CENTER FOR POPULAR MUSIC 88‑058
W.O. SMITH (1917-1991)
4 audio cassette tapes (TCA‑0088A/D)
Interviewer: Bruce Nemerov, audio archivist,
Center for Popular Music,
W.O. Smith was born in
Smith later won a scholarship to N.Y.U. and
while a student there (1937-1942) he played string bass in several
Smith also recorded with a number of prominent jazz artists and is perhaps best known for his work on Coleman Hawkins' "Body and Soul" recorded ca. 1939.
In 1952 he moved to
Smith was interviewed by Center audio specialist Bruce Nemerov in August 1989. During the interview Smith talked about this musical education, both academic and from other players; various bands and groups with which he played in New York in the 1930s; recording “Body and Soul” with Coleman Hawkins; the influence of church music and classical music on jazz; his army service; differences between music of and treatment of black and white bands; his relationship with Bessie Smith to whom his father was married; his career as an arranger and the techniques thereof; ethnomusicology and African music; his work with the Nashville Symphony; and his outstanding students.