Music Executive Joe Smith Gives 200 Audio Interviews To U.S. Library

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Library of Congress. (Credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Library of Congress. (Credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired music executive Joe Smith is donating more than 200 audio interviews with popular singers including Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and others to the Library of Congress.

The gift being announced Monday includes interviews Smith recorded over two years while president of Capitol Records/EMI. He compiled the candid oral histories for his book, “Off the Record,” published in 1988.

Now they have been digitized by the world’s largest library and will be available to researchers in Washington. Some recordings will be streamed on the library’s website later this year.

Librarian of Congress James Billington says Smith is providing an intimate look into the lives of some of the great musicians.

The 84-year-old Smith says he wanted to preserve part of the nation’s cultural history.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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