Margaret Moser

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Margaret Moser
Moser on the panel "Reconsidering the Groupie" at the 2009 Pop Conference, Experience Music Project
Moser on the panel "Reconsidering the Groupie" at the 2009 Pop Conference, Experience Music Project
Born (1954-05-16)May 16, 1954
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died August 25, 2017(2017-08-25) (aged 63)
San Antonio, Texas, United States
Occupation Journalist, critic, historian, singer
Subject History of rock, punk music, the blues and the origins of music in Texas[1]
Years active 1979–2017
Spouse
Mike Malone (m. 1984)

Margaret Moser (May 16, 1954 – August 25, 2017), or Margaret Moser Malone,[2] was an American journalist, music enthusiast, critic and historian, groupie, and backup singer. She was best known for her work as the director of the Austin Music Awards (AMA) in the South by Southwest festival and for her career in music journalism and criticism, which lasted more than thirty years. Moser also supported young artists, helping them get started and finding appropriate venues where they could play.[3] She has been called the "patron saint of Austin music" by the Paramount Theatre.[4]

Early life[edit]

Moser was born in Chicago to educated parents, Phyllis Jackson Stegall and Willard Cummings Moser, and raised in New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio.[5] She dropped out of high school.[5] In 1973, Moser moved from San Antonio to Austin with her boyfriend Gary Kellaher.[6][7]

Groupie years[edit]

For several years, Moser was a groupie, getting into "where the action was."[8] She often was seen with a group of other women called "The Texas Blondes", as John Cale, with whom Moser had a five-year relationship, named them.[8][9] The couple met in 1979, as Moser was getting out of her first marriage.[10] The Texas Blondes partied with musicians and were given free tickets and backstage passes.[9] Moser was the leader of the group.[11] They were active in the groupie scene until around 1982.[7] Moser also performed as a backup singer in the 1980s for Dino Lee, as one of the "Jam & Jelly Girls."[12]

Journalism career[edit]

Moser worked at the Austin Sun starting in 1976, initially as a janitor before writing about music.[13][11] She got her first interview when she told the newspaper's Backstage columnist that she knew Randy California and could interview him.[7] When the Sun went out of business, the Austin Chronicle hired Moser in 1981 for its gossip column, "In One Ear."[8][14] The column "became essential reading for Austin music fans," according to the Austin American-Statesman.[1] Moser's writing about music and the scene in Austin was honest and included her own experiences with the "rock and roll lifestyle" in Austin.[15] Alvin Crow said of her music criticism, "She knows how to draw the distinction between serious rock & roll and bubblegum. She's a true critic. She tells me somebody's good, I believe it."[16]

On December 4, 1984, Moser married Mike Malone, a tattoo artist also known as Rollo Banks, and moved to Hawaii.[10][17][18] The couple separated in the early 1990s; Moser returned to Austin and to the Austin Chronicle, where she began to write about the history of the Austin music scene.[8][10] She worked on the history of rock, punk music and the blues, and the origins of music in Texas.[1]

In 2012, Moser, along with Michael Ann Coker, established the South Texas Popular Culture Center (known as "Tex Pop") in San Antonio.[19] Moser's husband, Steve Chaney, also helped her found the museum, of which Moser acted as curator.[20][21] The museum's collection focuses on South Texas music from the 1950s to the 1980s.[22]

Cancer diagnosis and death[edit]

In February 2013, Moser was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.[8] She retired as director of the Austin Music Awards (AMA) in 2014.[23] Before she retired, a small area next to the Austin Music Hall was named Margaret Moser Plaza.[24] In that same year, she also retired from the Austin Chronicle.[25][26] In 2016, the AMA started the Margaret Moser Award to recognize women in the Austin music community.[27]

Around June 2017, Moser ended treatment for her cancer and had gone into hospice care.[8] She invited friends to visit her before she died, holding a Sunday Open House.[8] On August 25, 2017, she died at her home in San Antonio.[5]

Publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stith, Deborah Sengupta; Blackstock, Peter (August 26, 2017). "Margaret Moser Was Austin Music Scene's Greatest Champion". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ Donnelly, Dave (May 15, 1989). "Pearl Harbor C.O. Blair Had Flair for the Ring, Too". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved August 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  3. ^ Corcoran, Michael (May 10, 2013). "The Gift of the Protégé: William Harries Graham Puts On a Show for Margaret Moser". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ Salazar, John (August 26, 2017). "Margaret Moser Dies at Age 63". TWC News. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Curtin, Kevin (August 26, 2017). "Margaret Moser 1954–2017". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  6. ^ Jakle, Jeanne (October 14, 2015). "San Antonio-Austin rivalry now a movie!". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Des Barres, Pamela (2007). Let's Spend the Night Together. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781556529795. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Patoski, Joe Nick (June 22, 2017). "Margaret Moser, Queen Of Austin, Is Dancing In The Light". NPR.org. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Goldberg, Stephanie (October 16, 2002). "They Used to Play Rockin' Roles". Chicago Tribune. p. 1C. Retrieved August 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  10. ^ a b c Goldberg, Stephanie (October 16, 2002). "They Used to Play Rocking Roles". Chicago Tribune. p. 7C. Retrieved August 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. 
  11. ^ a b "Margaret Moser". Communication Studies. Moody College of Communication. January 11, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  12. ^ Steinberg, R.U. (June 30, 2017). "Margaret Moser Tribute: Alice Berry". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Margaret Moser Archives". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  14. ^ Black, Louis (June 30, 2017). "Page Two: Leaving It Up to Her". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  15. ^ Stith, Deborah Sengupta (August 26, 2017). "Margaret Moser Was a Pioneer Who Wrote Fearlessly About Music and Sex". Austin Music Source. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  16. ^ Gray, Christopher (June 30, 2017). "Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ Moser, Margaret (April 30, 2007). "Saying Goodbye to the Ex". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Margaret Moser 1954-2017". Retrieved 2017-08-30. 
  19. ^ Stieb, Matthew (August 12, 2015). "The Weird Wonders of the South Texas Popular Culture Center". San Antonio Current. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  20. ^ "January 2015 Third Thursday Panel". Writer's League of Texas. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  21. ^ Lopez, Alejandra (May 12, 2017). "South Texas Museum of Popular Culture Celebrates 5 Years with a Night of Psychedelic Rock". San Antonio Current. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  22. ^ "About Tex Pop: Our Mission and History". Tex Pop. June 29, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  23. ^ Hadlock, Robert (March 13, 2014). "Austin music scene icon stepping down". KXAN.com. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  24. ^ Hernandez, Raoul (May 20, 2014). "Margaret Moser Plaza". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  25. ^ Curtin, Kevin (May 16, 2014). "Playback: Margaret Moser Retires". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  26. ^ Chapman, Sharon (March 12, 2014). "SXSW Highlights: Things to Do and See on Wednesday, March 12". Austin-American Statesman. Retrieved August 28, 2017 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  27. ^ Hoffberger, Chase (March 1, 2016). "Austin Music Legends Honored at AMAs". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 

External links[edit]