RETROspective Magazine's foundation was laid over 13 years ago.
Back in 1996 while living in Philadelphia founder Joe Wood had stumbled onto the American swing revival. Philadelphia's The Five Spot dinner club exposed Joe to the amazing live performances of the Mighty Blue Kings, The Blues Jumpers, The City Rhythm Orchestra and the Jet Set Six. Immediately Joe set out to discover more neo-swing bands. Before the days of Google, Yahoo and Bing, one would need to search out like minded material by word of mouth or via "link-rings". Joe found that link-rings were riddled with broken links in the chains, while at the same time they were also not very good at presenting user-friendly content that the readers wanted. All Joe wanted was to excite people by sharing the new music that he was discovering on a daily basis.
By early summer of 1997, Joe partnered with fellow Five Spot alumni Dante Murphy and they launched "the Swing Switchboard" PENNSYLVANIA65000.com. PA65K was the first international listing of all things swing and rockabilly music related. It featured a regional directory of links to bands, venues and vintage stores. By 1998 PA65K began reviewing music and offering feature articles. Additionally in 1998 Murphy and Wood founded a production company HELLZAPOPPIN' Productions which gave them the opportunity to book and produce shows for Steven Starr and for the tropical Waterfront Restaurant & Night Club Katmandu and to be guest DJs in New York City's famed SUPPER CLUB. Our first production sold out quickly and featured the only east-coast appearance of San Francisco's Goth-Swing band Lee Press-On and The Nails. Eventually Murphy and Wood became the exclusive house DJs at The Five Spot and would be featured in a number of area newspapers and magazines (See PRESS on this website).
In 1999, Joe and his brother Sam Wood, aka Xavier Breath, were producing and hosting a live broadcast show entitled 21ST CENTURY SWING on WWDB 96.5FM (50,000 watts) in Philadelphia. To support the radio show by providing additional online content to it's listeners, Joe founded the online magazine 21ST CENTURY SWING.
By late 1999, PA65K and 21ST CENTURY SWING merged it's marketing and resources with New York City's ATOMIC MAGAZINE, "the essential guide to retro culture." Murphy and Wood managed the online operations of ATOMIC Online and developed the ATOMIC CAFE chat forum. During that same period Wood and Murphy continued to DJ and promote the music as well as finding time to contribute reviews and articles to ATOMIC.
2003 sadly saw ATOMIC come to a close. By early 2004 Murphy and Wood spun off the ATOMIC community into a new online magazine which was titled PORT HALCYON. This new magazine continued on with the ATOMIC spirit of reporting by continuing to focus on the "halcyon days" of retro culture spotlighting the music, clothing and lifestyle while at the same time reminding our readers what it meant to have fun. PORT HALCYON had the support of major record labels and featured numerous promotional contests for SONY's LEGACY RECORDINGS, BLOODSHOT RECORDS, YEP ROC RECORDS and even THE HISTORY CHANNEL. PORT HALCYON also boasted he largest retro centric e-commerce store which featured over 5,000 CDs and DVDs and over 1,000 pieces of vintage clothing. With the music industry shifting and with attention need to our new families, Wood and Murphy dissolved PORT HALCYON, Inc. in 2006.
By spring of 2009, Joe Wood decided that it was time to go retro again with a revamped version of PORT HALCYON. Now newly branded as RETROspective Magazine, we have archived PORT HALCYON's content, reopened the ATOMIC Cafe forums and continue on by featuring reviews of events, music, fashion and other retro related news. Additionally we now feature weekly videos and podcasts.
If you would like to become a contributor to RETROspective, please contact us with story ideas or any other retro items that you would like to share with the our international readership. Musically we cover, swing, rockabilly, surf, jazz, big band, lounge, tiki/exotica and groovy sixties. We are looking for articles that report on the influence of mid-20th century style on modern trends in fashion, film making, music and design.