Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Crawdaddy! was the first US magazine of rock music criticism. It was started in New York City in 1966 by Paul Williams.
Preceding both Rolling Stone and Creem, Crawdaddy! is regarded as the U.S. pioneer of rock journalism, and was the training ground for many rock writers then just finding the language to describe rock and roll music, which was only then beginning to be written about as seriously as folk and jazz. The zine spawned the career of numerous rock music critics. Early contributing writers included Jon Landau , Sandy Pearlman, and Richard Meltzer. It stopped publishing in 1969, but began again from 1993 to 2003.
Paul Williams was a science fiction fan with an interest in rock music who at the age of 17 started mimeographing and distributing a collection of criticisms (at first mostly his own) about rock and roll music and musicians. Crawdaddy! quickly moved from its fanzine roots to become one of the first rock music "prozines", with newsstand distribution. Crawdaddy! magazine did not take advertisements.
- You are looking at the first issue of a magazine of rock and roll criticism. Crawdaddy! will feature neither pin-ups nor news-briefs; the specialty of this magazine is intelligent writing about pop music.... -- No. 1, February 7, 1966
Paul Williams is the author of more than 25 books, of which the best-known are Outlaw Blues, Das Energi, and Bob Dylan, Performing Artist, the acclaimed three-part series. He is a leading authority on the works of musicians Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young, and science fiction writers Philip K. Dick and Theodore Sturgeon. His most recent book is The 20th Century's Greatest Hits (a "Top 40" List). Williams currently lives in San Diego, California.
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