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Interviews with the Rich and Famous: The Brant Mewborn Interview Collection

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The Brant Mewborn collection of interviews was recently processed, preserved, and cataloged.  This collection is a treasure trove of original interviews — conducted by Mewborn for his background research for various Rolling Stone articles, and for freelance pieces — with personalities of the 1970s and 1980s.

Brant Mewborn (1951-1990), a staff reporter and chief editor at Rolling Stone, conducted numerous interviews during this period with prominent people in the performing arts. Born and raised in North Carolina, he studied journalism, drama, and music, and possessed a profound knowledge of rock and roll music, its history and transformation, musicians and music groups and bands, and awareness of the current and old events in "show business" in general.

Always thoroughly prepared for each interview, and due to his genuine interest for his work and natural charisma, he was able to create an informal atmosphere that turned these recorded interviews into friendly conversations. The interviewees thus felt at ease and often revealed intimate thoughts and feelings, recounted anecdotes from their personal or professional life, expressed unrestricted opinions, and occasionally gossiped. Therefore, this collection of interviews depicts and presents a picture of the trends in show business, films, and popular music as well as the public’s preferences and tastes of the time.

These interviews are unique in their sincerity and informality: Cher comes across as a down to earth and smart woman, Peter Brown (personal assistant to Brian Epstein and the Beatles) provides “off the record” facts about the group, Ringo Starr displays arrogance and poor manners, artist Paul Cadmus chats about Andy Warhol, Frank Sinatra, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams, Tina Turner projects intelligence and civility, and so on.

This collection can be found under the collective title: Brant Mewborn Collection of interviews.

Among other outstanding personalities that granted Mewborn interviews were the playwright Tennessee Williams, the journalist and writer Tom Wolfe, actors Stacey Keach, Valerie Perrine, Stockard Channing, and Peter Gallagher, creators of famous rock operas Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, Andrew Lloyd-Webbee and Tim Rice, singers Dusty Springfield, Neil Sedaka and Annie Lennox, performers Madeline Khan, John Lennon’s son Julian Lennon, and many others.

It is also worth mentioning that in his preparations for interviews, Brant Mewborn used resources and collections amassed by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

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