with music festivals, building subscribers one-by-one, exactly the way dedicated musicians grow a fan base. It worked.
Introducing a print magazine in late 2005 proved to be an ill-timed decision economically but a perfect lesson in restraint, a quality that’s markedly lacking on the web. When every word counts and you have to count every word, we decided to highlight music to explore, not analyze music to ignore. Elmore staffers listen to every album, and if our staff can’t recommend it, we don’t review it. We fervently hope that tolerable artists either grow or stick to their day jobs. There’s plenty of quality music to talk about.
After 50 issues, people still often ask how we chose our name. Bluesman Elmore James fathered slide guitar as we know it today, and is as much of a keystone in American music as Robert Johnson or Chuck Berry. We chose the name not just for the man whose technique shows up in blues, rock, folk and country, but because Elmore is a down-home American name. Find us one “Sir Elmore” and you’ll win a free lifetime subscription.
Between this issue and our 100th issue—in print, online, on your tablet or whatever technology comes up in the meantime—readers can count on Elmore, and help in saving American music.
—Suzanne Cadgène and Arnie Goodman