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Daniel Zager

(b New York, Dec 18, 1928; d Feb 23, 2019). American writer. After attending the University of Missouri (1946–50) and Columbia University (1950) he worked for Prestige Records (1950–55). With Leonard Feather he collaborated on The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955), for which he was an assistant writer and editor, and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (1966), and he was an author with Feather of The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies (1976) and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999). Gitler wrote for such periodicals as Metronome, Jazz Magazine, Down Beat (of which he was an associate editor), and Jazz Times, produced film scripts on Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton for the US Information Service, and was a commentator for radio station WBAI, New York; he also taught at CUNY. Among his more notable writings is ...

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Robert Gannon

(b London). English writer. As a critic he has written on both jazz and classical music, providing articles for The Times and numerous jazz periodicals, and his wide knowledge in one field has often led to insights into the other. As well as being a regular contributor to Jazz Monthly and Jazz and Blues, he was editor of the latter from December 1956 until the journal’s demise in 1971. He contributed to Albert McCarthy’s Jazz on Record (1968) and thereafter wrote two further critical guides to the recorded repertory; the second of these, The Essential Jazz Records, i: Ragtime to Swing (1984, written with Charles Fox and Eric Thacker), places each of 250 selected recordings in its musical context and offers a detailed critical review. Harrison is the author of the major article on jazz in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (...

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Daniel Zager

(b Laramie, WY, 1909; d Brielle, nr Spring Lake, NJ, Nov 19, 1967). American writer. After graduating in 1930 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a degree in engineering he moved to Illinois, and from 1935 until the end of World War II he worked as an engineer in Chicago. He took a great interest in jazz recordings, and from 1935 to the 1960s he contributed a column entitled “The Hot Box” to Down Beat which contained important discographical and biographical material on jazz musicians. In the mid-1940s he also wrote for Esquire’s Jazz Book. Hoefer moved in 1951 to New York, where he provided material for the periodicals Metronome, Jazz, and Melody Maker; from 1958 to 1961 he was an editor of Down Beat. His writings are notable for their accuracy and unusual attention to detail.

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“Bix Beiderbecke,” “Bessie Smith,” The Jazz Makers...

Article

(well )

(b London, Feb 28, 1917; d Chichester, England, Aug 1, 1993). English writer. He taught himself to play saxophone and clarinet and worked in dance bands from 1930. After abandoning his career as a performer in 1935, in the late 1930s he formed the High Wycombe Rhythm Club and the Challenge Jazz Club. He was the jazz editor of Challenge in 1941–2 and worked as a commentator for the BBC’s program “Radio Rhythm Club” from 1942 to 1943; he continued to work occasionally in radio during the following decades. In 1942 he was a founder, with Albert McCarthy, of the journal Jazz Music (which he edited in 1944 and again from 1946 to the early 1950s) and from 1944 to 1946 he was the editor of a series of pamphlets entitled Jazz Music Books. Jones had a long association with Melody Maker, first as an editor with Rex Harris of “Collector’s Corner” (from ...

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Travis D. Stimeling

[Charles Stacy ]

(b Knoxville, TN, June 21, 1921; d Nashville, TN, March 7, 2012). American country music journalist, publisher, and promoter. Charlie Lamb reshaped the Nashville music industry’s business practices during the 1950s and 60s and promoted Nashville as an international music center. Lamb began his career in Knoxville, where, among other jobs, he booked artists to perform on radio station WROL and reported for the Knoxville Journal. After moving to Nashville in 1951, he joined Cash Box as a columnist and ad salesman and later formed the Charlie Lamb Agency to promote several top recording artists. Lamb was a founding member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Association and organized an annual DJ convention that brought thousands of disc jockeys to Nashville. In August 1956, Lamb founded Country Music Reporter (renamed Music Reporter in 1957), a trade paper that covered the Nashville music industry and offered expanded chart coverage for country singles and albums. Selling ...

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Caroline Polk O’Meara

(bc1966). American music critic and editor. He graduated from Yale University in 1988. He began writing at the Rolling Stone in the late 1980s, where he often covered hip-hop, country, and rock music. In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Light advised readers to pay closer attention to rap, pointing out that many artists had been critiquing urban violence well before the Rodney King beating. In 1993, Light left Rolling Stone to help launch the hip-hop magazine Vibe, where he was first the music editor before being promoted to editor-in-chief at the age of 26. During his six years at Vibe, Light helped the magazine demonstrate the appeal, profitability, and significance of hip-hop culture to both readers and advertisers. He left Vibe for Spin, staying there for three years as editor-in-chief. While Light was at Spin, the magazine, known for its coverage of alternative music, expanded its coverage of mainstream artists, reaching out to a broader audience. Since leaving ...

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Steve Smith

(Marc )

(b Chicago, Dec 26, 1950). American writer. He learned piano and flute as a child and pursued his formal education at Syracuse University (1970–72), Mills College (1972), and Roosevelt College (1973–5); he also studied boogie-woogie, swing, and blues piano with leading players in Chicago. In 1975 he embarked on his writing career, working for Down Beat (as associate editor, 1978–81), The Wire, Musical America, Tower Pulse!, the Village Voice, the Washington Post, Billboard, the New York Times Book Review, and Jazziz. He contributed scripts for jazz shows on NPR and held editorial positions at Guitar World (1982–3), Ear (1987–92), the JVC Jazz Festival program guide published by Tower Pulse! (from 1994), and Rhythm Music (1996–7). Mandel was a founder of the Jazz Journalists’ Association: in 1992 he became its president and in 1997 editor of its website, ...

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Brian Priestley

(John )

(b Camborne, England, April 17, 1920; d London, Oct 3, 1987). English writer. He became interested in jazz in the mid-1930s and established contact with record collectors such as Max Jones, Charles Fox, and Leonard Hibbs. In 1942 McCarthy and Jones founded the Jazz Sociological Society and became the editors of its journal, Jazz Music; from 1944 to 1946, to circumvent wartime rationing of paper, the journal was temporarily discontinued and instead a series of separate booklets entitled Jazz Music Books was issued. McCarthy then edited the short-lived Jazz Forum: Quarterly Review of Jazz and Literature (1946–7), and, with Dave Carey, compiled six volumes of a discography of jazz. From 1955 to 1972 he was editor of the influential periodical Jazz Monthly, which, in addition to its catholic coverage of jazz and blues, also included items on related topics such as the record industry; in March 1971...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(David )

(b Toronto, Nov 6, 1951). Canadian writer and photographer. He studied at York University in Toronto (BFA 1973) and worked as a contributor to Coda (1973–6, 1988), DownBeat (as its Toronto correspondent, 1975–92), and Jazz Forum (as its Canadian correspondent, 1977–90), as well as writing on jazz for other periodicals; in 1978 he became the jazz critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail. Having served as a subject editor on jazz and English-language popular music for the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1981), he was one of its associate editors for the second edition (1992). Miller has also written liner notes, notably providing the overview and notes for Radio Canada International’s Anthology of Canadian Jazz (1991), and has published many of his photographs of jazz musicians. Throughout his career he has concentrated on jazz musicians and the development of jazz in Canada, and he is the author of two collections of biographical essays and a history of the early years of jazz in Canada....