Music News

Jane Scott, "The World's Oldest Rock Critic," Dead at 92

Music writer Jane Scott, who covered just about every music legend you can think of during her 50-year tenure at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, died early Monday morning at age 92.

As a female music journalist, Scott was a pioneer. She was the only woman reporter at a Cleveland news conference with The Beatles in 1966, and over the next five decades, she wrote about everyone from Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. She predicted the latter would be "the next superstar" after seeing him perform live in 1975.

Born in Cleveland, Scott graduated from the University of Michigan in 1941, and began working for The Plain Dealer on March 24, 1952 -- around the time of the birth of rock and roll. She covered music until she retired in 2002, at the age of 82. She'd cemented her place as "the world's oldest rock critic" and had a large, loyal readership -- enough to make editors of The Plain Dealer back down after protests over their planned replacement of Scott in 1987.

And as this story in The Plain Dealer  points out, music legends loved her, too. She was reportedly serenaded by Bruce Springsteen, considered Paul McCartney a friend, and got a kiss on the cheek from Bob Dylan. Scott never married and never had children. She lived a life most music fans (and critics) could only dream of.

Scott, according to her niece, died following a long illness. Funeral services are pending.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea