“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 Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Garcia, Tony Bennett, Bo 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.