Joe Smith

Retired Music Executive

More than 25 years ago, Joe got more than 200 celebrated singers, musicians and industry icons to talk about their lives, music, experiences and contemporaries. Those interviews appeared in a book, Off the Record. Then In 2012 Smith donated this treasure trove of unedited sound recordings to the Library of Congress.

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Joni Mitchell on Illusions

"I was young for my age. Not as naïve as they expected. I don't know why I seem to bring that out in people."

Lou Reed on Guns and Ammo

"I write a song called 'Heroin', you would have thought that I murdered the Pope or something"

B.B. King on The Blues

"I don't like to feel that I owe anything. I like to feel that I pay my own way, no free lunch."
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David Bowie on Ziggy Stardust

"If it’s wearing a pink hat and a red nose, and it plays a guitar upside down, I will go and look at it."
Stan Getz

Stan Getz on Wasted Years

“I’ve done some dastardly things but what can I do except make amends and apologize?”
Ray Charles Interview

Ray Charles on Singing True

"If somebody don’t like something that I do, that’s his or her prerogative. Just like it’s mine."