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Michael Erlewine
Erlewine in 2008
Background information
Birth nameJohn Michael Erlewine
Born (1941-07-18) July 18, 1941 (age 79)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresFolk music, blues
Years active1950s–2000s
Associated actsThe Prime Movers, Iggy Pop, Gene Tyranny

John Michael Erlewine (/ˈɜːrlwn/; born July 18, 1941) is an American musician, astrologer, photographer, TV host, publisher and Internet entrepreneur who founded the music online database site AllMusic (formerly known then as All Music Guide) in 1991.


Erlewine has had several careers. As a musician, he was active in the Michigan folk scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1961 he hitchhiked with Bob Dylan, and had traveled to Greenwich Village, Venice, California, and San Francisco.[1] He and his brother Dan founded a blues band called The Prime Movers, which regularly played Chicago; other members included "Blue" Gene Tyranny (Robert Sheff). When the drummer left, they replaced him with Iggy Pop (James Osterberg), then 18 years old. The Prime Movers gave him the nickname "Iggy" as he had played in the band The Iguanas.[2] According to biographer Jim Ambrose, the two years Osterberg spent in the band made him aware of "art, politics, and experimentation".[1]

In 1977 Erlewine founded Matrix Software. He was the first person to program astrology on microcomputers and make astrological programs available to the astrological community.[3] He has published more than forty books on astrology and related topics.[4] Michael Erlewine and his band, the Prime Movers, were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2015.[5]


Erlewine and his wife have four children. He is the uncle of American music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine.[6]

All Music Guide

In the 1990s, Erlewine founded the All Music Guide (allmusic.com), the All Movie Guide (allmovie.com), and the All Game Guide (allgame.com). The first site in particular has become an important popular music reference that licenses its content to numerous other websites. Erlewine regained control of Matrix Software (astrologysoftware.com) in November 2008 and continues as director of that company.

Television channel

Erlewine is the host on a 12-segment television channel called Spirit Grooves / Dharma Grooves, featuring topics on alternative awareness and reaching some 540,000 viewers.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b Jim Ambrose (2004). Gimme Danger: The Story of Iggy Pop.
  2. ^ "The Prime Movers | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Lewis, James R. (March 2003). The Astrology Book: The Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences. ISBN 9781578592463.
  4. ^ "Books by Michael Erlewine (Author of All Music Guide to Rock)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "Rick Nelson Pt. 1: "Rockabilly Ricky" - Michigan Rock and Roll Legends". Michiganrockandrolllegends.com. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  6. ^ Jenkins, Terry. "Artist Biography by Terry Jenkins". AllMusic. Retrieved January 19, 2016.