The Voice Begins Its Third Year


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October 31, 1957, Vol. III, No. 1

Voice Enters 3rd Year of Publication

The Village Voice enters its third year of publication with this issue. On October 26, 1955, a thinner version of the current Voice appeared on the stands.

Designed by Nell Blaine, one of the foremost young American artists, the paper carried as its lead a story about a Village trucker who was suing Columbia University’s New York School of Social Work for $50,000. The plaintiff was shown hoisting an upholstered chair onto a truck in a photograph taken by a young Classical scholar majoring in Greek who doubled as the Voice bookkeeper.

The case of the young trucker is still in abeyance — but not his life. He has since got married, fathered a daughter, spent a year teaching school in the tiny Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona, and is now in the same part of the country teaching Indians on a reservation.

Things have changed for others, too. On page 8 of Volume I, Number 1, Al Morgenstern’s little “acting class” ad reminds us that Mr. Morgenstern is now in a lead role in O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” on Broadway.

But to commemorate the chief miracle of those hectic days we have to go back to October 19. On that afternoon a young man — a salesman — walked coolly into the office and announced the astonishing fact that he had just sold our first ad. In fond memory of those days, we reproduce the product of that memorable occasion.

The Lively Arts

By Gilbert Seldes

It hardly seems possible that all the changes we’ve seen have taken place in the two short years since The Village Voice uttered its first plaintive baby-cry.

Consider: two years ago there were half a dozen full length drama shows on television, and a Western was something dug out of the vaults of Hollywood and shown for the kiddies. Now the Westerns are knocking one another off in the night-time ratings.

(And what’s more, when The Voice celebrates its third anniversary there won’t be any more Westerns. Only Horror pictures.)

Two years ago we were way ahead in the race with the Soviet Union to launch a satellite. And what do you know, about a month ago the race was called off!

…Two years ago a lot of people thought Robert Moses was a glutton for publicity. This year he refused to go on a television program. He didn’t like the questions Bill Leonard proposed to ask him.

There’ve been a lot of other changes. Elvis Presley must have been coming along at that time, and now the new hero is Frank Sinatra. People were beginning to read “The Last Hurrah,” and now they’ve got to read “By Love Possessed,” which isn’t nearly as amusing.

But the real difference between then and now is atmospheric. I’m not sure it as an easier and calmer time — but it certainly looks that way from here. The big disappointment has come to those who were sure we couldn’t go on another two years without some disaster — war or fall-out or cave-in.

There was the Abbe Sieyes — when they asked him what he had done during the French Revolution he answered: “J’ai survecu” — which you can translate as “I lived through it” or, preferably: “I survived.”

Two years ago the editors of this paper asked me if I’d write an occasional piece for them. I refused. I said I’d do a regular piece or nothing. I may have been wrong — but I’ve enjoyed it.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]