Goldenrod Music records Edit


MSS 471 large


  • 1976-2011 (Creation)


  • 106 Linear Feet (Whole)
    47 boxes



  • 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.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was donated by Terry Grant in December 2015

  • Biographical / Historical

    Goldenrod Music (also known as Goldenrod Distribution Inc.) was founded in April of 1975 by Terry Grant (b. 1951) and is still operating under the management of Susan Frazier. Goldenrod Music is a wholesale distributor of independent women's music labels to music stores, bookstores, gift shops, and also sold recordings nationwide at concerts and festivals such as the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MichFest) and 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, Sprin 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 had nearly 800 women artists represented in its catalogs, including Sweet Honey in the Rock, Pat Donohue and Susan Werner, and distributed 1.5 million recordings annually, all while only having a staff of twenty women. It 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 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 once the company closed. Tenth Muse Productions (founded in part by Susan Frazier, who also was a producer for the company) was a business based in Kent, OH.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item, Folder number and/or title, Box number, Goldenrod Music records, MSS 471 large, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Lydia Tang, with the assistance of Irene Benvenuti, January 2016. 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 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: Leventhal, Micki, "Goldenrod Records: Facing the music," Windy City Times, November 24, 2010, accessed January 12, 2016

  • Related Materials

    Ladyslipper, Inc. records, 1965-2011 are held in Duke University's Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture. Women's Music Archives Collection, 1972-2005, is held at Smith Colleege.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Goldenrod Music records (1976-2011) 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 founder, producer and current Goldenrod manager, Susan Frazier) and some records relating to Ladyslipper Music. Particularly rich in the collection are artists' presskits and promotional photographs, photographs and ephemera from Michigan Womyn's 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 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.

  • Separated Materials

    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

  • 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.