KTRU Tuesday: Project Update

The KTRU digitization project has been humming right along. Thankfully, there were few tapes suffering from sticky shed over the past year. KTRU generally used good tape until the early 1980s.


Then, a few AMPEX Pacific Stereo 1800 tapes popped up. Starting in 1985, all of a sudden the tapes switched to AMPEX 406. When either of these are played on our OTARI, the machine starts to squeal and slows down to a crawl or just stops. As an added bonus, the tapes leave behind a sticky black residue.


The tape on the left suffers from sticky shed, while the one on the right is nice and shiny, if a bit wrinkled.

There are currently 49 tapes from the original KTRU donation that will need to be sent out to professionals to bake and digitize.

This does not include a new batch of tapes that we picked up a couple of weeks ago. There were five boxes worth of tapes, small and large, still hanging out at KTRU. Of those five boxes, two have sticky shed tapes. The new issue with these is that it is unclear what if any information is on these reels. So we’ll have to test a few of the tapes to determine if they contain any content and if the content warrants digitization.

Beyond the sticky shed issue, the last five boxes of the KTRU tapes are undated. So far, Dr. William Masterson used his bullhorn to speak to students, Tom Russell and Nanci Griffith sang a duet at Anderson Fair, and Houston residents addressed city council about the Memorial Park drilling issue. Now, the new task is not just describing these new tapes, but also dating them.

Stay tuned for more updates and more audio clips. Also, the KTRU finding aid/inventory contains detailed descriptions for the tapes from 1962-1985. It will be frequently updated.


Memorabilia Monday: Football Tickets

These 1939 season tickets come from Milo W. Ford, Jr.’s scrapbook.




Sadly, the 1939 season was not a stellar one for the Owls. Here are the schedule results.

Images from: Rice University scrapbook collection, 1907-1985, UA 230, Box 11, Rice University Archives, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Thank you…But

In honor of World Gratitude Day comes a little bit of gratitude from The Rice Thresher staff on September 25, 1959.


For those interested in the car wash, Melissa Kean wrote a quick post on the one mentioned in the article or a later incarnation.

KTRU Tuesdays: George Rupp

After being selected as the new president, but before his inauguration, Dr. George Rupp did an interview with KTRU. As part of the segment, “Personality of the Week,” Dr. Rupp discusses his future plans for Rice.

Image from: “Dr. George E. Rupp.” (1987) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/64057.

J. Frank Dobie Rare Books


While these two J. Frank Dobie books are not rare per se and can easily be purchased on Amazon, their covers are.



First, this version of The Mustangs features a pinto horse hide cover, original drawings by the artist, and is numbered.





The copies of Cow People are two of 15 with a cover made from unborn calf. The differences come from the author signatures.







KTRU Tuesdays: Sexual Orientation Ordinance Debate

Though the reel is labeled the “Project 91.7 Affirmative Action Debate,” the title is a bit misleading. This debate took place a few days before a Houston referendum on adding the phrase “sexual orientation” to a non-discrimination ordinance.

David Phillips moderates District C City Councilman George Greanias and Methodist Minister Bill Oliver on the pro side and on the other District F City Councilman John Goodner and Episcopal Minister Albert Walling. The con side was also joined by Bill McGlashen of the Committee for Public Awareness. The debate was produced by Stan Barber with assistance by Jeff Matthews and Mike Gladu.

Here are larger images of the Thresher article on the debate.



Here is Texas Monthly’s take on the debate a few months earlier.

Images from: The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 72, No. 17, Ed. 1 Friday, January 18, 1985

Memorabilia Monday: 1916 Class Ring


Hattie Lel Red was the first woman to register and graduate from the Rice Institute. While this is speculation, she was probably the first to have a class ring.




The inside inscription

Here she is at the first commencement with Dr. Stockton Axson, Dr. Griffith C. Evans, Ed M. Dupree (the first man to register), and Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett.



KTRU Tuesdays: John Cage

On April 12, 1983, the avant-garde composer John Cage sat down with an interviewer from KTRU. That very day he was giving a free concert of his own works with The Shepherd School of Music‘s SYZYGY, as well as reading his poetry.

In this interview, Cage discusses his diet, travelling, his educational background, being a tour guide, his current work, following Arnold Schoenberg, using chance when composing, and his current chance techniques.

If you recognize the interviewer, please let us know.

Image from: The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 70, No. 27, Ed. 1, Friday, April 8, 1983

Memorabilia Monday: Juliette Huxley’s Diaries


Juliette Huxley’s diaries are not her confessional journals, but rather her daily planners. From 1950 to 1987, she bought roughly the same planner. She relied mainly on two vendors one being Mudie’s “Bond Street Diary” and the other Frank Smythson’s “Wafer” Book Diary. She only bought two diaries from other companies over 37 years.

Below are various entries. The best is from 1987 one of her last: “deserted home – Amen.”





In case, you want to see the woman in action.


Juliette Huxley in barrell, Gonzalez Byass bodega, Spain.” (1957) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/77495.

Images from: Juliette Huxley papers, 1895-1994, MS 474, Box 13, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Generic KTRU Radio Shift


While it’s unclear why someone saved this reel, it does provide a glimpse of the music DJs played in 1984.



Here is the DJ that probably created that playlist.


David Chase, 1981 Campanile

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