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Playlist: Howard Smith

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images Credit:
Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images
Curated Playlist

Legendary journalist Howard Smith passed away on May 1, 2014.

Here are some of his stories.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Love

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 06:28

"It's all true folks; all you need is love" - John Lennon. From 1969 - 1971, the journalist Howard Smith interviewed Lennon and Yoko Ono five times. Smith was there right before and after the Beatles broke up, and John Lennon embarked on a solo career with the love of his life. In total Howard Smith recorded 9 hours worth of interviews with the couple. What we’re focusing on is one subject that came up throughout the conversations: love.

Johnlennon_yokoono_square_small "It's all true folks; all you need is love" - John Lennon. From 1969 - 1971, the journalist Howard Smith interviewed Lennon and Yoko Ono five times. Smith was there right before and after the Beatles broke up, and John Lennon embarked on a solo career with the love of his life. In total Howard Smith recorded 9 hours worth of interviews with the couple. What we’re focusing on is one subject that came up throughout the conversations: love.

Jim Morrison on Why Fat is Beautiful

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 04:39

"What's wrong with being fat? That's what I want to know. Why is it so onerous to be fat?" - Jim Morrison

Interview by Howard Smith | TheSmithTapes.com | Los Angeles, 1969

Jim_morrison_square_small Watch the animated version of this interview created with PBS Digital Studios @blankonblank.org

Janis Joplin on Rejection

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 04:31

"In my insides, it really hurts if someone doesn't like me. It's silly." - Janis Joplin. Interview by Howard Smith. This was the last interview she ever did. It was recorded on September 30, 1970--four days before she died.

Janis_joplin_square_small "In my insides, it really hurts if someone doesn't like me. It's silly." - Janis Joplin. Interview by Howard Smith. This was the last interview she ever did. It was recorded on September 30, 1970--four days before she died.

Howard Smith interviews Joe Cocker 11/21/1969

From Ezra Bookstein | Part of the The Smith Tapes series | 03:38

Howard Smith's interview with Joe Cocker, Nov. 21st, 1969. Riding on his new success from Woodstock, Cocker and his band return to the US for a quick tour-this interview coinciding with a performance at the Fillmore East.

Tst It’s November 21st , 1969. After a long summer of playing music festivals around the States, Joe Cocker topped it off with his iconic performance at Woodstock. He’s been touring with long-time cohorts, the Grease Band, but this collaboration will soon be coming to an end. In 2 months, Cocker will return to the US with a new backing band led by Leon Russell. The legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour will play 48 cities in 59 days and the live album from it will be one of Cocker’s best.

Howard Smith interivews Mick Jagger 10/20/1969

From Ezra Bookstein | Part of the The Smith Tapes series | 02:49

Howard Smith's interview with Mick Jagger, Oct. 20th, 1969. The Stones have just arrived in the US for a historic tour, which ends at the infamous free concert at Altamont Speedway.

Tst

3 days ago, Mick Jagger arrived in Los Angeles from London sick with Tonsillitis.

It’s October 20th , 1969. Next week, the Rolling Stones will be rehearsing for   their upcoming American tour. But this week, they’re at Elektra Studios finishing work on their seminal album, Let It Bleed. Among other things, they’re recording Merry Clayton’s famous background vocals on Gimme Shelter.

This tour will mark the first time the band ever performs the song live and it will immediately become a Stones’ classic.

Howard Smith interviews Dennis Hopper & Peter Fonda 6/1969

From Ezra Bookstein | Part of the The Smith Tapes series | 03:16

Howard Smith's interview with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda-their first since arriving back in the US following Easy Rider's premiere at Cannes.

Tst

It’s June 1969, and “Easy Rider” just premiered at the Cannes film festival. It was a huge hit there and won the “First time director’s award.”

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda flew back to the States and came to meet Howard Smith to give their first American interview.

In a few weeks, the film will open in theatres across the country and instantly become an iconic film, be nominated for 2 Academy Awards, and take in

  $41 million dollars at the box office.

Howard Smith interviews Pete Townshend 6/8/1970

From Ezra Bookstein | Part of the The Smith Tapes series | 03:56

Howard Smith's interview with Pete Townshend, June 8th 1970. The day before, the Who performed 2 shows of Tommy at the Met.

Tst It’s June 8th , 1970, and Howard Smith is sitting down with Pete Townshend to discuss, among other things, the Catch-22 of discussing one’s art. In this conversation it becomes evident that Townshend is maturing both personally and artistically, able to articulate his experience being a rock star with thoughtful perspective. This conversation finds him the day after the Who kicked off a 30 day American tour with 2 performances of Tommy last night at the New York Metropolitan Opera House.

Howard Smith interivews Eric Clapton 10/24/1970

From Ezra Bookstein | Part of the The Smith Tapes series | 02:56

Howard Smith's interview with Eric Clapton, Oct. 24, 1970. Clapton's new band, Derek & the Dominos, will play the Fillmore East immediately following the interview.

Tst  By the time of this interview, Clapton had already been in eight bands, including the Yardbirds and Cream . His new band, Derek & the Dominos , was the first in which Clapton took the leadership role. They discuss this challenge, how Clapton recently learned to sing and the corrupting influence of money. Immediately following this interview, Derek & the Dominos are playing the Fillmore East- recorded live and released as the band's 2nd and final album In Concert.