Jim Dawson (born September 10, 1944, in Parkersburg, West Virginia) is a Hollywood, California-based author who has specialized in American pop culture (especially early rock 'n' roll) and the history of flatulence. A self-proclaimed "fartologist", he has written three books about farting, including the best-selling 'Who Cut the Cheese?'
Dawson has also written extensively about early rock and roll and rhythm and blues, including 'What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?' which Mojo magazine called 'one of the best musical reads of .' His 1980 cover story on Ritchie Valens in the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times led directly to the reissue of the forgotten rock 'n' roller's recordings and the making of the biopic La Bamba, which used some of Dawson's research.
Jim Dawson is a Hollywood, California-based writer who has specialized in American pop culture (especially early rock 'n' roll) and the history of flatulence (three books so far, including his 1999 top-seller, "Who Cut the Cheese? A Cultural History of the Fart"). Mojo magazine called his What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record (1992), co-written with Steve Propes, "one of the most impressive musical reads of the year"; it remains a valuable source for music critics and rock historians, and an updated second edition is currently available on Kindle. Dawson has also written a series of articles on early rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll pioneers for the Los Angeles Times, including a front-page story in the Calendar entertainment section on the forgotten tragic figure Ritchie Valens. The piece led directly to Rhino Records reissuing Valens' entire catalog (with Dawson's liner notes) and eventually to the 1987 biopic "LaBamba," which used some of Dawson's research. Since 1983 Dawson has also written liner notes for roughly 150 albums and CDs, including Rhino's prestigious "Central Avenue Sounds" box set celebrating the history of jazz and early R&B in Los Angeles. His most recent book (2012) is "Los Angeles's Bunker Hill: Pulp Fiction's Mean Streets and Film Noir's Ground Zero." He's currently working on a novel about a 1920 coal mine war in his native West Virginia.
- 1999 'Who Cut the Cheese? A Cultural History of the Fart' (Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1-58008-011-8
- 2006 'Blame It on the Dog: A Modern History of the Fart' (Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1-58008-751-3
- 2010 'Did Somebody Step on a Duck? A Natural History of the Fart' (Ten Speed Press/Random House) ISBN 978-1-58008-133-7
- 1992 'What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?' (Faber and Faber) ISBN 978-0-571-12939-3
- 1995 'The Twist: The Story of the Song and Dance That Changed the World' (Faber and Faber) ISBN 978-0-571-19852-8
- 1994 'Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely and the Rise of the Honking Tenor Sax' (Big Nickel Publ.) ISBN 936433-17-5
- 1996 'Memories of Buddy Holly' (Big Nickel Publ.) ISBN 936433-20-5
- 2003 '45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villains of a Pop Music Revolution'(Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard) ISBN 978-0-87930-757-8
- 2005 'Rock Around the Clock: The Record That Started the Rock Revolution'(Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard) ISBN 978-0-87930-829-2
- 2008 'Los Angeles's Angels Flight' (Arcadia Publishing) ISBN 978-0-7385-5812-7
- 2009 'The Compleat Motherfucker: A History of the Mother of All Dirty Words' (Feral House) ISBN 978-1-932595-41-3