Spring on the York College campus

Shawn Young, Ph.D.


  • Diploma, U.S. Armed Forces School of Music, Norfolk, VA, Music 1987
  • B.S., Music Industry Studies, Appalachian State University (1996)
  • M.A., American Culture Studies, Washington University, St. Louis (2004)
  • Ph.D., American Studies, Michigan State University (2011)


  • As a teenager and into my twenties I was a volunteer concert promoter, working for events that featured groups such as Petra, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, dc. Talk, Kim Boyce, the News Boys, and Mylon LeFevre. After performing with the U.S. Army Band for five year and finishing my undergraduate work, I served as Regional Learning Center Director for MARS Music, Inc. and field A &R representative for the company's record label. I have performed jazz, classical, folk, rock, progressive, and heavy metal for over twenty years on the electric bass guitar and trumpet. Selected performance credits include the U.S. Army Band, Fulgencio Medina, Kirk Henderson (The Edge), Bob Fitz, Jamey Aebersold, Michael Johnson, Steve Davidowski (The Dixie Dregs), blues-rock guitarist Glenn Kaiser, Celtic artist Bill Leslie, and jazz saxophonist Todd Wright.
  • Before moving to York College, I served as Director of Music Management Studies at Clayton State University and held a previous faculty appointment in the contemporary music program at Greenville College, Illinois, where I provided instruction for a number of artists who went on to find success in the music industry. My work with emerging artists provided an opportunity for me to observe how the record industry nurtures talent that developed within a college environment. Through collaboration with industry veteran Jorge Casas (Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, Julio Eglesias, David Coverdale, Jimmy Page) I was quite fortunate to advise student-artists such as Stephanie Smith (Gotee Records), Photoside Café (Grrr Records), and Augustana (Sony) which honed my ability to nurture musicians in the early stages of their career. Building on my stage production and management experience gained at MARS Music, Inc., I went on to manage the New Band Showcase stage at the internationally-acclaimed Cornerstone Festival, and served on the advisory committee, which evaluated hundred of press kits. Over the years I have promoted concerts and hosted public events for a number of performers and industry executives, including members of the St. Louis Symphony, legendary-guitarist Phil Keaggy, Grammy award-winning producer Charlie Peacock, EMI executive Bill Hearn, former CBS executive Terry Botwick, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Steve Ferrone, former Universal Motown executive Cameo Carlson, engineer and producer Matt Forger, and hip-hop scholar Tricia Rose.
  • Want to see more about my expertise? Please check out my full list of publications.


  • Survey of Music Industry
  • History of American Popular Music
  • History of Rock and Roll
  • Audio Production I
  • Listening to Music


  • Gene Hatfield Scholar of the Year, Clayton State University College of Arts and Sciences (2013)
  • Communal Studies Association Research Fellowship, Communal Studies Association (2010)
  • MSU Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Michigan State University (2010)
  • Teaching Assistantship, Michigan State University (2007-2011)
  • MSU College of Arts and Letters, Education Opportunity Fellowship, Michigan State University (2009)

Recent Publications

  • Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock. Columbia University Press, August, 2015.
  • “Evangelical Youth Culture: Christian Music and the Political.” Religion Compass, 6(6), 323-338, 2012.
  • “Apocalyptic Music: Reflections on Countercultural Christian Influence.” VOLUME! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies, 2013.
  • “Hippies, the Counter Culture, and Rebellion in Advertising.” In Bob Bachelor (Ed.), We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life...And Always Has. ABC-CLIO, 2014.
  • “Elvis and the Making of America.” In Bob Batchelor (Ed.), Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011.


  • Coordinator, Research Forum on Music Industry Studies - Music & Entertainment Educators Association (MEIEA)
  • Chairperson - Subculture, Midwestern Popular Culture/American Culture Association
  • Co-Chair - Popular Culture and American Culture Association
  • Officiating Judge - Cornerstone Music Festival New Band Showcase, Contemporary Lab Band Auditions, MARS Music Showcase


  • Assistant Professor, Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia
  • Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Instructor, Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois