The magazine title was taken from the legendary Crawdaddy Club in England where the Rolling Stones had played their first gig.
Crawdaddy! was started on the campus of Swarthmore College. Williams, who was a mere 17 years old, started mimeographing and circulating a collection of criticisms (at first mainly his own) about rock and roll music and musicians.
Crawdaddy! quickly moved from its fanzine roots to newsstand distribution.
Legendary writers and artists, such as William S. Burroughs, Cameron Crowe, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and John Lennon, contributed to the magazine.
Preceding both Rolling Stone and Creem, Crawdaddy! is regarded as the American groundbreaking journalism in rock.
This is an excerpt from the magazine’s first edition (Issue No. 1, February 7, 1966):
You are looking at the first issue of a magazine of rock and roll criticism. Crawdaddy! will feature neither pin-ups nor news-briefs; the specialty of this magazine is intelligent writing about rock music….