Roy Carr 1945 – 2018

Doyen of the music press for half a century and a highly-valued and much-loved writer for Jazzwise for the past 14 years, Roy Carr died from a heart attack in hospital in the early hours of 1 July 2018 aged 73. Born in Blackpool in 1945, Roy's father Tony Carr was a musician with connections to the big-band scene and wrote the hit big-band instrumental 'March of the Mods' for the Joe Loss Orchestra in 1964. The tune was also used as a TV theme and covered by Roy's R&B group, The Executives, who released a number of singles for both EMI/Columbia and CBS between 1964 and 1969, including the highly collectable 'Tracy Took A Trip', banned by BBC Radio One in 1968.

An ardent jazz fan, Roy had started writing reviews for Jazz News in the early 1960s and continued freelance writing again in the late 1960s for the NME, joining as a staff writer in 1970. He built a reputation as a clued-up scribe whose insider knowledge of the music business as a gigging musician gave him a certain edge as the paper became the go-to music weekly. He was part of the core team that relaunched NME in 1972 as a serious music weekly under the editorship of Alan Smith and subsequently Nick Logan to reflect the counter-cultural driven change in music and the influence of the more in-depth Melody Maker, Sounds and the then UK underground press, such as IT and Friends. It was a giant leap away from NME's previous lightweight pop panderings and soon it was selling over 200,000 copies a week with a readership of a million and top line writers such as Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray and Ian MacDonald.

As Carr's reputation as an incisive writer with a dry, mischievous sense of humour rose he landed a gossip column, Hello Sailor, as well as big name interviews with names such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie. Roy compiled NME's flexi-discs and compilation tapes that were hugely popular with its readership, and, in addition to becoming a prolific album liner-note writer across jazz, rock and soundtracks, he authored books on The Beatles and Rolling Stones in The Illustrated Record Series, as well as acclaimed jazz titles, The Hip: Hipsters, Jazz and The Beat Generation and A Century of Jazz. Roy was eventually moved upstairs to become executive editor at IPC of NME, Melody Maker and Vox, the forerunner to Uncut.

Roy was one of the longest serving staff on what is now known as the 'golden days' of the UK music press from 1963 until the late 1990s, when its huge influence and reach stretched worldwide. With NME's weekly sales now a shadow of its former self and MM and Sounds closed, he viewed the way it had cheapened its approach, ditching editorial depth and credibility for pop frivolity, with a mix of sadness and anger. He retired from IPC in the mid-2000s aged 65 and took up my offer as a freelance reviewer on Jazzwise in September 2004, where he returned to his first love, jazz writing, with a discographer's eye for detail and sharp recall of decades of interviews and barroom chats with everyone from Miles Davis and Chet Baker to Art Blakey and Jimi Hendrix.

I'd known Roy since I worked on Sounds music paper and last spoke to him four days before he died. He was in hospital awaiting an angioplasty following a minor heart attack a day earlier. "I'm alright", he said with a wry chuckle in his voice. "They'll probably fit a stent and I'll be out in a few days. Send me the next batch of album reviews, but no Chet Baker releases." A reference to the sheer avalanche of Baker reissues and inferior compilations rather than 'Mis'Tah Chet' himself, who Roy absolutely loved.

Our thoughts are with Roy's wife and family. We shall miss him madly.

Jon Newey

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

John Turville dives in Head First – new …

Pianist and composer John Turville returns with a new album...

Read More.....

Uri Caine and Henri Texier dazzle while …

Jazzfestival Münster is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but has only...

Read More.....

Ezra Collective bring the Brit-Jazz Nois…

Much like in other recent editions of New York's Winter...

Read More.....

Yazz Ahmed and Jasper Høiby line-up for …

For some there is a Holy Grail in jazz: to...

Read More.....

Matthew Herbert marks Brexit with Big Ba…

Composer, conductor and sampling-supremo Matthew Herbert is set to release...

Read More.....

Joseph Jarman 14/09/37 – 9/01/19

  The recitation of 'Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City' by Dante...

Read More.....

Wandering Monster step up with 'Samsara…

Bass-led progressive jazz group Wandering Monster are set to release...

Read More.....

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Oded Tzur Quarte…

  The unfeasibly warm November weather was matched by the heat...

Read More.....

Edinburgh embraces the Thrill of Belgian…

Belgium may be better known for its beer than its...

Read More.....

Mitchener And Yarde Break Blues Boundari…

The blues is a lived and living truth, as much...

Read More.....

Ra's Arkestra Announces Annual Lewes Aff…

The Sun Ra Arkestra – led by that indomitable intergalactic...

Read More.....

Steve Williamson, Silje Nergaard and Tin…

Southampton’s Turner Sims music venue has announced an impressive line-up...

Read More.....

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner …

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner wins LetterOne Rising Stars Award California-based...

Read More.....

Nordic Wonders: Rune Grammofon Bring The…

Determined individuals who ignore categories define the Norwegian scene, in...

Read More.....

Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad

  The entire spectrum can dazzle at Jazztopad, a Polish festival in...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards return for 2019

The Jazz FM Awards return for a sixth time next...

Read More.....

Chick Corea, Madeleine Peyroux and Kamaa…

The organisers of the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which runs...

Read More.....

Peter Boizot 1929 – 2018

The press obituaries for Peter Boizot, who has died aged...

Read More.....

David Mossman – 17 July 1942 - 8 Decembe…

Ahead of starting the Vortex in 1988, there is nothing...

Read More.....

Greg Fox and Pulverize The Sound punish …

  The second phase of Poland’s Jazz Jantar festival involved five nights...

Read More.....

Astral Progression Ensemble and Irrevers…

  Jazz Jantar has been running in the northern Polish port...

Read More.....

Tippett & Bourne, Liane Carroll and…

The Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival will return for its...

Read More.....

Jessica Radcliffe poised an poetic for R…

In this centenary year of the end of the First...

Read More.....

Iridescent Ibrahim Leads Multi-Horn Boon…

The Barbican's foyer is still resounding to the tumultuous multi-horned...

Read More.....

Maisha raise Afro-futurist spirits at Gh…

Scrolling down the posts on Facebook, from people pleading for...

Read More.....

John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension Back F…

Legendary jazz-rock guitarist John McLaughlin has just announced a return...

Read More.....

Dave Douglas Supergroup Dazzles Among Ho…

  Guimarães is Portugal’s birthplace. Surrounded by verdant hills, this quiet...

Read More.....

Bill Laurance Goes Big At Southbank With…

  At certain moments during this concert, Bill Laurance looks like...

Read More.....

Trans-Atlantic Team-Up: Chicago X London…

Much has been written about the jazz scene that has...

Read More.....

Dalston Devils: Branch and Brandon Lewis…

The Vortex and Cafe OTO are separated by a few...

Read More.....

Mike and Leni Stern light up Ronnie Scot…

What an unexpected pleasure to see Mike Stern exchanging guitar...

Read More.....

22-year-old saxophonist Xhosa Cole wins …

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole has been announced as the winner of...

Read More.....

Braxton and Marclay Broker New Sonic Exp…

  The UK premiere of Anthony Braxton's 'Composition No 103' (1983)...

Read More.....

Delay-gratification – Bill Frisell’s spe…

Bill Frisell isn't much of a talker. The music is...

Read More.....

Snarky Puppy, Jamie Cullum and Gladys Kn…

The first artists have been revealed for next year's Love...

Read More.....

Archie Shepp’s Art Songs & Spiritual…

This evening gets off to a flying start with Simon...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@WANDAGROUP will do, cheers mate
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@_Phil_Julian not heard this - I liked them though - like a better metal Mogwai
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA