Friday, December 26, 2014

RIP, Paul Williams, creator of Crawdaddy, 'Godfather of rock criticism'

On Wednesday night in Encinitas, California, Williams, who published writers like future Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau and future Blue Oyster Cult and Clash producer Sandy Pearlman and generally raised the bar for serious discourse in rock writing, died of complications stemming from a brain injury suffered in a1995 bicycle crash, according to his wife, singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill.

RIP, Paul Williams, creator of Crawdaddy, 'Godfather of rock criticism'

When the first issue of Crawdaddy! was published in 1966, two years before Rolling Stone, 17 year old founder Paul Williams. then a student at Swarthmore College, wrote:

"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 speciality of this magazine is intelligent writing about pop music. Billboard, Cash Box, etc., serve very well as trade news magazines; but their idea of a review is a hard-driving rhythm number that should spiral rapidly up the charts just as (previous hit by the same group) slides.

"Crawdaddy believes that someone in the United States might be interested in what others have to say about the music they like."

On Wednesday night in Encinitas, California, Williams, who published writers like future Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau and future Blue Oyster Cult and Clash producer Sandy Pearlman and generally raised the bar for serious discourse in rock writing, died of complications stemming from a brain injury suffered in a1995 bicycle crash, according to his wife, singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill.

Williams, who was 64, published more than 25 books, including three on Bob Dylan. He went on to write for other publications, including Rolling Stone, who whom he profiled science fiction author Philip K. Dick, whom he became close friends with and later, the literary executor for. Williams, who, was one of the back up vocalists when John Lennon and Yoko Ono's recorded "Give Peace A Chance" in Toronto in 1969, revived Crawdaddy! in the 1990s before selling it to Wolfgaang's Vault, who have made the original issues available for free online. Click here to check them out. 

Previously: Even Archie Bunker Is A La Salle Fan Follow In The Mix on Twitter

Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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