For several years I’ve been working with a journalist, author, film-biographer and London tour guide(!) called Sandra Shevey. Sandra has written several books including The Other Side of Lennon and The Marilyn Scandal, had numerous articles published in magazines and newspapers and considers her specialist subject to be the life and work of Alfred Hitchcock who is also the subject of the location tours and walks she runs around London.
Sandra first got in touch with me as she was interested in making her vast archive of celebrity interviews available to the public via a YouTube channel. At the time Sandra was interviewing her subjects (mostly the 70s and 80s) the conversation would be recorded to cassette tape and referred back to when writing the article. While Sandra and I have worked on around 20 videos to date we barely scratched the surface of what she tells me is an archive of around 500 tapes spanning musicians, movie stars, directors and more.
One of the most viewed videos is Sandra’s interview with Priscilla Presley which was the first interview Elvis’s wife had given following the beginning of divorce proceedings. The audio was later written up and published i Ladies Home Journal. There have been several articles written on this rather rare audio coming to light including this one at Country Music Nation: https://countrymusicnation.com/hear-priscilla-presleys-very-first-interview-after-leaving-elvis
Many of the other interviews were also later written up into published articles while, for various reasons including changes of editors or general journalistic politics, other interviews remain unreleased to the public. Until now!
While there could have been several approaches to publishing the interviews on an online video platform including simply uploading the tapes in their entirety, Sandra was keen to offer only snippets, each accompanied by an introduction of her own thoughts, memories and assessments of the meetings with each of the various “megastars”.
As an engineer and pop-culture enthusiast, the desire to go through the tapes with a fine-tooth comb and cut together all the juicy bombshells that are no doubt hidden within was my first thought but it’s been interesting to see how Sandra’s channel has grown to over 75,000 views and which videos and celebrities have proven most popular.
You may notice that Sandra has opted not to allow comments on her videos - something we spent some time discussing. It was decided that the interviews should speak for themselves and not be subject to too much of the external opinion and even trolling the often occurs on social media.
Sandra still retains rights to the majority of her interviews and has expressed interest in publishing some of them in full, particularly her seminal interview with Alfred Hitchcock. Watch this space and perhaps there’ll be a new series on Radio 4 before long!
Sandra’s YouTube Channel can be found at Sandra Shevey Interviews.