Houston Folklore and Music Society records

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As part of the Houston Folk Music Archive, we’ve processed a new collection documenting the long running Houston Folklore and Music Society.

Started in June 1951 by John Avery Lomax, Jr., Ed Badeaux, Howie Porper, Chester Bower, and Harold Belikoff, the Houston Folklore Society held their early meetings at the Jewish Community Center, the Downtown YMCA, and Hermann Park Pavilion. These meetings consisted of song swaps, folk dancing, and folk song concerts in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center. Early on, they also sponsored concerts by Lightnin’ Hopkins, Pete Seeger, Doc Watson, and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.

In April 1988, the society changed its name to the Houston Folklore and Folk Music Society. The group began using a shortened version of that name, the Houston Folklore and Music Society on a consistent basis in 1990, though the shortened name had been officially incorporated by July 1988.

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By June 1966, the society began publishing a newsletter that contained event information and articles about folk music. By 1968, the newsletter changed its name from the Houston Folklore Bulletin to the Cotton Patch Rag.

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Over the years, the society also began formalizing their events. During the 1980s, they held monthly pickin’ parties, which still continue. In 1980, they started hosting concerts, which turned into Second Saturday Concerts at the West University Community Center. These have continued to this day with a variety of national and regional folk musicians performing. Moreover, they hold meetings on the first Monday of the month at the Jewish Community Center, where the group handles business matters and runs a song circle.

For more information about the society, please visit their website.

Images from: Houston Folklore and Music Society records, 1951-2016, MS 668, Box 1, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

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