Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits, a pop music magazine aimed at teenagers, was originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued every other week for most of that period.

The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many journalists including Heat’s editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen (who went on to launch Q, Mojo and Word), Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Sian Pattenden, Tom Hibbert, and Miranda Sawyer.

Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys also worked as a writer and assistant editor, and once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would likely have pursued his ambition to become editor.

Many issues from the late 1970s to the early 1980s have been digitized as a collection at the Internet Archive Magazine Rack as Smash Hits Magazine.

These issues include color and black and white photos, interviews, announcements, lyrics, and clothing ads as well classified ads for pen pals, or “Biro Buddies.”


The Copperhead’s New Church

The Copperhead’s New Church

This bitingly satirical prayer appeared in a variety of newspapers during the Civil War. This copy is from The Highland Weekly News from Hillsboro, Ohio on Thursday, December 29, 1864. The wording of the various versions as well as the titles changed slightly but they all carry the same tone and meaning.

Clement Laird Vallandigham was an Ohio politician and leader of the Copperhead faction of anti-war Democrats during the American Civil War. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives.

Clement Laird Vallandigham

This one was called A Butternut’s Prayer for the “New Church.” I have also seen it in Indiana newspapers under the title “A Copperhead’s Prayer.

Copperheadism was a highly contentious, grassroots movement, strongest in the area just north of the Ohio River, as well as some urban ethnic wards.

Historians agree that the Copperheads’ goal of restoring the Union with slavery was naive and impractical, for the Confederates refused to consider giving up their independence. During the war, Copperhead support increased when Union armies were doing poorly, and decreased when they won great victories. After the fall of Atlanta in September 1864, military success seemed assured, and Copperheadism collapsed.

Clement Vallandigham, leader of the Copperheads, coined the slogan: “To maintain the Constitution as it is, and to restore the Union as it was.”

A Butternut’s Prayer for the “New Church.”

Copperhead Rage

Copperhead Rage

Lord, we beseech Thee, if Thou art not an Abolitionist, to save our country. If Thou can not do It Constitutionally, and without setting the niggers free, or giving Old Abe Lincoln any of the glory, “let it slide,” But, oh. Lord! if Thou art an Abolitionist, and had any hand in setting the slaves of the Egyptians free, and drowning their masters in the Red Sea. Thou art not our God; for, be known unto Thee, oh, Lord, that we have established a new church, and will also set up a new Lord rather than submit to the dictum of one who set the slaves of the Egyptian free, and killed their masters because they were Democrats and Butternuts, as the Abolitionists call them. And, oh, Lord, if Thou art an Abolitionist, and in favor of setting the nigger free please make it known unto us, so that in our next meeting we may appoint a new Lord, and take immediate action in regard to a new Heaven; for we have resolved not to serve an Abolition God, nor will we occupy the same heaven with the Abolitionists and niggers .

We pray Thee, oh. Lord, to inform us if Thou art in favor of free speech, free press, free whisky, free acting, free everything , but free niggers ; and if Thou will admit niggers into Thy Heaven, that we may consider the subject at our next meeting, and determine whether it would not be prudent to cast Thee aside, end appoint in Thy room and stead our worthy brother, D. W. Voorhees, as Thy successor; for we wish Thee to understand, most directly and emphatically, oh. Lord, that we will have no God to rule over as who is not in favor of freedom in everything except the niggers . Oh, Lord, if Thou art not an Abolitionists, we will continue our supplication unto Thee; but if Thou art an Abolitionists, and say it is wrong to keep niggers in bondage, and admit them into Thy Heaven, we entirely repudiate Thee, and Thy Church, and will establish for ourselves a new church, a new religion, and a new Heaven. Oh, Lord, we desire a pure church and a holy people—a people who have no more regard for the nigger than for the dumb brute. We don’t believe they have any souls, and if they have, a nigger’ s soul ain’t worth saving.

Oh, God, protect and defend slavery— give us peace, but don’t let the Abolitionists interfere with slavery. In mercy, oh, Lord, restore the Democratic party to power, and every infernal cuss of a nigger to his master.

Lord, don’t let the niggers come unto the North, least they become our equals, and, in much mercy, don’t abolish slavery lest they become our superiors.

Oh, Lord, if there is a Lord, restore to us our beloved Dodd, but don’t cripple slavery; let L. P. Milligan have entire liberty of speech, but don’t give the nigger his freedom.

God of mercy, prevent all the Southern States from coming back in the Union without slavery, and, whether in accordance with Thy divine will or not, do Thou speedily restore it in the District of Columbia. Lord, protect and defend the institutions of slavery everywhere, and the more especially so, as many of the Southerners have, of late, been giving it the cold shoulder.

Oh, Lord, if there is a God, send all the Abolitionists to HELL, and finally, oh, Lord, save our church from everything like niggers , and Abolitionists. These blessings we demand at Thy hands for the weal of the Butternut-Copperhead party. Amen!

A Florida Minister on Race in 1957

A Florida Minister on Race in 1957

This excerpt from a statement to his congregation by Dr. Witty, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida on the topic of segregation appeared in the December 1957 issue of The Citizen’s Council – a pro-segregation newsletter based in Jackson, Mississippi.

This letter highlights the way anti-communist rhetoric was threaded through the thoughts and positions held by many people opposed to integration of schools and other institutions.

First, I believe God made the races as distinct human groups. Though “red, yellow, black and white are precious in his sight”, the fact also remains that God made man “red, yellow, black, and white.” When man works to destroy these God-given distinctions he opposes part of God’s plan. I am opposed to any attempted destruction of the racial differences which God established and nature has long preserved.

Bayonets build no brotherhood and rifle-butts can not knock love into the heart. To follow the pattern of normal affinity is not racial discrimination but rather normal determination.

Voluntary association of these races, while preserving their distinctions, is the normal pattern of a related world, but forced associations destroy the quality of existence, deprive the compelled of their liberties, and make their happiness impossible.

The answer to the race problem is not physical closeness but spiritual understanding and mutual respect.

As a Christian I am dedicated to good-will among men. For years, a portion of my time has been invested in improving race relations. The first negro local religious broadcast came by my efforts. With other ministers I participated in an institute for negro pastors. I preached in the local negro college and in negro churches and negro settlement works. A negro minister preached from my pulpit on one occasion and negro choirs sang before our church.

Good will and Christian concern were increasing. But these dearly bought advances have been swept aside by pressure groups and politicians. Right and understanding relationships between black and white grow only voluntarily and are destroyed into animosities by force.

These selfish, if not communist inspired pressures, forget that the answer to the race problem is not physical nearness but mutual respect and spiritual understanding.

May God give us strength to rebuild with patience what selfish politicians, with callous disregard for born races, have destroyed to satisfy their greed for power.

This soft sell for maintaining segregation was not unusual for its time. When we look at the attitudes and practices of our ancestors, I think it is important to understand that they were living inside a sort of insular culture where their own political and spiritual leaders supported ideas that seem quite radical today.