When we launched Paste in 2002, we were well aware of the long-tradition of music journalism that laid the groundwork for magazines like ours, including early publications like Crawdaddy!, Creem and Rolling Stone. But first among them—”the first magazine of rock journalism”—was Paul Williams’ Crawdaddy.
Williams started the magazine in 1966 at the age of 17 out of desire to share intelligent, thoughtful analysis of the rock ‘n’ roll he loved. The first copies were published on mimeograph for about $40, but it grew into a major cultural force, publishing writers like Cameron Crowe, Peter Guralnick, Jon Landau, P.J. O’Rourke, Joseph Heller, John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and, of course, Paul Williams himself.
Publishing the first major profiles of Bruce Springsteen and Gram Parsons, Crawdaddy! went beyond music to provide in-depth coverage of comedians, writers and actors, as well. After a couple periods of hiatus, the magazine resurfaced in digital form in 2007. There, editors Jocelyn Hoppa and Angela Zimmerman continued the wonderful tradition started by Paul Williams. Today, it relaunches as a blog on Paste, where we’ll share stories from the Crawdaddy archives and publish new content on legacy artists. And many of the columnists and writers you might have enjoyed at the Crawdaddy! website are now writing for Paste.
Check out William’s first letter from the editor here, and check back for as we transition the archives to the Crawdaddy blog and keep you up-to-date on rock, soul and country artists from the Crawdaddy era that continue to have an impact on modern music.