New Online Collection From Library of Congress: Joe Smith’s Recorded Interviews with Music Icons
In 1988, John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono gave a candid interview to record-label president Joe Smith about the Beatles’ split: “For John, it was a divorce. I think he was feeling very good about it, as if a big weight was off him.” Ono was among more than 200 celebrated performers, producers and industry leaders whose words Smith captured on audiotape more than 25 years ago in an effort to document the oral history of popular music.
In June 2012, Smith donated the collection of recordings to the Library of Congress—a tremendous assembly of primary-source oral histories covering perhaps the most important 50 years of popular music, nationally and internationally. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Library will make a series of these revealing, unedited recordings available for listening free to the public on its website at www.loc.gov/rr/record/joesmith/. The first group of recordings posted on the site will consist of 25 interviews. These include interviews with Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bo Diddley and Linda Rondstadt. More recordings in the Smith collection will be added to the site over time.
All types of popular music are represented in the collection—from rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, rhythm & blues and pop to big-band, heavy metal, folk and country-western. The list of noted artists and executives is a veritable who’s who in the music industry. Among them are Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Little Richard, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Sting, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, James Taylor, Dick Clark, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, B. B. King, Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Mickey Hart, Harry Belafonte and many others.
Smith’s 40-year career in the industry gave him unique entrée and for about a two-year period, he interviewed the biggest names in music. In 1988, he published excerpts from his interviews in the groundbreaking book “Off the Record” (Warner Books).
Direct to Joe Smith Recorded Interviews Collection (Library of Congress)
Read the Complete Announcement
See Also: Library of Congress Acquires Large Collection of Recorded Interviews With Music Superstars (June 18, 2012)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.