Memorabilia Monday: St. Patrick’s Day Tie

Looking around this morning for a holiday-themed post, I could only find a reference to Tom Kelley’s St. Patrick’s Day tie. Since the box wasn’t onsite, I made the assumption that inside the box there would be a necktie; thus, fulfilling the theme of this post.

Rather than seeing the object, we get a couple of views of Tom Kelley, an employee for Texas Eastern in March 1958 showing off his tie. Does it look homemade to you?

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Vince Bell collection

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ca. 1976

As part of the Houston Folk Music Archive, we’re happy to announce that the Vince Bell collection is ready for research. His collection contains lyrics, journals, photographs, fliers, audio and video, and business records related to album creation, promotion, and touring. Bell also donated quite a few books where he is featured, mostly books on Texas singer-songwriters.

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Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant, 1974

While the physical collection is available, the digital side will take a bit longer. Over the next few months, we’ll be adding digital files, mostly music, to this collection, as well as post his oral history online.

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Calendar drawn by Jean King from 1976 journal

For those not familiar with Bell, starting in 1970, he began playing folk music in clubs across Houston, including Sand Mountain Coffee House, the Old Quarter, Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant, as well as larger venues like Liberty Hall and local universities. He also went on to play the U.S. coffee house circuit.

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Rockefeller’s, 1979

In the mid-1970s, he spent his time living in both Austin and Houston forming bands and playing solo. In 1980, he worked on the rock ballet Bermuda Triangle with James Clouser for the Space/Dance/Theater. The ballet premiered in Houston at the Miller Outdoor Theater in May 1980.

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On European tour with Eric Taylor and Iain Matthews,  1990s

After recording in an Austin studio, on December 21, 1982, he was hit by a drunk driver. The accident damaged his right arm, caused a severe brain injury, and he had a partially paralyzed vocal chord. After the accident, he worked over the next decade to rebuild his life and play the guitar again. This led him to develop a unique picking style and to write new music for his singing voice.

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Austin City Limits: Step Inside This House, 2000. L to R: Guy Clark, Matt Rollings, Steven Fromholz, Sam Bush, James Gilmer, Viktor Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Michael Martin Murphy, Dan Tomlinson, Vince Bell, Eric Taylor, Gene Elders [?], and Pat Bergerson, photo taken by David Roth

In 1994, Bell released his first album, Phoenix, to wide critical acclaim. He went on tour with The Jayhawks throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He followed this up with, Texas Plates (1999), Live in Texas (2001), Recado (2007), and One Man’s Music (2009), and the DVD New Lamps for Old. His songs have been covered by Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Little Feat, Trout Fishing in America, among others.

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2000

He later chronicled his life in two independently published autobiographies, which were later re-published as one book entitled One Man’s Music: The Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell by University of North Texas Press.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Houston Folk Music Archive, please check out John Nova Lomax’s article.

KTRU Tuesdays: Super Bowl Logistics

On News Master 3 from 1974, there is an interview with an unnamed man talking about the upcoming Super Bowl. He lays out the logistics concerning the big game at Rice Stadium and even how much the NFL paid to use the space.

If you can identify the mystery voice, please let us know.

Image from: “Super Bowl 1974 football game at Rice University, aerial view.” (1974) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/75401.

KTRU Tuesday: Food for the Occupiers

On April 11, 1970, the students occupying Allen Center were hungry. Thankfully, KTRU News reporter, Paul Hlavinka, helped bring them food and drinks from Jack In The Box and Weingarten’s.

To read more about the Abbie Hoffman incident and the following occupation of Allen Center, you can consult the April 16, 1970 issue of the Thresher.

Image from: The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 57, No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 16, 1970

Memorabilia Monday: The Woodson Plaque

If you’ve noticed, we spiffed up the blog last week. The layout was showing some age.

Onto other things that aged, here is the original plaque for the Woodson Research Center.

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It sat in the old reading room above the card catalog. In the photo below, it’s below the clock and next to that computer. If you know what that computer is, we’d love to know.

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After the Woodson’s renovation, we replaced the plaque with this one.

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To learn more about the namesakes, at least Mr. Woodson, he has an informative Wikipedia entry.

Freshmen in the Archives

This semester members of the Woodson have worked closely with professors who teach Freshman Writing Intensive Seminars (FWIS). It has been a great experience and a wonderful way to introduce new students to primary sources.

Amanda Focke helped with Sophia Hsu’s FWIS class, “Literature and Public Health.” Hsu’s students worked on archival research projects that culminated in multi-media group presentations and papers. In particular, the students worked with the human anatomy engravings in one of our most popular Enlightenment era rare books, Diderot’s Encyclopedie (published 1751-1766). This would have been one of the first scientific views of the human body published for a general audience. The students considered the following questions. How accurate is it? What did we know about the human body at that time?

Student looking at "The Psychiatric Bulletin"

Student looking at The Psychiatric Bulletin

Students also explored the journal known as the Psychiatric Bulletin: for the physician in general practice (1950s), full of dramatic illustrations, as well as the role of Rice Institute in the development of the artificial heart (late 1960s) as described in newspaper accounts. The students enjoyed the creative spark which using these fascinating primary sources gave to their writing tasks.

Norie Guthrie worked with two classes this semester: Burke Nixon’s “Medical Humanities: Literature, Medicine and the Practice of Empathy” and Dr. Andrew Klein’s “Popular Music and American Culture” course. Rice News did a wonderful write up about singer-songwriter Vince Bell visiting Nixon’s class.

For Dr. Klein’s class, singer-songwriter Richard Dobson spoke to the students about how he became a songwriter, his participation in Houston’s folk music scene, the craft of songwriting, and the current state of popular country music. The class also explored some of our collections from the Houston Folk Music Archive in an effort to understand how primary sources informed their ideas of this music scene.

As a final project, Dr. Klein’s students created websites about a specific scene and/or subculture. Two of the students made websites about the Houston folk scene and used a variety of primary and secondary sources in our collection. We can’t wait to see the results of their work.