Smith Ballew Interview
From a couple of reel to reels my cousin had... Smith Ballew tells stories from the heyday of his music career, the other musicians, recording dates etc.
There are five parts, about 30 minutes each.
Don't know much about the particulars of the interviews. Took place in Texas, perhaps in the mid to late 1960s and on at least two separate dates and locations (Temple U. being one).
Smith reminisces with a couple of fellows. They chat a bit about specifics and then spin a few 78s they've just been talking about. This is paired down from the original tape, with just one song between each bit of talking.
The interview is broken into five parts of roughly 30 minutes each. Not even sure if the sections are completely ordered as per the original production. There were two reel to reel tapes with different material on the left and right channels, both reel directions (i.e. four mono tracks worth of stuff per reel). Originally it was over five hours long. All of the spoken word has been left in but we trimmed out some of the songs. Probably better fidelity versions are available elsewhere.
One particularly fascinating bit is at the beginning of part three where SEGER ELLIS makes a special appearance... the first time the two had seen each other in 35 years.
The fidelity of the songs isn't fantastic but for anyone interested in Smith Ballew the crooner and band leader, as opposed to Smith Ballew the cowboy movie actor or aerospace executive, these interviews offer a window into the man and his music.
One of the gentlemen interviewing Smith and enthusiastically spinning some of his old records is Olin Carver. See this recollection by James Napier about Olin Carver, who became a close friend and champion of Smith Ballew in later years.
**If anyone out there has more knowledge
about the interview itself, the interviewers, dates etc.,
we would love to know more.
READ MORE ABOUT SMITH BALLEW!