Jack Kerouac, Music Journalist

Stephanie Nikolopoulos

When Jack Kerouac went off to Columbia University, he told people he was going to be a journalist.  His father, Leo Kerouac, was a printer in Lowell, who owned a print shop called Spotlight Print.  Leo handled printing for some of the big businesses in New England, and also did a bit of writing of his own.  This inspired Ti Jean, as little Jack was called.  He used to lay on the floor, creating his own little newspapers and comics.

In school in New York, first at Horace Mann prep school and then at Columbia, Kerouac contributed to the school newspapers.  The writing he did for the papers would best be described as music journalism.  He soaked in all the great 1940s bebop of Harlem and wrote jazz reviews.

There was no Pitchfork at the time.  Rolling Stone magazine wasn’t founded until 1967.  Even many of today’s popular jazz…

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