Monday, December 10, 2012

Audio Interviews with Popular Music Icons

Retired music executive Joe Smith has donated his collection of over 200 interview recordings with popular music artists and moguls to the Library of Congress in Washington who have turned it into a digital resource. The collection was put together by Smith over two years whilst he was president of Capitol Records/EMI. There are 238 hours of unabridged conversations with artists from all popular music genres talking about their lives, music, experiences and contemporaries. Bob Dylan's thoughts on the 1960s, the creation of the first Les Paul guitar in 1929 and the culture of work in Motown are some of the excerpts to eavesdrop on.

Smith made all of his recordings on cassette tape and the library have kept any modifications to a minimum to allow the distortion and dropouts in the audio to be    preserved. With 50 years of the cassette past, this resource is interesting not only for its content but for its retro format and the endeavoring of the Library of Congress to preserve the original, tinny sound quality.