Music journalist and singer-songwriter Ron Young spent his final days at the hospice surrounded by family and friends and cradled by the local musicians he cherished.

Young died Thursday morning of cancer. He was 67 years old.

A musical columnist for the San Antonio Light and former contributor to the San Antonio Express-News, Young once described himself as the Bob Newhart of rock ‘n’ roll.

His personality and humor might have been unmoved, but music was his passion.

Decades ago he moved to Nashville and got a song publishing deal. But he is best known for publishing It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, an independent newspaper that hailed the rise of punk and New Wave music.


“We were pretty good for amateurs,” Young told the Express News in June.

Overseeing a motley team of writers and photographers, Young published 44 issues of It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll from May 1978 to April 1982, covering the Sex Pistols, Ramones, Patti Smith, Runaways, Clash, Talking Heads and many others. , as well as local groups.

Former Express-News music columnist Jim Beal, who wrote for It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, said it fills a much needed niche in the local rock scene.

“The beauty of this whole team and this whole era and the concept of this article was that it was a whole bunch of music geeks,” Beal said. “There was no particular agenda except to cover the music that everyone loved. People were engaged. It was one of those love contracts. Ron was pretty much the spark plug.

Young was among the first to write about a child named Joe King Carrasco, who wore a giant crown on his head and cape on stage and combined punk rock with the combo sound of the first Sir Douglas Quintet.

“We were excited about what he was doing. It was a bit of a high-powered Quintet thing. But it made it a lot more contemporary, a lot more energetic, ”he said in January.

He had been battling cancer since 2004 when he was first diagnosed with rare melanoma in his left thumb. Young was living in Nashville at the time. Treatment required partial removal of her thumb and all of the lymph nodes in her left arm.

He was told repeatedly that he had no more cancer for this to happen again.

Musicians such as Augie Meyers, Claude Morgan, Les Infidèles, Los # 3 Dinners, George Chambers, Tennessee Valley Authority, Jimmy Spacek and Ruben V have performed at fundraisers to help cover medical bills.

Her niece, actress Nikki Young, expressed her gratitude for her uncle’s caregiver, Tana Thomasson. She called Young the coolest uncle of all time and said she witnessed his courage and deep love for music during the vigil.

“The music was in her veins,” she said. “He never, ever wanted to give up. He had a will to live. No matter what he was going through, either he was quoting song lyrics or a song came to mind. Music has always made it pass, whether it’s the good times or the bad. Music was his life.

In his final hours, she said, “he was still criticizing” his musician friends who came to say goodbye and play a few songs.

“There was so much respect,” she added. “He was really a big part of the music scene. He has helped so many people. They are all connected. “

Ron Young casually persevered despite setbacks, and was thrilled earlier this year when Texas country singer Jake Worthington, finalist for “The Voice,” recorded his song “A Lot of Room to Talk” and performed it. at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

Young’s original song albums include “Forever Young” and “Under the Texas Radar”.

A commemorative celebration is planned for later this summer.

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