Dick Cavett Archives Headed to Library of Congress

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Jimi Hendrix visits Dick Cavett

Talk show host Dick Cavett, who welcomed rock artists including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Sonny and Cher, the Byrds, John Sebastian, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles and Jefferson Airplane onto his TV program, is donating his considerable archives to the Library of Congress. The trove is said to include more than 2,000 episodes of The Dick Cavett Show, which aired from 1968 to 1995.

The announcement, made on Nov. 4, specifically noted Cavett’s legendary on-air interview with John and Yoko. Other guests who sat for extended conversations with Cavett included Muhammad Ali, Orson Welles, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Jerry Rubin, Woody Allen, Bobby Fischer and Groucho Marx. Cavett hosted more than 5,000 guests in all.

One famous rock-related episode took place on Aug. 19, 1969, immediately following the 1969 Woodstock festival in upstate New York. David Crosby and Stephen Stills and Jefferson Airplane were joined by Joni Mitchell, who never made it to the festival (she supposedly was afraid she’d miss the taping if she got caught in traffic leaving the festival) but wrote the now-iconic “Woodstock” anthem. The Airplane’s performance of “We Can be Together” is said to be the first time that the word “fuck” made it past the censors on a network television program. Stills sang “4+20” live on the show, Mitchell sang :The Fiddle and the Drum” and Crosby joined the Airplane on their “Somebody to Love.”

Watch an excerpt of John and Yoko’s 1971 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show

Jimi Hendrix was also slated to be on that episode but was unable to make it on time, as his Woodstock set didn’t take place until that Monday morning.

Related: Jimi Hendrix on The Dick Cavett Show

In a statement, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said that Cavett “turned interviewing into an art form,” while Cavett, who is now 80, stated that he’s thrilled that his collection will be housed in the library.


Watch Jefferson Airplane and David Crosby sing “Somebody to Love” on The Dick Cavett Show

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