2018 - Media
Jim Musser began his writing career in 1981 at the University of Iowa. Despite not being enrolled, he worked with their student newspaper, The Daily Iowan. He covered the local music scene as well as high-profile national acts such as The Rolling Stones and The Who that were making Eastern Iowa appearances. This work earned Jim the name 'Doc of Rock' from A&E Editor Jeffrey Miller. During this time, he also contributed local Iowa City coverage to The Prairie Sun, a free music paper from Peoria, Illinois. In 1982, his 'Jim Musser's Records From Hell' column appeared in The Record Collector, a short-lived Goldmine magazine spin-off. In 1983 Jim left The Daily Iowan.
In 1985 Jim married. After that, his family, two special needs children, and start-up record store work in Chicago and Champaign, Illinois required time away from Iowa and its music. The family eventually returned to Iowa City where Jim worked as a meat cutter until his second knee surgery, at which point he became a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad.
In 1996, Jim was hired as Music Editor for ICON, a free weekly alternative newspaper. He wrote four to six articles per issue until 1998 when he was employed by the Iowa City Press-Citizen. For nearly 17 years, or 860 consecutive weeks, Jim wrote inside-the-cover music pages for Iowa City Press-Citizen's weekly A&E 'Go' insert before leaving in 2015.
From 1998 to 2000 Jim worked for an online retail and content pioneer called CDNow. His then-editor, Brian Mansfield, opened the door for Jim to review classic country and western as well as vintage rock ‘n roll music.
Jim was a regular contributing writer for the national alt-country, American magazine No Depression, delivering record reviews, features, and interviews from 1998-2007.
During his career, Jim has written more than 120 promotional 'bio sheets' for artists and bands, including stalwart Eastern Iowa acts such as Bo Ramsey, Greg Brown, Pieta Brown, Dave Moore, Joe Price, Tony Brown, and David Zollo. He has even written for various national acts as Steve Earle, Roy Orbison, James McMurtry, Fishbone, Drive-By Truckers, Chuck Prophet, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Billy Joe Shaver.