Down beats and rolling stones

the American jazz press decides to cover rock in 1967


  • Matt Brennan University of Stirling



jazz journalism, popular music journalism, Down Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine


This article explores the relationship between jazz and rock criticism in 1967, and in particular, the relationship between the American publications Down Beat and Rolling Stone. It examines the motivations of jazz publications like Down Beat and Jazz to start covering rock music in the summer of 1967, and how such coverage worked in practice. It then focuses on Jann Wenner and the birth of Rolling Stone, taking into account how other magazines, both music-focused and otherwise, influenced Wenner’s conception of what would eventually become the most authoritative rock magazine in the world.

Author Biography

Matt Brennan, University of Stirling

Matt Brennan teaches popular music at several universities in Scotland and is a doctoral candidate in Film and Media Studies at the University of Stirling. His thesis is a comparative history of the rise of jazz and rock journalism. Department of Film & Media Studies University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland, UK


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How to Cite

Brennan, M. (2004). Down beats and rolling stones: the American jazz press decides to cover rock in 1967. Popular Music History, 1(3), 263–284.