Margaret Moser was the Music Reviewer at the Austin Sun. Few would argue that Margaret was responsible for as many readers of the Sun as all the other journalist combine. After all, Austin was all about music and the music scene at the time. We were just becoming the Live Music Capital of the World and she was there to write about it.
But, Margaret didn’t start out as the music editor. That honor went first to Bill Bentley. Margaret arrived in Austin from San Antonio in 1973, but it was not until 1976 that she worked her way into becoming the music editor at the Sun, and it wasn’t easy according to Margaret, who says her first job at the Sun was cleaning the bathroom and answering the telephone, although it was never clear whether the two were done simultaneously.
Margaret’s writing in the Sun made her the matriarch of he Austin music scene and a pioneer in Texas journalism. She was right at home writing about punk as she was with country and folk. She was a mainstay at most of the live music clubs and traveling road shows which visited the city. She was also a performer with her own band of wild girls, “The Texas Blondes.” Later, Moser also performed with Dino Lee as a back-up vocalist.
She was responsible for the city embracing a wide variety of music through her weekly columns. Punks learned about blues music, rockers learned about progressive country and everybody became stronger for her writings. It was perhaps through her writings that the city politicians realized the potential for making Austin more open to live music. She was most at home writing about the blues scene and particularly enjoyed the newly opened Antone’s where she could be found most nights, when not covering the punk movement at Raul’s or at Club Foot.
It was Moser, who came up with the idea for the Austin Sun Music Awards, which legitimized the burgeoning Austin music scene and gave credit to many musicians who were struggling to find work in music while holding daytime jobs at Thundercloud Subs or in construction trades. Later, as the lead Music Columnist for the Austin Chronicle, she hosted The Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards.
After the Sun folded, Moser worked first at Rumours, but that publication was short lived and in the spring of 1981, she went to work at the Austin Chronicle as a writer.
She continues to drive Austin music with her columns and through authoring several books, “Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things” and “Movie Stars Do the Dumbest Things,” as well as the Austin guidebook for the Edges series
Along the way, she has inspired musicians to be all that they could be, made superstars blush, and left a trail in ink that will guide future scholars and music fans alike.
Margaret continues to live and work in Austin, Texas.