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Marilyn Stutt Albuquerque Singles Scene papers

Identifier: MSS-869-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains Marilyn Stutt’s papers related to her founding and publishing the single’s orientated magazine, Albuquerque Singles Scene. Stutt’s history of the magazine entitled “The Making of a Magazine" details how the magazine came about in 1979, and follows its series of successes and setbacks until it ceased publication in 1999. Her scrapbook gives researchers a behind the scenes look into the magazine including reader demographics, photos, publicity, and subscription information. The collection also documents Stutt’s research on the growing number of singles in America and her assistance with spreading this awareness by helping others start similar publications. The collection further contains letters to the editor, publicity for the magazine and newspaper articles on Albuquerque Singles Scene and interviews with Stutt. Finally the collection includes Stutt’s autobiography and photographs from her life.

The collection’s value lies in Stutt’s early recognition of the growing importance of singles in the 1970s and their untapped marketplace potential for retail advertisers in the Albuquerque area. Further, researchers will find useful information on issues of gender roles and the growing public acceptance of the single’s lifestyle.


  • 1947-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1979-1999

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

Marilyn Stutt founded Albuquerque Singles Scene (1979-1988), later renamed On the Scene (1988-1999), a publication designed to meet the needs of singles. Stutt pioneered the singles-oriented magazine in Albuquerque, and other magazines followed across the country. She had no prior experience in publishing when she started Albuquerque Singles Scene, but that didn’t deter her. She recognized a need and decided to fill it.

Born on August 25, 1927 in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, she grew up on a dairy farm. She attended college in Menomonie, Wisconsin. From 1947-1951, she toured the country as a musician and vocalist with an all-girl orchestra called the Sweethearts of Swing. In 1952, she married an Air Force officer. They had three children. She then worked as a writer for television and radio stations in Abilene, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1962-1973 she was employed by the US Civil Service at Sandia Base, New Mexico, in the JTF-2 Public Information Office.

It was while working in her next job as advertising and promotions director for the Roger Cox Real Estate Company that she came up with the idea for a singles magazine. When the company took over the Little Turtle condominium project, Stutt suggested targeting professional singles and, as a result, the project soon sold out. Stutt had recognized singles as a viable, untapped marketplace. Recently divorced, she also understood the difficulty in meeting other singles. She decided to start a monthly magazine for singles that would provide a listing of social clubs, a calendar of upcoming events, feature articles on topics geared towards singles, and personal ads. She invested $5,000, printed 40,000 copies of the 11 x 14 tabloid format magazine and distributed it for free at restaurants, bars and supermarkets. The day after it hit the streets, the local newspaper ran a story about the new magazine, and all 40,000 copies were scooped up within the next two weeks. To introduce the new publication to Albuquerque’s media, Stutt and her employees threw a private press party at a local night club, after which the doors were opened to the public and Albuquerque’s singles were invited to help celebrate the new publication. The media was intrigued with the idea of a singles magazine and Stutt was soon appearing on various local radio and TV shows, which provided helpful publicity for the singles cause.

The Albuquerque Singles Scene inspired other singles publications around the country. Stutt developed a network system which helped others set up and produce a singles magazine in their area. For example, Stutt assisted Dr. Marilyn Walker, a psychologist and professor at Incarnate Word College in starting a singles scene magazine in San Antonio, Texas called Touch of Class. Stutt’s own enterprise continued to grow. She went through a series of partners until 1986 when her sister, Gail Skinner, became her partner. They produced the magazine together until its demise in 1999. They introduced the Albuquerque Senior Scene in January 1987, but stopped its publication after a year, instead adding a senior’s column in the original magazine. In 1988, in order to reach a larger audience, Stutt and Skinner changed the name from Albuquerque Singles Scene to On the Scene. They believed the name change best described what it was about - “Things to do, places to go and people to meet."

By the mid-1990s business slowed down. Personal ads became more prevalent in other publications and mainstream newspapers, followed by social network sites online in the late 1990s and On the Scene was not needed as much as it had once been. In 1999, after much deliberation, Stutt and Skinner decided to make their 20th anniversary issue their farewell issue. Stutt recognized the large singles community and pioneered the singles marketplace with an informative publication designed to meet the needs of Albuquerque’s singles community.

Source: Some of the biographical information provided by Marilyn Stutt.


2 boxes (.60 cu. ft.)


This collection contains Marilyn Stutt’s papers related to her work on Albuquerque Singles Scene magazine (1979-1988), later renamed On the Scene (1988-1999). Materials include a history of the magazine, Stutt’s autobiography, her research on the growing number of singles in America, letters to the editor, newspaper clippings and some photographs

Separated Material

The following publications have been cataloged for CSWR general collection:

A Different Drummer - An Autobiography by Marilyn Heebink-Anderson- Stutt, 2016.

Albuquerque singles scene

On the scene magazine

Albuquerque senior scene

Archival CDs are stored in B3.

Processing Information

Cassette tape was reformatted to CD, January 2011.
Finding Aid of the Marilyn Stutt Albuquerque Singles Scene papers, 1947-2011
Jordan Biro
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131