A Pioneering Pop Journalist Has Died--
October 2012 @ 15:28
Mary Campbell, whose childhood affection for the big bands and opera she heard on her radio set the stage for four decades as a music writer for the Associated Press, died Friday. She was 78. A cause of death was not revealed.
Mary couldnt play an instrument, nor could she carry a tune. It didnt matter, though, since she loved her role as a member of the audience, reporting on music for other fans.
I write for an ordinary person like me, she once said. Im not trying to be erudite. Im trying to be enthusiastic and clear. I always feel like the person Im writing for would be just as touched by the music or the play as I am if they were standing in my shoes.
Campbell looked more like a reference librarian than a music reporter, but she was a pioneer who was covering bands before the rise of Rolling Stone and other such magazines. She had a rapport with many of her subjects, who came to trust her and even request her for interviews.
Few witnessed as much rock history as the Illinois native. She was there when the Beatles played Shea Stadium in 1965. She also interviewed Elton before he even had a recording contract.
Mary is survived by a sister, Ruth Miller, and brother, Allen Campbell.