Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Paul Williams and the Birth of Rock Criticism

Geoffrey Himes, Paste, 16 April 2013

PAUL WILLIAMS, who died March 27, was the first music critic who ever made me think, "I want to do that." In some ways, Williams was the first to do "that" when it came to rock 'n' roll. On February 7, 1966, a year and a half before Jann Wenner founded Rolling Stone, Williams began Crawdaddy!, the first vehicle for serious writing about rock 'n' roll. "Crawdaddy! will feature neither pin-ups nor news-briefs," the 17-year-old Swarthmore College student announced; "the specialty of this magazine is intelligent writing."

Total word count of piece: 1223


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.