LOS ANGELES (CelebrtyAccess) – Joe Smith, the veteran record executive who led three of the most historically important record labels during the heyday of the music industry, has passed away at the age of 91.
Smith was the head of Warner Bros. Records in the 1960s and into the 1970s. He moved to Elektra in the late 1970s and 1980s, and eventually joined Capitol Records in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Among the artists Smith was associated with during his more than four-decade-long career were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Jackson Browne, Queen, the Cars, Hank Williams Jr., Carly Simon, Judy Collins, and Motley Crue.
Smith was also widely recognized for his 1988 book, Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music, which featured major artist interviews with the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Elton John, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, and Neil Diamond.
Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Smith was a military man and a graduate of Yale. He got his start in the music business as a radio DJ in Boston.
No details on memorial plans have yet been announced.