- Simon Warner
(b Cleveland, OH, May 3, 1919; d Lakewood, OH, July 4, 2011). American Music criticmusic. Jane Scott gained fame for her longevity as a journalist covering popular and had been dubbed “the world’s oldest rock critic.” When she retired in 2002, aged 82, she had spent half a century as a reporter on The Plain Dealer, the newspaper of her home city of Cleveland, where she began as a society reporter in 1952. But it was after the rise of rock and roll—a phrase linked to Cleveland radio DJ Alan Freed’s show, which played early examples of the novel style—that Scott came into her own at the end of the 1950s. In 1964 she reviewed the Beatles on stage in Cleveland, covered their UK tour two years later and interviewed the group before a further appearance in Cleveland in 1966. In fact, Scott, who was the only full-time popular music critic on a major US newspaper at the time, has also been described as the “first rock critic.” She wrote about the Who and Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, Live Aid and Lollapalooza, in a career as a critic lasting more than four decades. She also played a supportive role in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, America’s museum of popular music, to Cleveland in ...