Paul Williams, former editor of Crawdaddy! and author of twenty five books, passed away on Wednesday. He'd been in a nursing home, suffering from dementia (the result of a 1995 bicycle accident). You may not recognize his name but it's one you should know. When he put out the debut issue of Crawdaddy! in 1966, his intent was simple, to write about music intelligently. It's hard to put it into context, but try to imagine growing up in a world where you were expected to outgrow the music, when it was just a phase that teenagers go through. Kid stuff. Your destiny was wingtips and slacks. Ward Cleaver, Ozzie Nelson. Prior to Crawdaddy, any writing that covered pop music was either in teenybopper magazines, or sensationalized exposés from squares about hoodlum music this or that. It was Williams that let it be known that there were brains in rock music, and they would not go quietly.
In the past couple of days there's been quite a few profiles and obituaries posted online detailing his lengthy career and breadth of his contribution to writing and music (a few links below). I just wanted to hep you to an online archive of his earliest issues of Crawdaddy!.
Crawdaddy! archive 1966-1968 Nineteen issues scanned, cover to cover.
Paul Williams official site
Paul Williams interview at Rock Critics Archives
Paul Williams at Wikipedia
Crawdaddy! magazine founder Paul Williams dead at 64 at L.A. Times
Paul Williams, Rock Criticism Pioneer, Dead at 64 at Rolling Stone
(For much more, do a web search of "Paul Williams Crawdaddy")