About Paul


Standing at the bottom of the world, the most southerly point of Tasmania, Australia.

As a young rock music columnist and cadet journalist on an English provincial newspaper, Paul Merry was plucked from obscurity by Beatles PR man Tony Barrow and lured to London in 1970. Paul then cut his teeth in rock PR, writing press releases for such ‘Tony Barrow International’ clients as Paul McCartney and Wings and the Kinks as well as promoting then unknown bands like Deep Purple, Gentle Giant and Uriah Heap.

From there, Paul Merry went to CBS Records, then the world’s leading record company, jam-packed with even more legends – rock, blues and jazz: a young Iggy Pop; Janis Joplin; Bob Dylan; the Band; Charlie Christian; Miles Davis; Jeff Beck; Johnny Winter; Sly & The Family Stone; the Yardbirds; Johnny Cash; Santana; Simon & Garfunkel; Leonard Cohen; Springsteen; Sinatra, and Streisand.

Paul wrote their biographies, liner notes, record sleeves and organised press and TV interviews. A perk of the job included frequenting clubs like London’s Speakeasy, the Marquee and Ronnie Scott’s during their heydays, enjoying the cream of the world’s rock, jazz and blues greats, in their prime.

Unable to see himself still in the music industry at 30, he stumbled into advertising in Australia, becoming a copywriter and later creative director in cities like Melbourne, Hong Kong, London and Singapore, writing blues and rock jingles at the same time, music articles and a couple of books along the way.

Now, Paul Merry has returned to his first love, the blues and blues rock. Unable to find a book that satisfyingly explained how blues actually evolved, he decided to write his own, using investigative and research techniques picked up over the years. The result is the righting of some historical misinformation for the first time, and everything you ever wanted to know about blues’ evolution now being available in just ONE book, America’s Gift.


  1. Great site!

    • Thanks a million, Zsolt.

  2. Your a great find, looking forward to more reads. I love the detail, fab stuff on Don Law !

    Btw .. do you know anything about Charlie Patton being one of the first in miss to own a model t ford ?

    Best Regards.
    Kevin Brown..( taught by Son House..discovered by Joe Boyd..Revered by Mark Knopfler.

    • Thanks kindly for your feedback, Kevin. Didn’t know that about Charlie Patton and his Ford. Did you know Charlie’s first teacher was an unsung 19th century Delta blues player called Henry Sloan? I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t teach Son House, too. (Somebody would have).

  3. Just discovered your website while researching my novel in which Robert Johnson plays a role – so glad I did! Thanks for the info on Ike Zimmermann and thanks for a great site. May just buy your book as well . . .

    • Glad I could help, Emily. Good luck with your novel. Get a free America’s Gift print-book preview at Amazon or check out my two inexpensive eBooks, How Blues Evolved Volumes 1 and 2. Many thanks for your feedback.

  4. I watched your videos on YouTube and found them fascinating. I have the privilege of working for Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation at the Chess building in Chicago and I’d recently come to some similar conclusions without knowing your work. What a revelation to discover your stuff.
    We are doing a listening party on Twitter on 4th July for The Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters Live at the Checkerboard, we would love it if you could offer some of your amazing insight.

    • Many thanks for such a positive comment, Steve. Greatly appreciated. Happy to provide insight. How do you want it presented and where would you use it?

  5. Hello I’ve just discovered your website via an article where you say that brass band music originated in Newcastle upon Tyne which is my home town. This was news to me and pretty amazing as I visit New Orleans any time I can. Can you possibly point to some historical reading/context on this I would be fascinated. Thank you

    • Hi James. Can you tell me which post the reference to Newcastle was in. I remember something about an early Newcastle colliery band when researching my book which I’ve been combing through, looking for Newcastle. Unfortunately can’t find such a mention. I’ll need to read the post to refresh my memory. Many thanks for your interest.


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