In the 1980s, record executive Joe Smith sat down with some of the biggest names in 20th Century music for some one-on-one interviews. In his informal chats with legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Paul McCartney, Jerry Garcia, Tony Bennett, Bo Diddley, Mick Jagger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, Smith captured these artists speaking candidly about their lives, influences, and experiences in the music industry.
For more than two decades, the original cassettes sat in a box in Smith’s garage. The original, unedited recordings of these interviews have now been digitized and are available for download from the Library of Congress. Though the sound quality occasionally leaves something to be desired, the insight into the minds of these musical icons is priceless.