New Houston Folk Music Archive Collections

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

Lucille Borella collection

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

The Texan Emigrant

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Among our Masterson Texana collection is this unusual little book about Texas.

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Written by Col. Edward Stiff, the book acts as a biography of Col. Stiff, as well as a history of Texas. There are a few surprises inside, like this map.

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Col. Stiff had very strong opinions about critics.

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Also, this book plate from Yale is a bit unusual. I hope the book was obtained in an honest way.

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Richard G. Park, Jr. Scrapbook

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Back in October, we received a wonderful phone call from a woman in the NE offering us a scrapbook, belonging to her relative Richard G. Park, Jr.

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Why would we be interested in this scrapbook? It provides more history on the Texas Mexico Border Campaign. Almost exactly two years ago, we featured a scrapbook on the same topic, focusing on one man’s experiences during the campaign. While the scrapbook is fascinating, it’s unlabeled.

In comparison, Park labeled almost all of the photographs and included people’s names, dates, and locations. It is a treasure trove of information. This would be a wonderful digitization project in the future.

Now, feast your eyes on the photographs.

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For more information on the collection, please see our finding aid: Richard G. Park, Jr. scrapbook, 1915-1917, MS 673, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Mapping Civil War Narratives

We are happy to announce that our new mapping project, Mapping Civil War Narratives, is now available online!

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This series of maps uses ArcGIS to highlight some of the WRC’s numerous Civil War collections (1861-1865). Researchers can now explore the multiple geographies of over 300 Civil War-era letters. From military operations to disease to courtship, these maps convey the potential of our archives’ diverse stories. You can, for example, follow the particular route of a soldier in the Army of the Potomac through his letters or explore the communication in and out of a single city. Use filters to see where men and women were discussing slavery, politics, battles, or military medicine.

Visit the website to take a tour of these maps. Or, if you are familiar with ArcGIS, scroll to the website’s last page to go directly to our two feature maps.

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View the connections between where letters from each collection were sent and received.

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Or look at individual locations to see where letters were written, where they were received, and what locations the authors mentioned within their letters during four years of war.

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You can explore the collections by mutual themes, as well. See where authors discussed battles, politics, or particular officers.

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Part of an ongoing effort under the new Fondren Fellows program, we expect to continue to grow and evolve this project as more and more of the WRC’s collections are added.

We want to thank Christina Regelski, our Fondren Fellow, for all of her hard work over the fall semester. She did more with our letters than we could have imagined.

Happy researching!

Memorabilia Monday: Tis the Season . . .

. . . to give hair.

 

For archives, an envelope filled with hair is not a new thing. It’s part of the job.

This hair is a bit different than what we normally see. It seems to be an early example of clip-in extensions. Note the gathered section that could be pinned close to the scalp.

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Allie May Autry Kelley‘s labeling on the envelope is pretty great, too: “Who’s hair? Mom’s?”

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James Lockhart Autry Family Papers; 1832-1998, MS 003, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University