Joe Smith Donates Music Legend Interview Tapes To Library Of Congress
June 18, 2012 at 4:28 AM (PT)
Former WARNER BROS., CAPITOL/EMI, and ELEKTRA/ASYLUM Pres. JOE SMITH has donated his unedited tapes of interviews he conducted over 25 years ago with more than 200 singers, musicians and industry icons to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. The interviews, some of which formed the basis for his 1988 book "Off the Record," range from Big Band and Adult Standards figures like ARTIE SHAW, TONY BENNETT and WOODY HERMAN to STING and DAVID BOWIE, plus BOB DYLAN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, GEORGE HARRISON, DICK CLARK, TINA TURNER, LITTLE RICHARD, ELTON JOHN, HARRY BELAFONTE, RAY CHARLES, TOM JONES, PAUL SIMON, DAVID GEFFEN and many more. The LIBRARY OF CONGRESS has digitized the audio and will make them available in its CAPITOL HILL reading room and some will be added to its website later this year.
"The JOE SMITH Collection is an invaluable addition to the Library's comprehensive collection of recorded sound," said Librarian of Congress JAMES H. BILLINGTON. "These frank and poignant oral histories of many of the nation's musical icons give us unique insights into them as artists, entertainers and human beings. The world knows these great musicians through their songs, but JOE SMITH has provided us an intimate window into their lives through their own words.
"In recent years, it dawned on me that, if anything, the significance of recollections from JERRY LEE LEWIS, MICK JAGGER, SMOKEY ROBINSON, AHMET ERTEGUN, HERB ALPERT, RUTH BROWN and all the other notables I was fortunate enough to interview, are truly part of the fabric of our cultural history," said SMITH. "I wanted to share this treasure trove with any and all who might be interested. The LIBRARY OF CONGRESS is, clearly, the venue most appropriate and best equipped to do just that now and into the future. I hope that generations to come will benefit from hearing the voices of these brilliant artists and industry luminaries recounting their personal histories. I'm just thrilled that the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS has agreed to preserve and safeguard these audio artifacts."