10,000-50,000 ( 1853-1911); 2,000,000-2,500,000 ( 1920s-1955).
At its inception, Crawdaddy was hailed as the first magazine to treat rock music seriously. Previously rock had been covered only by trade magazines such as Billboard that were primarily concerned with a record's future on the charts or by teen fan magazines that gushed over rather than analyzed a musician and his work. Crawdaddy met a need, and throughout its erratic publishing history, it continued to be applauded for its intelligent analyses of the contemporary music scene.
Named after England's Crawdaddy Club, early home to the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, the first issue of Crawdaddy appeared on 7 February 1966- 500 copies of ten mimeographed pages of staple-bound yellow paper. 1 Its founder and sole contributor, Paul Williams, was a seventeen-year-old Swarthmore College freshman who believed that there was an audience for "intelligent writing about pop music" and that "someone in the United States might be interested in what others have to say about the music they like." 2 In writing about rock music, he wanted "not to judge the records (like a critic) or report on the scene (like a journalist) but to explore (as an essayist) the experience of listening to certain records and feeling the whole world through them." 3 Crawdaddy was to serve the music industry only in that it would promote music that might otherwise be overlooked, provide buyers with a critical evaluation of new works to help them make more informed choices, and offer artists a critical response to their work. 4
The first issue included reviews of single records and one album, Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence. A later writer for Crawdaddy notes that the "style was crude and Paul's taste tended to make it sound too much like a folk magazine." 5 Still, Crawdaddy endured although the announced intention to publish weekly was abandoned when it took Williams over a month to produce the second issue (number 3) and five months to put out number 4.
With number 5 Crawdaddy's editorial direction was becoming clear: feature articles on artists and the music industry, reviews of albums and singles, and Williams's news column, "What Goes On," gave the magazine "the definite impression of chronicling a fast-developing scene." 6 By this time Williams had been joined by Jon Landau, who contributed reviews of albums by the Fifth Dimension, the Byrds, and the Young Rascals as well as a feature article on a local New York group called the Remains.
With number 8, the original staple-bound format was replaced by a more traditional magazine one. Williams had also begun to attract other talented writers equally devoted to the idea that rock music was an art form, most notably Sandy
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: American Mass-Market Magazines. Contributors: Alan Nourie - Editor, Barbara Nourie - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 88.