Monday, May 02, 2016

Music Critics & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Eligibles)

Both the Baseball and Football Hall's have a writer's wing to honor journalists who have covered their sports.  Why shouldn't the Rock Hall?  There have been quite a few critics/journalists who have helped shape the way Rock music has been presented and perceived.

I actually thought of this back in 2006:
Music Critic Hall of Fame?

It's an interesting idea, and unless you count Jann Wenner, there are no music-related writers in the Rock Hall.

I'm also aware that just looking at some of these names will bring back bad memories if you can remember what artists (and their fans) they've ticked off over the years by a bad review.

Once again, I'm open to any suggestions on names that I missed.

Listed in no particular order:

Ralph J. Gleason - Co-founded Rolling Stone, and one of the first writers to cover Rock and Roll.

Dave Marsh -  Wrote for Creem, Rolling Stone and other magazines.  Has written many music books. One of the most controversial Rock critics.  Member of the Rock Hall Nominating Committee since its inception.

Robert Christgau - The self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics", his monthly Consumer Guide changed the way records were reviewed by future critics and music magazines. Wrote for Village Voice, Rolling Stone and others.

Ellen Willis - From 1968-1975 was Pop music critic for the New Yorker.  One of the first women Rock critics and one of its more influential ones through her many writings on music, politics and culture.

Greil Marcus - Although he wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone, it is probably through books like 1975's Mystery Train that Marcus made his biggest impact.  His music books were almost scholarly takes that few at the time were writing on Rock music.

Peter Guralnick - His many books on music covering genres like Country, Soul and Rock not only garnered acclaim, but set a standard for numerous other authors to follow.

Robert Hilburn - As chief Pop Music critic of the LA Times, Hilburn gave a distinctive West Coast flavor to music criticism.

Joel Selvin - Longtime San Francisco Chronicle critic (from 1972-2009). Like Hilburn, gave a West Coast opinion when the East Coast seemed to dominate the discussion.

Robert Palmer - Author of the acclaimed Deep Blues and Rock & Roll: An Unruly History.  He also appeared in the NY Times, Rolling Stone.  Produced Blues albums and made his own, too.

Jon Pareles - Chief music critic for the NY Times.  Also wrote for Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Crawdaddy.

Lester Bangs - Probably the most famous music critic. His writings in Creem and Rolling Stone had a huge impact on future critics.

Gloria Stavers - One of the first women to write about Rock music during her tenure as Editor-In-Chief of 16 magazine.

Lillian Roxon - Her Rock Encyclopedia was the first of its kind.  And she was one of the first women to write about Rock music in the 60's.

Nelson George - Wrote columns in Billboard and The Village Voice, and his books covering R&B and Hip Hop are widely acclaimed.  Has branched out into film work as a Producer and Director on African-American issues.

Richard Meltzer - His 1970 book The Aesthetics of Rock was one of the first Rock books that became an influential bible to many future critics.

Jane Scott - For 40 years was music critic for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.  One of the first women to cover Rock and Roll during its early years.

Lisa Robinson - Started her career in 1969 and from there wrote for Creem, New York Post, New Musical Express, Vanity Fair.  Was one of the creators of Rock Scene from 73-82.

Kurt Loder -  A somewhat overlooked name from music critic's golden years, mostly because he is more well-known for his stint on MTV.  In the 70's/80's wrote for Circus before heading to Rolling Stone from 79-87.  Joined MTV in 1988.

Paul Williams - Created Crawdaddy, which was the first Rock magazine.

Nick Tosches - From the Lester Bangs school of Rock journalism, he wrote for Creem, Rolling Stone and others.  Also published great books on Country music and the Unsung Heroes of Rock.  His bio of Jerry Lee Lewis is an essential read.

Ben Fong-Torres - One of Rolling Stone magazines first writers.  Also appears in the San Francisco Chronicle.

John Rockwell -  Influential when he was the NY Times' chief Pop Music Critic.

David Fricke - Longtime critic for Rolling Stone, where he has written about a wide range of genres.

Nick Kent - One of England's most influential critics.  Wrote for the New Musical Express and then lots of freeelance work.

Jon Savage - Renown for being one of the first to write about Punk music in the 70's.  Wrote what is considered the definitive book on Punk, England's Dreaming.

Legs McNeil - Co-founder of Punk magazine, and author of music books on that genre as well as other music magazines.

Barney Hoskyns - British music critic who has written for tons of English magazines/newspapers as well as American ones.  Runs the website Rock's Backpages.

Ira Robbins - Co-founder of Trouser Press magazine, which was one of the first magazines to cover New Wave & Alternative Rock in the late 70's/early 80's.  Later on the Trouser Press books on those genres became essential for any music lover.

John Morthland - Worked at Rolling Stone and Creem. Writes about many genres.  His 1984 book, Best of Country Music is a definitive book on that genre.

Joel Whitburn - He's not a music critic, just the #1 record collector of chart records in the world.  But it's his Billboard chart books that every music critic and chart fan has to have on their shelf.  Before the Internet these books were a must have for radio stations, DJ's, Industry people and chart nuts like me.

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