Paste has learned that Paul Williams, a pioneer in rock journalism who founded the magazine Crawdaddy!, has died due to complications from Alzheimers. Williams was 64.
A predecessor of both Rolling Stone and Cream, Crawdaddy! was established by Williams during his days at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Self-described as “the first magazine to take rock and roll seriously,” Crawdaddy! is credited with giving many music journalists their first big break, allowing for a more sophisticated discourse on rock and roll. Early contributors included the likes of Jon Landau, Sandy Pearlman and Richard Meltzer.
Williams left his publication in 1968 and went on to write over 25 books in the course of his career. In 1993, he returned to Crawdaddy! and relaunched it as a self-published magazine. This model ended in 2003, however, due to financial difficulties.
Paste’s parent company, Wolfgang’s Vault, owns the Crawdaddy! archives.