Tomorrow's Songs Today: Errata, notes, and alternate worlds

Cover for Tomorrow's Songs Today

These notes are based on version 1.01 (January 29, 2015) of the book. Thanks to everyone who provided input. If you see anything wrong in the book, please let me know.

Chapter 3: The beginnings of filk

A scanned copy of Songs from Space is now available online, thanks to Rob Hansen.

Chapter 4: The period of growth

"Banned from Argo" appeared on Leslie Fish's second album, "Solar Sailors," not on "Folk Songs for Folk [not Folks] Who Ain't Even Been Yet."


The IWW is the Industrial (not "International") Workers of the World.


Dean Sweatman has sent me the following:

Prehistoric Southern Filk
Rick Norwood, one of the Founding Members of NOSFA, attended MIT and later moved on to the West Coast and joined LASFS in his quest for higher learning. He was exposed to Filk in those wanderings and brought it back to the New Orleans Science Fiction Association through fan visits and later when he moved back to the city in the late 1960's. I was late of Comics Fandom and very much still a Neo-fan in those days and didn't pay much attention as much as I should have.
NOSFA was a rag-tag collection of fans, neos, and proto fen in those days trying to grasp the idea that there were others that liked this Crazy Buck Rogers stuff and we could gather together in our shared interests. We learned of Filk, Fanzines, Apas and Cons with Cons, Apas and Fanzines taking hold as the primary outlets of our fanac, but in the background there was filk.
Don Markstein and a few others embraced filk, but it never developed into what today would be a special interest group; it was just one of the slices that made fandom what it was. Rick was one of those behind the ill fated New Orleans in '73 bid and was pushing for a filk bid song to increase our visibility within that community.
In 1967 Rick, Don Markstein, Justin Winston, and John Guidry took the Southern Crescent to Atlanta to bid for the 1968 DeepSouthCon and then on to NYCon III to announce the New Orleans bid for the 1973 Worldcon. New Orleans won the DSC for 1968.
In 1969 Rick, Craig Shukas, and I took a doglegged trip to Knoxville, TN for the 1969 DSC, then onward to StLouisCon, whiling away the miles with filk and games of Botticelli. At the DSC Janie Lamb played a tape of filk and other contributed items like The Green Hills of Earth and the LOTR Progression Song.
Filk never was a programmed function, but it likely was to be found in the con suite and other common areas of the cons held here. In 1971 we held the DSC again, with Poul & Karen Anderson as guests, and while much of what I saw then was connected with the SCA, I am sure that filk was present.
Shortly after that, New Orleans fandom started to splinter into special interest groups with a large infusion of Trek, Fan/APA-zine, Club and Con fen. I lost track with a wife and kids (the whole catastrophe) as time went on until 1993.

Chapter 5: Cons and recordings

The title of Diana Gallagher's second expansion of Cosmic Concepts is Cosmic Concepts More Complete, and the whole thing should have been italicized.


Alan Thiesen says Gary Anderson moved from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles area in the early or mid eighties, and that he probably didn't move to the Bay Area fo be part of Off Centaur.


The mention of some lawsuits in connection with Off Centaur isn't intended as a complete enumeration. There were multiple legal actions, and I chose not to go into them all.


Moss Bliss offers this account of Kathy Mar's entry into filk, which differs in some important points from Kathy's account in the book:

I, too, was a local folksinger, and I lived right around the corner from Kathy — my girlfriend at the time was the mother of a girl who had once been a member of Kathy's "family", but she didn't usually hold that against me.
I was at Kathy's when she came home from Day One of Denvention 2, bubbling over with excitement about how she sang some of her "regular folk songs" for them AND THEY LOVED HER! (Face it, have you ever known Kathy Mar to be shy?) She then collected her friends, as many as would go and including me, to "crash the late-night movies", which was my first contact with Fandom (and the first time I had seen Forbidden Planet).
I have related this to Kathy as my recollection, and she continued to stick to her story as you published it. But it's not true, and it's not like Kathy.
I found out about MileHiCon after that, and managed to scrape the money together to go, getting to the motel on my bicycle with a guitar over my back. I don't think Kathy went to that con (Tom Digby and Theodore Sturgeon were among the GoH for that con), but I met the man currently called Blind Lemming Chiffon there, and renewed my acquaintance with him at the next MileHiCon, after which we became close friends. At the time he still used his real name at times (I got to know both his parents, with whom he then still lived) or went by Raoul Ignatius Benefiche (aka St Iggy). In the following years, Denver area filks included Lem, me, Kathy, Ann Harlan Prather, Sourdough Jackson and his wife, and a few others like Kathleen Sloan, but in my mind it was Kathy, Ann, Lem and me as we were the best performers. It really hurt when Kathy married Dean and moved to NoCal, and then I moved to Colorado Springs and then Detroit (where Tim Ryan declared me the "filker to be named later in the Marty Burke trade").


The third editor listed for The Westerfilk Collection should have been listed as David Bratman; he never goes by "Dave." He has invited me to link to his LiveJournal posts, "To filk or not to filk, part 1" and part 2, with his commentary on the book and his role in the events discussed. It includes some very interesting background which I missed.


Barney Evans has provided a concert performance song list for ConChord 1. He has also provided a list of Southern California housefilks from 1980 onward.


Eli Goldberg has provided an interesting bit of obscure history:

Although I can't imagine anyone here will be researching the disposition of the "Dark Shadows" album that Leslie Fish started with Timelines in the late 1997 anytime soon, just wanted to document this somewhere outside of my own head + inbox:
This work was never released due to a recording error. The cable system in the recording equipment that ran from our microphones and instruments had feedback that ruined the entire recording work. We forgot to do a preemptive sound check on the equipment before the recording began. The defective master tapes were destroyed by Dave.

Chapter 6: The start of a golden age

Alan Thiesen reports that The Muze was in fact published, and that the Spring 1985 issue contained references to upcoming issues 6, 7, and 8; so apparently at least five issues were published.

Some more information from Pat Var, conveyed by Harold Stein: The East Coast Filkers Exchange (TECFE) published The Muze on a quarterly schedule. There were four zines published. One was a double issue, numbered 3 & 4, so the last issue was number 5. It had a print run of about 100. Contributors included Paul Willet, Bob Asprin, Leslie Fish, Frank Hayes, and Roberta Rogow.


Richard Kabakjian offered some clarification on the efforts to hold ConCerto 2 in 1992. The hotel went out of business, canceling all contracts. There were no other hotels in the area that offered suitable function space and were available in the appropriate time frame. The convention had sold ten memberships and two dealer tables, which were transferred to ConCertino.

Chapter 8: Filk in the UK

Sandi Cayless sent the following note on December 14, 2020:

Chapter 8 (Filk in the UK) page 70 states "A duo called Eridani, consisting of Lesley McCartney and Gordon M. Cowden, produced a couple of tapes in the eighties, but their long-term influence was felt more in Germany than in the UK." Eridani was not a duo there were 4 of us and we all appeared and sang at cons. There were two tapes, on which Lesley and Gordon performed, as Ann Neilsen and I (the other 2 members) did not have good enough voices. As for the songs - I wrote the lyrics for many of them (Lesley did some lyrics and all the music). The long-term German influence is new to me, I hadn't heard of that before. My name was listed as S. Cowden during those times (divorced and remarried a long time ago, I'm now Sandi Cayless).

Chapter 9: Filk in Canada

"Mew" is Mary Ellen Wessels. Almost everyone in filk knows that, but not everyone who reads the book will.

Howard Scrimgeour has provided a flurry of notes, paraphrased here so they work without being inline:

Chapter 10: Filk in Germany

Summer and Fall aren't the first German guests of honor at an American filk convention. Ju Honisch and Katy Dröge were guests of honor at OVFF in 2012.

Chapter 11: Filk Around the World

Karl-Johan Norén has posted a history of Swedish filk to LiveJournal.

Chapter 12. Filk, pros, and prose

Karl-Johan Norén has provided a detailed discussion of "Anna Lovinda," the song whose tune Poul Anderson first intended for "Mary O'Meara," and its relationship to Anderson's words.


Margaret Middleton mentions S. M. Stirling's books, Island in the Sea of Time and Dies the Fire and their sequels. Dies the Fire includes a character named Juniper MacKenzie, who is reminiscent of Heather Alexander, as well as including "whole swatches of Alexander's lyrics in the story."


Filker Jack Carroll has written several stories for The Grantville Gazette, an officially sanctioned fan fiction outlet for Eric Flint's 1632 universe, and these include some allusions to filk.


Dutch blogger Victor van der Sterren provides some fascinating background to Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth," attributing its origin to an earlier story by C. L. Moore.

Chapter 13. Filk’s periphery

Margaret Middleton notes that other filkers besides Dave Clement helped to popularize Stan Rogers' songs in the community. She mentions Marty Burke as one of them and reports:

By the time Rogers died in that infamous Air Canada fire, his material was sufficiently assimilated into filk for the attendees at OKon [Tulsa OK] a month later to hold a filkish wake for him.

Appendix B: The Pegasus Awards

The correct title of the Tom Smith song that won the 1992 Pegasus is "Return of the King, Uh-huh."

Appendix C: (Nearly?) all the flk conventions ever held

Musicon 1994: A note to myself, asking whether Kristoph Klover was one of the guests at the convention, somehow remained in the final copy. I still don't know if he was a guest or not, but it reads as if I was asking whether Harry Smothers is Kristoph Klover. He definitely isn't, and I never intended to imply he was. Harry Smothers (sometimes called "the third Smothers Brother," though he isn't that either) is also known as Moss Bliss.

Musicon 1996: Moss Bliss says Steve Macdonald was one of the guests.

Consonance 1991: Listed twice within a few lines of each other. The first listing gets the dates right, the second gets the city (Oakland) right.

Consonance 1996: Alan Thiesen says that Mike Rubin was the original Toastmaster for the convention. It was already known when he was invited that he had a probably fatal tumor, and he didn't live to see the convention. Alan took Mike's role at the convention.

Conchord 12 (1997): Another double listing. Ignore the second one.

Musicon (1998): According to Fancyclopedia, this con was planned but didn't take place. It would have been the last Musicon.

ConChord 14: I have it listed as happening on October 6-8, 1999, but the website for ConChord 14 says it was on September 22-24, 2000. The ConChord website is more likely to be right. Maybe the con was originally scheduled for 1999 and postponed to 2000.

Some additional information on convention dates:

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Last updated March 14, 2021.