The Katz Tapes at Northeastern Archives and Special Collections
"The Katz Tapes" was a blog created by Larry Katz in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018 Larry Katz published posts reflecting on and transcribing some of the recorded interviews he conducted with many musicians over the course of his career as a music reporter for several Boston area newspapers. You can learn about the course of Katz’s career in his own words on the "About Larry Katz" page.
In 2020 Katz donated the recordings of his interviews to the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections. This version of the Katz Tapes Blog replicates the content of Larry Katz’s original site as much as possible with the notable exception that links to the newly digitized interviews have been added throughout. To browse the full digitized collection please visit the "Browse the Tapes" page.
- D.J. Fontana (1997)D.J. Fontana etched his place in rock and roll history playing drums for Elvis Presley. He was more than just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Original Interview Audio: The staff drummer for the Louisiana Hayride TV show when he first backed Elvis in 1954, Fontana was a killer on […]
- Jay Geils (2005)Jay Geils made his mark playing blues and his fortune playing rock and roll. But his first love was jazz. Jay—who died on April 11, 2017 at age 71—made that clear when I interviewed him at his split-level home in Groton ten days before a date at Tempo, a Waltham restaurant, to celebrate the […]
- Wilson Pickett (1999)“We didn’t go in there bullcrapping around. We meant business.” – Wilson Pickett Pop quiz: Name the top three greats of sixties soul. If you answer James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, you won’t get much of an argument from anyone. But who comes next on the […]
- Dan Penn (1995)Dan Penn is far from famous, but most everyone – at least most everyone of a certain age – knows his work. Penn produced the Box Tops’ immortal “The Letter” and co-wrote a clutch of stone soul classics (“Dark End of the Street,” “Do Right Woman,” “I’m Your Puppet,” “Cry Like A Baby,” “Sweet […]
- Chubby Checker (2003)Chubby Checker believes he deserves more than just a plaque in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He wants what he insists is his just due: a 30-foot tall statue on the plaza in front of the Hall of Fame building in Cleveland. Original Interview […]
- David Bowie (1995)When liver cancer killed David Bowie on January 10, 2016, he had made sure the world would be thinking about his art as well as his death. Original 1995 Interview Audio: His musical, “Lazarus,” opened off-Broadway on December 7; his final album, “Black Star,” appeared two days before he died; in between the show […]
- Lloyd Price (1998)Lloyd Price is angry. His anger comes through on almost every page of a new memoir as idiosyncratic as its title: “sumdumhonkey.” Original Interview Audio: In it, you will find stories about Price’s musical career, such as how he came to record of one of the first rock and roll records, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy, […]
- John Trudell (1992)“…an Indian is someone you rob, someone you steal from.” If you’re into “Serial,” “The Jinx” or “Making of A Murderer,” check out “Incident at Oglala,” a 1992 documentary about Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist imprisoned for two murders there is reason to believe he did not commit. You will also meet John Trudell, […]
- Ted Hawkins (1994)“….I’m wringing wet with sweat, my throat’s on fire and my hand is aching. But I had to keep going…” “Cold and Bitter Tears – The Songs of Ted Hawkins” is a tribute album boasting no celebrity names. James McMurtry, Kasey Chambers and Mary Gauthier are probably the most recognizable of the Americana and country […]
- Allen Toussaint (1996)“If I was to say my joy, piano is first.” I loved Allen Toussaint before I knew who Allen Toussaint was. Original Interview Audio: In this, I’m sure I was not alone. My first exposure to Toussaint most likely came in 1960, when Ernie K-Doe ruled the Top Ten with “Mother-In-Law,” which Toussaint […]