A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

In the mid-1980s, a record exec­u­tive and for­mer DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were dis­ap­pear­ing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

So he decided to try to start record­ing inter­views with out­stand­ing musi­cians while they were in their prime. From 1985 to 1987, Smith sat down with many of the pop­u­lar music fig­ures of the 20th cen­tury, includ­ingElla Fitzger­aldBar­bra Streisand, Jerry Gar­cia, Tony Ben­nettBo Did­dley,Mick Jag­ger, Lit­tle Richard, Dick Clark, Burt Bacharach, Ruth Brown,David Bowie … the list goes on and on. It added up to more than 230 hours’ worth of con­ver­sa­tions. Smith says that Studs Terkel, the great author and oral his­to­rian, was a big inspi­ra­tion to the project.”

Read the full story at NPR.org.

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