Holly George-Warren

photo by Mark Loete


Holly George-Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, book packager, producer, and music consultant. She is currently working on a biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2017. She is also the author of A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (Viking, March 2014), Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry (Oxford University Press, 2007), The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years (HarperCollins, Sept. 2009), Bonnaroo: What, Which, This, That, the Other (Abrams Image, 2012), Cowboy! How Hollywood Invented the Wild West (Readers Digest Books, 2002), Punk 365 (Abrams, 2007), Grateful Dead 365 (Abrams, 2008); and the children's books Honky-Tonk Heroes and Hillbilly Angels: The Pioneers of Country & Western Music (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), and The Cowgirl Way (Houghton Mifflin Harcout, July 2010). She has cowritten several books including John Varvatos: Rock In Fashion (with John Varvatos, September 2013),The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang, Ecco 2009), How the West Was Worn (Abrams, 2001), The Working Woman's Guide to Managing Stress (Prentice-Hall, 1994), and Musicians in Tune: 75 Contemporary Musicians Discuss the Creative Process (Fireside, 1992), which was revised and published as It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity in the UK by John Blake Publishers in 2013. She received her second GRAMMY nomination in 2013 for penning the liner notes to Janis Joplin's The Pearl Sessions.

Her writing appears in the books Will The Circle Be Unbroken; Classic Country; The Show I'll Never Forget; The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock; Rock, She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop, Rap, and Jazz; The Encyclopedia of Country Music; Country on Compact Disc; The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll; and The Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide, among other anthologies. She also has written for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Redbook, More, Entertainment Weekly, MOJO, Harp, the Journal of Country Music, the Oxford American, Paper, Time Out, Tracks, Paste, Relix, Cowboys & Indians, Texas Music, Men's Journal, Country Music, American Cowboy, and No Depression. She has contributed liner notes to numerous anthologies and box sets, issued by Rhino, Warner Bros., Sony/​Legacy, Capitol, Universal, and BMG, among many others. Her essay for the Gram Parsons anthology Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels (Rhino) won the 2002 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in liner notes.

She has served as editor and/​or packager of numerous books. She is the editor of The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats (Hyperion, 1999), Farm Aid: A Song For America (Rodale, 2005); and Stairway to Heaven: The Final Resting Places of Rock Legends (Wenner Books/​Hyperion, 2005). In addition to this, she is the coeditor of The Appalachians: America's First and Last Frontier (Villard, 2004); Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey (HarperCollins 2003); American Roots Music (Abrams, 2001); The Rolling Stone Album Guide (Random House); The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (Random House), Rolling Stone: The Seventies (Little Brown), and two editions of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster), for which she won a 1996 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. As Editor of Rolling Stone Press from 1993-2001, she created more than forty books, including the New York Times bestseller, Garcia (Little Brown), and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award winner Images of Rock & Roll (Little Brown). In 2003, she served as music editor to the first-ever Zagat's survey of the top 1000 albums of all time. She has edited and packaged the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame annual induction book every year since 1995.

George-Warren received her first Grammy nomination (for Best Historical Recording) in 2001 for coproducing Rhino's five-CD box set, R-E-S-P-E-C-T: A Century of Women in Music. She also coproduced the three-CD set The Rolling Stone Women in Rock Collection (Razor & Tie), a series of CDs with the Lifetime network and a Wanda Jackson tribute album, Hard Headed Woman, for Bloodshot Records. In addition, she has served as an archivist/​curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and The GRAMMY Museum. She is the director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Program and serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee.

She has served as a consultant, writer, and/​or lecturer on popular music and Western wear at several museums, including Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Autry Museum of the American West, the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum, and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. She teaches Arts Journalism at the State University of New York in New Paltz, NY, has lectured at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, and has guest lectured at Cornell, Penn, MTSU and CUNY, among other universities.

George-Warren has appeared on numerous television programs on various networks to discuss music, pop culture, and Western Americana including CBS Sunday Morning, MTV, VH1, CMT, PBS, and NBC, and at such book festivals as the Southern Festival of Books, the Texas Book Festival, and the Northwest Festival of Books, and conferences like SXSW, the International Country Music Conference, the Ponderosa Stomp, and the EMP Pop Music Conference. She has also served as a consulting producer to several documentary films, including the Emmy-nominated Woodstock: Now & Then and Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly, Nashville 2.0 and the Sundance entry Muscle Shoals.

Selected Works

"One of the Top 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2014." - flavorwire.com, December 2013
"Every celebrity could use a biographer like Holly George-Warren" -- The New York Times, April 2007
Illustrated Nonfiction
“Girls with gumption and a "can do" spirit will get a big kick out of Holly George-Warren’s The Cowgirl Way, which provides a fascinating history of the Wild West and cowgirls, from big names like Annie Oakley to lesser-known gals of the 21st century. Chapters are interspersed with photos, quotes and memorabilia that nicely complement the text. And though the book's target audience is tweens (ages 10 and up), teens and adults will also enjoy George-Warren’s meticulously researched history of American cowgirls.” – Bookpage
"a spirited romp through colorful cowboy fashion explained in detail and illustrated with brilliant color photos."
--Farrah Weinstein, The New York Post, Dec. 23, 2001
The behind-the-scenes story of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, co-written with festival producer Michael Lang.
"a boot-stompin' good time...shrewdly exploring the gap between the image and the reality of the wild frontier."
--Bookpage, 10/02
Photography, History, Non-fiction, Music, Pop-Culture
365 rare images compassing the band's 43-year history, with comprehensive and insightful captions.
Rock history, photography
The essential illustrated book on Punk: from the Stooges to Television to the Clash to Black Flag
Illustrated Children's Nonfiction
"Fans of any age will enjoy this paean to roots music." -- Horn Book, March 2006
--The New York Times Book Review, June 2001