My Next Read: “The Life and Writings of Ralph J. Gleason: Dispatches from the Front” by Don Armstrong

Discover the enthralling world of Ralph J. Gleason, a pioneering music journalist who expanded the possibilities of the newspaper music column, sparked the San Francisco jazz and rock scenes, and co-founded Rolling Stone magazine. Gleason not only reported on but influenced the trajectory of popular music. He alone chronicled the unparalleled evolution of popular music from the 1930s into the 1970s, and while doing so, interviewed and befriended many trailblazers such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles. A true iconoclast, he dismantled the barriers between popular and highbrow music, and barriers separating the musical genres. He played a crucial role in shaping postwar music criticism by covering all genres and analyzing music’s social, political, and historical meanings. This book uncovers never-before-seen letters, anecdotes, family accounts, and exclusive interviews to reveal one of the most intriguing personalities of the 20th century.