Only Stanley Dance currently rivals George T. Simon's longevity as a jazz writer. Simon played drums early on and even performed briefly with Glenn Miller's struggling orchestra in 1937, but writing was his true talent. As associate editor (1935-39) and then editor-in-chief (1939-55) of Metronome, Simon was probably the most important jazz commentator during the swing era, reporting news and evaluating (usually with great accuracy) the talents of hundreds of big bands, musicians and singers. After leaving Metronome, he was involved with the Jazztone Society (1956-57), was a consultant for the Timex Jazz Shows, and wrote about jazz for the New York Herald Tribune (1961-64) and the New York Post (1980-81). Simon produced recordings for several major labels; he was open-minded enough to write the liner notes for Thelonious Monk's 1963 big band concert, and remained semi-active into the late '90s. His books The Big Bands and Glenn Miller are essential; others include The Feeling of Jazz, The Best of the Music Makers and Simon Says.
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