She spent her career in print, but Jane Scott had a tremendous impact on radio and the music business via her long-running column in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. She retired in 2002 and has now died at age 92.
Scott was hired in a junior position at the Plain Dealer three days after Alan Freed’s The Moondog Coronation Ball at the Cleveland Arena, so she missed out on covering the event regarded as the first rock and roll concert. She didn’t miss much else.
The obituary in the Plain Dealer listed Paul McCartney as an “old pal” and that Bruce Springsteen serenaded her in one of his concerts. Small wonder, wince she had declared him “the next superstar” before most folks had heard of him. She and Brian Wilson sang “California Girls” together at a hotel lobby piano when she was interviewing the Beach Boys legend. The newspaper’s report of her death is filled with the names of rock legends who rubbed elbows with Scott over the years – at that just scratched the surface.
Not mentioned in the newspaper’s obit is that the Plain Dealer tried to replace her with a younger music critic in 1987, but the editors backed down after a huge public outcry. Scott went on and picked her own time to retire in 2002 after 50 years at the newspaper.