Sunday, August 30, 2015


The Origins of PopKrazy

The Birthplacewelcome to memphis sign

Robert Hull was born in Memphis Tennessee and grew up in the 1960s a few miles from Graceland in the accurately named neighborhood of Whitehaven.  He spent his adolescent days jamming with his infamous garage band, and his nights listening to Rufus Thomas on WDIA with the transistor radio pressed to his ear under his pillow.

The Career

robert crumb illustration for Creem In 1971 Robert ventured East to Brown University where he met up with his two  legendary influences: comic artist The Mad Peck, and the greatest rock writer of all time, Lester Bangs.  After submitting 100 music reviews to Lester and getting his approval, Robert’s path was set and he abandoned any goals of becoming a solid citizen. He soon became a senior editor of Creem as Robot Hull and eventually wrote for every rock rag under the sun, from Rolling Stone to Billboard.  Later he was a senior producer for Time-Life Music where he compiled and produced thousands of CD compilations of lost popular music. He’s also taught pop music courses, worked as a music archivist, been a TV columnist, scripted syndicated comics, produced national radio shows, consulted on numerous TV/DVD rock histories, done the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame thing, and once had Lou Reed claim live onstage that "Robot" was his all-time favorite rock critic.

The Question

 At the end of this long and circuitous career as chronicler, producer, collector,  and creator of music and all things pop culture, Robert asked himself a profound question,  “What is the sound of The Cellos singing ‘Rang Tang Ding Dong (I am the Japanese Sandman)’”? 

cellos album cover

The Answer

was: complete and utter silence.  Not one ding dong would be heard  so long as the 45 (Apollo 510, b-side “You Took My Love”) stayed  in its storage box along with thousands of other records, cds, books, magazines, photographs, and other fascinating and semi forgotten artifacts.  The time had come, Robert realized, to re-circulate these pop treasures and let the music be heard.

The Website

So Robert and Sarah started the Popkrazy store on Ebay, and began the redistribution.
Which was all well and good.  The problem was, Robert was still crazy about all this stuff.  He loves to ponder how we got from Harvey Kurtzman  to Uncle Floyd, from Uncle Dave Macon to Alison Krauss, from Uncle Scrooge to Zippy the Pinhead.  Because of this, and because he hates being the only guy talking in the room, Robert asked a motley crew of writer friends and pop culture aficionados to weigh in with whatever’s on their radar these days,  fleshed out with MP3s, videos and our very own Autovlogs. 

images of zippy uncle floyd uncle scrooge

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