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Music Collections - detail di_07334 Cactus Jack - Texans Farmers Dance

Music Collections

Since 1980 the Center for American History has actively acquired music resources as an integral part of its Texas history collections. These resources include approximately 30,000 phonographs of commercial recordings covering every genre of music from 1922 to the present produced by Texas record companies, performed or composed by Texans, or with a Texas theme. The Collection also includes 7,200 audio cassettes or reel tape recordings of speeches, programs, conferences, and oral history interviews. Music-related collections include sound recordings (phonodiscs, tapes, cassettes, and CDs), manuscript and printed sheet music, and visual materials such as photographs, videocassettes, and poster art. They include Texas western swing, Mexican–American music, black gospel, traditional folk styles such as German and Czech, and popular forms such as blues, rock, jazz, and ragtime. The development of the Texas music industry in the 1970s is documented in collections such as the Armadillo World Headquarters Records and the Soap Creek Saloon Archives. Also documented is the evolution of various Texas musical cultures and styles. Significant holdings include field recordings made in the 1930s by musicologist John A. Lomax, unique private recordings of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, the Lipscomb/Alyn Collection containing tape recordings of Grimes County blues master Mance Lipscomb, the Chris Strachwitz Collection of recorded South Texas Hispanic music from the late 1940s through the early 1950s, the collection of Houston record producer and promoter Huey "Crazy Cajun" Meaux, and the Townsend Miller Collection of 8,000 recordings of country music artists.

For more information, please contact the Center for American History at 512/495-4559 (FAX: 512/495-4542). Email: Write to: The Center for American History, Sid Richardson Hall 2.109, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712.

The Center continues to seek new collections for its Texas music program. For information about how to contribute collections or items to the Center's Texas music holdings, please contact John Wheat, Sound Archivist at the Center for American History, 512/495-4559; email:

UT FOLKLORE CENTER ARCHIVES, ca. 1928–1981. (101 feet)

Manuscripts, publications, and sound recordings of Texas, American, and international folklore and music, including more than 2,000 reels of tape. Of special importance are the field recordings of folklorists John A. Lomax, William A. Owens, Américo Paredes, and others.

JOHN AVERY LOMAX FAMILY PAPERS, 1842, 1853–1986. (46 feet)

Manuscripts, correspondence, reports, notes, photographs, and sound recordings documenting the career and ballad-collecting efforts of Lomax and his family, including copies of commercial and field recordings. Rich in Anglo, African, and Mexican-American music of Texas.


Correspondence, notes, photographs, transcripts, and printed matter, plus more than 100 reels of oral history tapes and 14 phonodiscs documenting the life and music of Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota guitar master and singer.

ROD KENNEDY PRESENTS, INC., RECORDS, ca. 1947–1999. (43 feet)

Business correspondence, advertising and promotional literature, photographs, and other materials documenting the activities of Rod Kennedy Presents, Inc., in the creation of folk, gospel, jazz, and classical concerts and festivals around Texas.

HUEY P. MEAUX PAPERS, ca. 1946–present. (120 feet)

Business records, promotional materials, photographs, and other materials documenting the career of music producer and promoter Huey Meaux, as well as Don Robey's Duke / Peacock Records and other aspects of Texas Gulf Coast music history.

BILL BOYD PAPERS, 1930–1966. (4 feet)

Correspondence, clippings, business files and contracts, published and manuscript sheet music, posters, and photographs documenting Boyd's career as an RCA Victor recording artist and western movie star.


Business records, contracts, talent files, photographs, clippings, printed materials, and demonstration and promotional recordings documenting the activities of one of Austin's most famous music venues.

SOAP CREEK SALOON ARCHIVES, 1966–1985. (20 feet)

Business records, contracts, talent files, photographs, clippings, printed matter, posters, and audio and video recordings documenting the activities of another important Austin music venue.

TOWNSEND MILLER COLLECTION, ca. 1924–1989. (50 feet)

More than 8,000 commercial recordings, as well as biographical and discographical files, printed matter, posters, and photographs dealing mostly with American folk, country, and popular music, assembled by Austin music critic and columnist Townsend Miller.


The music library and archives of the legendary Fort Worth western swing band, assembled by its long-time banjoist, Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery.


Five thousand pieces of published popular, light-classical, and classical music collected as part of a major Southern history archive. Includes imprints from the Blackmar firm in New Orleans.

BOB JOHNSTON COLLECTION, ca. 1960–present. (50 feet)

Commercial recordings, studio masters, biographical materials, articles, correspondence, contracts, and photographs documenting the career of legendary "super-producer" Bob Johnston, whose long list of credits includes Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, and Aretha Franklin.

TOM WRIGHT COLLECTION, 1962–1994. (4 feet)

Photographic prints and negatives, recordings, correspondence, posters, memorabilia, and scrapbooks documenting Tom Wright's years as road manager and photographer for music groups such as The Who, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and the Faces, the Thunderbirds, Elvis Costello, and the Eagles. An extensive photographic and audio tape archive documents The Who's artistic evolution from 1967 to the early 1990s, including its landmark 1969 performance of the rock opera
Tommy in Detroit.

FOLKUS MUSIC COLLECTION, 1986–1996. (25 ft.)

Videocassettes featuring interviews and performances of Texas blues musicians, including Robert Shaw, Roosevelt "Grey Ghost" Williams, Lavada "Dr. Hepcat" Durst, H. L. "Blues Boy" Hubbard, T. D. Bell, Erbie Bowser, W. C. Clark, and many others. Also includes interviews with Rod Kennedy, B. B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Clifford Antone, as well as 2-inch audio tapes of studio sessions.


Master tapes of "Sound Alike" recordings, custom 45 rpm and LP releases of country and gospel music, live bluegrass festival recordings, and commercial jingles, produced by Curtis Kirk, owner and sound engineer of Tyler Publishing Co. and Custom Records.

ERIC GRAHAM VIDEO COLLECTION, 1980–1985. (111 video tapes & cassettes)

Production footage used in creating various music video clips for state, national, and international broadcast. Includes music of The Pool (Patrick Keel), Joe "King" Carrasco, and Omar and the Howlers.

CLAUDE MATHEWS COLLECTION, ca. 1930–1980. (12 feet)

Video and audio recordings, transcripts, film logs, photographs, correspondence, and other production materials for a video documentary on Kenneth Threadgill and the musical life at Austin's Threadgill's Restaurant.

ROBERT N. SIMMONS COLLECTION, ca. 1962–1975. (60 tapes)

Recorded music and interviews dealing mostly with Texas music and musicians, including Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Doug Sahm, Texas western swing music, Don Robey's Duke & Peacock Records, etc.

ALLAN TURNER ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION, 1972–1982. (57 audiocassettes)

Oral interviews with performers of traditional Texas music, including conjunto, country and western, Czech and German, and blues. Interviewees include Mance Lipscomb, Robert Shaw, Clarence Garlow, Santiago Jiménez, Lydia Mendoza, Fred Zimmerle, Ray Baca, Adolph Hofner, Cliff Bruner, Ted Daffan, J. R. Chatwell, and others.

CHRIS STRACHWITZ COLLECTION, ca. 1948–1955. (330 phonodiscs)

78 rpm commercial recordings of South Texas Mexican-American popular music from the decade following World War II, including the earliest products of Latino-owned regional labels.

WILLIAM A. OWENS COLLECTION, 1937–1941. (60 phonodiscs)

78 rpm copies of field recordings of Anglo, African, Mexican American, and Cajun music made in Texas and Louisiana for the University of Texas Extension Service. Tape copies also exist in the UT Folklore Center Archives.

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST (SxSW), INC., ARCHIVES, 1987–1997. (6 feet)

Printed programs, correspondence, registration materials, and press clippings documenting the annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. Also includes directories and materials on related music conferences.

TEXAS FOLKLIFE RESOURCES COLLECTION, 1940–1988. (89 tapes and logs)

Production materials for TFR documentary radio series, including its 1987 project, "Lift Every Voice: 50 Years of Texas Black Gospel."

HANK SINATRA MUSIC VIDEO COLLECTION, 1981–2000. (400 videocassettes)

Half-hour video productions of Austin acoustic musicians taped in performance in local clubs and in neighborhood settings and broadcast on Austin Community Television.

KERI LEIGH COLLECTION, 1969–1996. (8 ft.)

Recorded interviews, transcripts, videos, photographs, posters, draft manuscripts, and galleys used in the publication of Leigh's 1993 biography of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevie Ray: Soul to Soul. Also includes materials documenting Leigh's own music career.


Videocassettes featuring interviews, music, photographs, and other footage documenting the life and music of various blues and jazz musicians in Austin.

CARL VENTH PAPERS, 1923–1959. (19 feet)

Music manuscripts, publications, and papers of a German-born composer who spent his last thirty years in Texas and wrote several compositions based on Texas themes, notably his opera, "La Vida de la Misión."

LAWRENCE WEINER PAPERS, ca. 1960–present. (6 feet)

Manuscript and printed music, programs, reviews, correspondence, and recordings of works by a prolific composer now in residence at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi.

DELMER ROGERS COLLECTION, 1987–1995. (6 feet)

Student papers on a wide variety of topics written for Rogers' FA 360 courses ("Music in Texas" or "Music in North American Life") at the University of Texas at Austin.

NILES J. FULLER PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, 1985–1987. (326 color prints)

Photographic portraits of a wide range of Austin musicians, taken in the mid-1980s as a personal project by photographer Niles Fuller. Subjects also include journalists, producers, artists, and other music industry figures.


Exhibit prints created by Austin photographer Burton Wilson, a student of Russell Lee and house photographer for two key Austin music venues in the 1960s and 1970s: the Vulcan Gas Co. and the Armadillo World Headquarters. The photographs document the early careers of Willie Nelson, Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, and many others.

TEXAS POSTER ART COLLECTION, 1966–present. (approx. 1,300 pieces)

Posters and flyers documenting the musical and cultural life of Austin and other Texas communities, especially events at the Vulcan Gas Co., the Armadillo World Headquarters, Soap Creek Saloon, and Liberty Lunch. Artists represented include Gilbert Shelton, Jim Franklin, Michael Priest, Guy Juke, Nels Jacobson, and Frank Kozik.

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Supplemental List of Center for American History Music Collections

Alabama-Coushatta / Creek Songs and Legends -- mid-1930s

American Folk Music Recordings -- 78s from GSLIS

Harry Atwood Collection -- film scores

Kermit Baca interview -- Texas Czech music

Grace Bingham Photographs -- Austin music, 1970s - 80s

Julien Paul Blitz Papers

Bobby Bridger interview -- singer/songwriter

James Paul Buchanan Papers -- sheet music

John Burnett Collection -- Leadbelly, David Koresh

Jim Cartwright Collection -- 78 dubs

J. R. Chatwell Collection -- western swing fiddler

Alex Coke radio program -- jazz on KUT

"Johnny Copeland and Texas Blues" radio program -- NPR

Walter Cronkite Papers -- LPs

Henry Cummins Texas Fiddle recordings

Joe Warren Davis interview ("Buddy")

John T. Davis Collection -- music columns, T-shirts, etc.

Wm. Edward Shapard Dickerson tape: Alabama-Coushatta stories and song

Glen Dodson Collection -- country music recordings, bios

Danny Droves radio show -- KTAE Taylor

East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention recording

Daisy Elgin Papers -- Houston-born Met soprano

Evelyn Erickson recordings -- (Roky's mom)

Luther Evans Papers -- LPs, Library of Congress

"Fathers of Texas" Music Collection -- "sesquinnial" project

John Henry Faulk Papers -- LP collection

Kate Friend Music Collection

Gospel radio program -- WXOK, Baton Rouge

Alan Govenar Collection -- Texas folk music

Doug Hanners Collection -- cassette dubs

Leo Henscheid Papers -- sheet music

Tish Hinojosa interview -- KUT

Jerrold Hirsch lecture -- Lomax

Adolph Hofner recordings -- Czech/western swing bandleader

Carroll Hubbard recordings -- western swing fiddler

Janis Joplin programs -- retrospective

Hedwig Thusnelda Kniker Papers -- carillon

Mance Lipscomb Collection (not Glen Alyn)

P. K. Martin Collection -- Watt Stephenson

Mildred P. Mayhall Papers -- incl. Indian dances

Huey P. Meaux interview -- Houston producer "Crazy Cajun"

Marian P. Michael Collection -- stories, songs of father

Ginger Miles Collection -- radio productions

Robert Muczynski Music Collection -- composer's recordings

"La Música Norteña" radio program -- conjunto documentary

North Dallas Democratic Women's Club Program -- ("Pol. Paranoia")

W. Lee O'Daniel Radio Speeches -- with music

Orange, Texas, Community Band 150th Concert (1986)

William A. Owens Collection -- field recordings of Texas folklore

"Los Pastores" Mexican Nativity Pageant recordings -- San Antonio, 1893

Minnie Stevens Piper Music Collection

Presidio, Texas, Tri-Centennial recordings -- including mariachi Mass, 1983

John Prude interview -- Lomax cowboy informant

Gene Ramey Collection -- Austin-born jazz bassist

Sam Rayburn Public Affairs Symposium (ETSU, Commerce) -- recordings

Loose Reed Collection -- Fla./TX r & b, rock band

Joshua Rifkin interview -- Scott Joplin

Frances Rodgers Country Music Collection

Round Top, Texas, Independence Day Celebration(1985) -- oompah music

Kerry Rusch Collection -- blues/rock 1960s

Sabor del Pueblo radio programs -- Texas-Mexican music and culture

Kurt Sager Music Collection -- LPs

Saturday at the Shamrock -- Houston-based national radio variety show

Scrapbooks: "Texas Music" (1930-1940)

Robert Shaw Collection -- TX barrelhouse piano

Gilbert Shelton interview 1985

Southwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention recordings 1985

Lillian Standfield Collection -- Kerrville singer/songwriter

Tejano Music radio program -- (KUT)

Texas Barrel House Piano program 1987

"Texas Blues" program -- UT Forum series, KUT/LRN

Texas Fahrten performance recording -- Texas German music drama

Texas Heritage Music Series: Gary P. Nunn interview

Texas Music Educators Association Records

Texas Swing Music Sampler -- Knight & Sternberg

Ernest Othmer Thompson Papers -- recordings

Floyd Tillman / Clyde Brewer interview -- country music

Arturo Toscanini Society Records -- Amarillo/Dumas-based; printed matter

UT Littlefield Society Program -- Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt, 1992

UT Radio House Records -- 16" discs; 1936-1953

UT Sing-Song, 1953

Beulah "Sippie" Wallace interview -- Houston-born blues pioneer

Carnes Weaver Orchestra recording -- UT, late 1930s

Dana White Collection -- recordings, posters

Lanny Wiggins recordings 1961

Bob Wills Music Collection -- Tiffany transcriptions, late 1940s

Mariann Wizard Papers -- recordings

Harriet "Hally" Wood Collection -- American folk music

Ralph W. Yarborough Papers -- LPs, especially gospel

Henry Young Collection -- radio shows