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Joe Smith
Joe Smith
photo: Sandy Gibson

The Joe Smith Collection at the Library of Congress

More than 25 years ago, retired music executive Joe Smith accomplished a Herculean feat—he got more than 200 celebrated singers, musicians and industry icons to talk about their lives, music, experiences and contemporaries. In 2012 Smith donated this treasure trove of unedited sound recordings to the nation’s library.

The Joe Smith Collection contains over 225 recordings of noted artists and executives and is a veritable who’s who in the music industry. They include Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, 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...more

Finding Aid for the Joe Smith Collection

(includes descriptions of manuscript material and other items that must be accessed on site at the Library of Congress).

AUDIO from the collection

Disclaimer:  The audio interviews presented here are complete, unedited reproductions of the original tapes donated to the Library of Congress by Joe Smith. Some contain adult language and touch on mature themes such as drug use and sexuality. They are presented as part of the record of our culture. They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of the time in which they were recorded. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these recordings, which may contain content offensive to users.

Tony Bennett 09-27-1987     full interview  
David Bowie 04-19-1988 preview preview full interview  
Ruth Brown 01-29-1988 preview full interview
 
Dave Brubeck 08-07-1986     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
Burt Bacharach 03-21-1986     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
Ray Charles 06-03-1987     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Dick Clark 02-14-1986 preview preview full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt.2
Natalie Cole 08-21-1987 full interview  
Bo Diddley 04-28-[1986-1988?] preview preview full interview  
Ahmet Ertegun 04-12-[1986-1988?]     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Peter Frampton 04-28-[1986-1988?] preview   full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Milt Gabler 06-09-[1986-1988?] preview preview full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 3
full interview, pt. 2
full interview, pt. 4
Ellie Greenwich 04-02-1986 preview preview full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Herbie Hancock 04-17-[1986-1988?]     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 3
full interview, pt. 2
George Harrison 02-12-1988     full interview  
Mickey Hart 02-12-1988     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
Mick Jagger 07-18-1986     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
B.B. King 09-05-1986     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
George Martin 09-05-[1986-1988?]     full interview  
Paul McCartney 10-22-1987 preview preview full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Graham Nash 05-09-[1986-1988?]     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Yoko Ono 10-07-1987     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
Joe Perry & Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) 01-01-1986     full interview, pt. 1 full interview, pt. 2
Little Richard 06-22-1988 preview preview full interview  
Linda Ronstadt 04-23-1986     full interview, pt. 1
full interview, pt. 2
Note on sound quality:
Joe Smith made the recordings above as an audio notebook that was primarily intended to allow him to transcribe the interviews. He recorded on a cassette recorder, not professional recording equipment. As such, you may notice distortion, dropouts, and uneven levels in this audio. Occasionally speakers are off mic. It has been minimally processed to allow the audio to be preserved in a state as close to that in which it was received.

 

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  April 28, 2016
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