A treasure trove of audio tapes of interviews conducted by Joe Jackson with actors, musicians, writers and politicians may soon be preserved in a digital format.
The veteran journalist has launched a crowd-funding campaign to save, and to enhance the sound quality, of more than 1,300 interviews contained on cassette tapes.
Among those who did in-depth interviews with the writer were Leonard Cohen, Richard Harris, Eartha Kitt, Joan Rivers, Glen Campbell, Dolores O’Riordan, Tom Murphy, Eamon Dunphy, Fr Brian D’Arcy and a wide range of politicians in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
The interviews were conducted from the mid-1980s over a 25-year period.
The interviews were published in Hot Press, the Sunday Independent, The Irish Times, and more than 100 broadcast on RTE Radio One’s Under The Influence series.
The journalist has been in contact with the National Library of Ireland, University College Dublin, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, USA, and Boston University about the preservation and archiving of the audio interviews for posterity.
He plans to digitise the interviews and place them on a website where the public would have full access to them.
Jackson told the Sunday Independent he was recovering from surgery some years ago when an RTE senior executive made remarks that prompted him to take action to preserve the recordings.
He said the executive told him: “Those tapes of interviews you did with some of the most important cultural and political figures of our time are important social documents. It would be a shame if those tapes ended up in a skip after you die.”
The link to Joe Jackson’s crowd-funding campaign is https://fundit.ie/project/the- joe-jackson-journalist-archives