Ed Ward (writer)

Edmund Ward (born 1948) is an American writer and radio commenter known since 1986 as the "rock-and-roll historian" for NPR's program Fresh Air and one of the original founders of Austin's South by Southwest music festival.[1]

Ward grew up in Eastchester, New York. He attended Antioch College and began his music-writing career in 1965.

He has been on the staff of Crawdaddy! (1967), Rolling Stone (1970), and Creem (1971–1977) magazines and of the Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Chronicle (where he has been honored as part of their annual "Restaurant Poll", lending his name to their "Ed Ward Memorial Sandwich" award).[2] Ward has written several books on the history of rock-and-roll and has contributed content, with Rashod Ollison, for the PBS website for the documentary series Get Up, Stand Up: The Story of Pop and Protest.[3] In addition to his music history lessons on NPR's Fresh Air he contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and various music magazines.

Ward was based in Berlin, Germany, between 1993 and 2008, when he moved to Montpellier, France. In 2013 he repatriated and is now living in Austin, Texas.


  • Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll (1983), with Geoffrey Stokes and Ken Tucker
  • Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero (1983)
  • The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963 (2016)
  • The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 2: 1964–1977 (2019)


  1. At SXSW, music is still what matters Elvis Mitchell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 26, 1998.
  2. "Postmarks", The Austin Chronicle, June 18, 2004. Accessed 9 March 2007
  3. Official PBS website Accessed 9 March 2007

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