The Great Gig in the Sky: Rolling Stone Turns 50

The Great Gig in the Sky: Rolling Stone Turns 50

By Daniel F.

50 years ago, on November 9, Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason founded Rolling Stone in San Francisco. Named after The Rolling Stones, “Rollin’ Stone” by Muddy Waters, and “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan,  Rolling Stone became the newspaper of the counterculture of the 60s. As Wenner said, “[Rolling Stone] is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces.”

In honor of Rolling Stone turning 50, here are some of the best articles from the magazine.


The Woodstock festival happened two years after the magazine was founded. Rolling Stone had to cover the iconic music festival. It would help make the magazine known as a premier music magazine.

Charles Manson  

The infamous Tate-LaBianca murders also happened two years after Rolling Stone was founded. Committed by Charles Manson’s “family,” Rolling Stone published a deep look into the cult featuring an interview with Manson himself. By chance, Manson died on November 19, 2017.

Patty Hearst Kidnapping

One of the articles that made Rolling Stone famous was the abduction of Patty Hearst. Kidnapped in 1974 by a left-wing terrorist group, Heart later joined the group and helped them commit crimes.

Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson wrote about politics for the magazine. He became known for his style of gonzo journalism, a style written without claims of objectivity and where he made himself a part of the story. Thompson first published his acclaimed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in the magazine. Thompson remained a contributing editor until his death in 2005.

John Lennon

John Lennon had a long history with the magazine. Lennon was very open during interviews with the magazine. Lennon supported Rolling Stone and gave the magazine credibility.

Rolling Stone is known for many famous lists. These include:

100 Greatest Rock N’ Roll Artists

A list that lists the greatest artists in rock music. From The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the Beastie Boys and R.E.M., the list chronicles the best rock acts since the genre began.

500 Greatest Albums

Rolling Stone issued a list of the best albums to have ever been made. Covering a wide variety of genres, the list showed how much music mattered to the magazine.

500 Greatest Songs

Similar to the 500 Greatest Albums, this list chronicles the best songs ever made. It also covered a wide variety of genres.

10 Best Movies of the Decade

Rolling Stone is also known for their coverage of movies with critic Peter Travers. This list chronicled what they thought to be the best movies of this century so far.

20 Best Lists of 2016

Finally, a list that shows the best lists of 2016. The list covers things like the best television shows ever made to the jokes that shaped modern comedy.

“Rollin’ Stone” taken from theo9593 on YouTube.

“Like a Rolling Stone” taken from BobDylanVEVO on YouTube.

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