George Thomas Simon (May 9, 1912 – February 13, 2001) was an American jazz writer and occasional drummer. He began as a drummer and was an early drummer in Glenn Miller's orchestra.[1] He wrote about that orchestra in 1974 with Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, known for being the most comprehensive writing on Glenn Miller and his big band.

Life and workEdit

Simon was born and died in New York City, New York. Simon was born into a wealthy and talented family. Not only was his father wealthy, but his brother, Richard L. Simon, was the co-founder of the American publishing house Simon & Schuster, and the singer-songwriter Carly Simon is one of his nieces. He graduated with a BA from Harvard College in 1934, and began working for the music magazine Metronome the following year. He became editor-in-chief of Metronome from 1939 to 1955[2] and shifted it, from writing technical articles, to being a chronicler of the swing era.[1] Simon was probably the most influential jazz commentator during the swing era. Thanks to his inside connections with the jazz world, he was able to report information about bands and their personnel with great accuracy. 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 and the New York Post newspapers. He also did liner notes for a variety of musicians, including Thelonious Monk who was stylistically quite different from the swing-era musicians Simon championed. In 1978, he won a Grammy Award for Best Album Notes.

He died of pneumonia in 2001, after years of suffering from Parkinson's disease. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame the following year (2002).

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • The Sinatra Report, 1965
  • The Big Bands, 1968
  • Simon Says: The Sights and Sounds of the Big Band Era, 1971
  • Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, 1974
  • The Best of the Music Makers, 1979[3]


  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 2, side A.
  2. ^ "Critics, Journalists, and Other Writers: George T. Simon", Christopher Popa,, 2009, webpage: BBL-GSimon.
  3. ^ "George Simon, 88, a Jazz Critic Who Reviewed The Big Bands"; retrieved May 5, 2009.

External linksEdit