Online Exhibit: Houston Folk Music Archive

hfma-exhibit

We’re happy to announce the new online exhibit for the Houston Folk Music Archive. It features a history of the scene, mini-exhibits on musicians, bands, music venues, and others. Each mini-exhibit contains a biography or history, images, and/or an oral history.

hfma-map

The online exhibit also has a map of music venues where folk musicians played. It even includes a timeline where you can track the folk scene’s rise and fall.

A big thank you to Claudia Middleton, our student archivist, for all of her scanning, metadata work, and for creating the map.

More Folk Music Oral Histories

We have uploaded another batch of oral histories. These will all be included in our upcoming Houston Folk Music Archive online exhibit.

David John Scribner

david-john-scribner

He speaks about his life and his time hosting the “Chicken Skin Music” program on KTRU.

Lynn Langham

lynn-langham

The Grammy winner discusses her long career in the music industry and her experiences as a singer-songwriter in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

Don Sanders

don-sanders

He talks about his time playing at the most famed folk clubs in Houston.

New HFMA Oral Histories

The Houston Folk Music Archive has been steadily posting new oral histories online. Here are few of the newer ones.

Danny McVey

danny-mcvey

He talks about his time doing sound for a variety of performers in the city.

Jack Saunders

jack-saunders

He discusses playing with local bands, joining The Shake Russell Band, his duo with Shake Russell, and his recording studio White Cat.

George Ensle

george-ensle-oral-history-finished

He describes how he came to folk music and his recording projects.

Dana Cooper

dana-cooper-oral-history

He tells about his life growing up in Missouri and his careers in Houston and Nashville.

We’re also working on other oral histories by Don Sanders, Lynn Langham, Isabelle Ganz, Sara Hickman, and Franci Jarrard and Lyse Moore.

 

Primary Source Literacy

wrc03968

Recently, we taught primary source literacy skills to students in Sophia Hsu’s FWIS 191. Literature and Public Health. The students looked at newspaper clippings, photographs, fliers, and other pertinent documents to get  a sense of how members of the administration, faculty, and students viewed the event. They also heard the voices of some of the major players including Dr. William H. Masterson on his megaphone, Dr. Clark Read speaking his mind, and Bari Kaplan explaining events from a student perspective.

In the class, the students first considered the differences between primary and secondary sources, identified the subjectivity of the archival items on their tables, and extracted information from the items, like key players and power relationships.

hsu-class

After these exercises, the groups looked at the primary source materials that they will be working on for the semester, which includes a few items from the McGovern Historical Center and the Woodson’s Encyclopédie and the Vince Bell collection.

If you are interested in us doing the same for your course, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Images used: “Rice University students and faculty protesting outdoors during Masterson presidency controversy, wearing “It Can’t Happen Here” signs.” (1969) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/75392.

Fate Magazine

fate-01

Over the past year, we have expanded our collecting focus to include the paranormal. As part of a larger collection from Robert Fuller, we have Fate magazines dating back to 1948. They have incredibly interesting advertisements.

fate-02

fate-03

fate-04

fate-05

fate-06

fate-08

Everything else seems like an ad found in a paranormal magazine, but the one below doesn’t really fit.

fate-07

Memorabilia Monday: Gilley’s Bumper Sticker

20170925_145859

This bumper sticker from the early 1980s comes from the Jack Saunders collection, which is currently being processed.

For those not from Pasadena/Houston area, Gilley’s is synonymous with Urban Cowboy the movie based on the Esquire article “The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy.” If you haven’t read about Rice’s connection to the story, you should read this blog post from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies published a few years ago.

The CAMH at the Woodson

CAMH-640-2astrp7

Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs “Suite for Five” in April 1965 in conjunction with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston exhibition “Robert Rauschenberg.” Courtesy Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) recently donated their extensive archive to us. For more information, please read the recent Rice News & Media article about the transfer.

We are incredibly excited by this donation and cannot wait to share it with the public after it has processed.

New Houston Folk Music Archive Collections

Two more collections are available for research from the Houston Folk Music Archive.

Lucille Borella collection

cade

In the late 1960s, Bill and Lucille Cade formed a folk duo. Over the next several years, they performed throughout the region. They played in Houston venues, such as Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant, the UH Coffee House, and the Wooden Nickel Club, as well the college ciruit in and out of the state. They also performed at Kerrville Folk Festival in 1974 with their young baby in tow.

Around 1976, Bill and Lucille Cade broke up. Later on, Lucille, now Borella, began performing with her husband Larry at Anderson Fair in 1979 under the name Larry & Lucille.

While no longer actively performing, Lucille Borella has stayed a member of the folk community. She and her husband support the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival.

David Rodriguez collection

david-rodriguez-02

David Roland Rodriguez (1952-2015) was a Houston-born folk musician and lawyer. At the age of two, he contracted polio. Because of his decreased mobility, his parents bought him a guitar. Throughout his teens, he played in a variety of musical groups including a rock band, a folk group, and an avant garde ensemble as a pianist. In the early to mid 1970s, he honed his craft in Houston’s folk venues.

After relocating to Austin in the late 1970s, Rodriguez graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1981. He practiced law in Austin into the 1980s, focusing on criminal law and working with the Austin Arts Commission. While he maintained his music career in the early 1980s, he began to focus exclusively on his law practice in 1984. He even mounted an unsuccessful bid for public office in 1990.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Rodriguez began focusing more attention on music. Local Austin music magazine “Third Coast Music” voted him Best Texas Songwriter for 1992, 1993. and 1994.

david-rodriguez-01

David Rodriguez with daughter Carrie, 2000s

In 1994, he moved to the Netherlands to play music full time. While abroad, fellow musician and daughter, Carrie Rodriguez would play fiddle with him on occassion. He had a vibrant career overseas and released a number of albums. David Rodriguez died at his home in Dordrecht, Holland, on October 26th 2015.

His most widely covered song “The Ballad Of The Snow Leopard And The Tanqueray Cowboy” was recorded by Lyle Lovett, Melissa Greener, and many others.

Rodriguez came from a musical family, which includes his aunt singer and actress Eva Garza, his brother singer-songwriter Philip Rodriguez, and his sister singer Leti Garza.

To see more of our collection, please see the Houston Folk Music Archive research guide. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Houston Folk Music Archive Updates

Over the past few months, we’ve been busy.

New Archival Collections

banded-geckos

The Banded Geckos collection features the work of the band, which called Houston home from 1979 to 1993, before relocating to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The collection has a great array of posters, photographs, promotional materials, and audio.

frank-davis305

Frank Davis, Sand Mountain Coffee House, ca. 1965

The Boys From Houston research files includes photographs, digital images, news clippings, and memorabilia that Vicki Welch Ayo and William C. DeLaVergne used to write the book series.

russell-cooper250

Shake Russell, Dana Cooper, and Jimmy Raycraft at Rockefeller’s, ca. 1981

The Danny McVey collection features photographs, news clippings, and audio saved by McVey, a sound engineer for The Michael Marcoulier Band, The Dishes, and Beans Barton and the Bi-Peds. Within the next few days, his oral history will also be online.

Oral Histories

Since November, we’ve been doing oral histories with members of the folk community. We’re so happy to announce that some of those are now online.

judy-clements-2

Judy Clements of the folk duo Ken and Judy talks about being a Jester Lounge regular, an early folk club in Houston.

bell-oral-history

Vince Bell discusses his time starting out in Houston up to his current work. He even performs a couple of songs and explains his unique playing style.

dobson-oral-history

Richard Dobson talks about working in Houston and Nashville, and his current adventure of being a Texas singer-songwriter in Switzerland. He also discusses his songwriting process and performs two songs.

To keep up with new collections and oral histories, please follow the Houston Folk Music Archive Facebook page, as well as check out our research guide.