Jimmy Don Smith collection

Image of embroidered bell bottom jeans that say "BLUES POWER," an LP, and two photographs of Jimmy Don Smith

We recently got in a new collection featuring Jimmy Don Smith. It includes posters, fliers, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other interesting items. Check out those embroidered jeans.

Smith (1948-10-28 – 1986-01-25) was a Houston transplant and made his name as a Blues guitarist and founder of The Cold Cuts, as well as other bands throughout the 1960s-1980s. He/His bands opened up for Blues musicians like Muddy Waters, B. B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King, the King trifecta. He had also been the lead guitarist for Billy Joe Shaver and Roy Head.

Two Liberty Hall posters: one for Freddie King and the other for Willie Dixon and the Chicago All-Stars

The collection includes a variety of unique posters that generally showcase the opening act, but Jimmy Don Smith or his band at the time served as an opening act.

Woodson in the News

Melissa Kean and Michelle Miller in the in the stacks of the Woodson.
Melissa Kean and Michelle Miller amongst the archival stacks.

The Woodson is popping up all over the place.

First, you can check out our own Melissa Kean talking about Houston and Rice’s connection to NASA that aired on CBS This Morning on Saturday.

Second, a story about our recent acquisition of the Houston Blues Museum Archive appeared on Thursday’s Houston Matters with an extended version on the new podcast Unwrap Your Candies Now.

Paul Bunyan Day

June 28th is the day to celebrate big Paul Bunyan. We’ve got an amazing Limited Editions book club version of the stories.

title page: The Wonderful Adventures of Paul Bunyan. Now retold by Louis Untermeyer together with illustrations by Everett Gee Jackson. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1945

First, the book really plays up the idea of wood. There’s a box made of cardboard with a fake wood paper on the outside. Within that, there’s a similar fake wood paper removable cover also made out of cardboard. Then, there’s the actual cover of the book with same wooden print.

Cover and spine of book

Unlike some of the older Limited Editions, this one has beautiful illustrations.

Illustration of baby Paul Bunyan. Text: "He got out of it-picked it up-and waded to shore!"
Illustration of Babe the Blue Ox making the Red River. Text reads: "And that's show the Red River got its name."
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox leaving. Text reads: "I guess there isn't anything more to say."

It’s also signed by the illustrator.

Signature page. Text reads: Fifteen hundred copies of this edition of The Wonderful Adventures of Paul Bunyan have been made for the members of The Limited Editions Club. The edition was designed by Richard Ellis and printed by The Aldus Printer in New York. The illustrations were drawn by Everett Gee Jackson and printed by The Dunewald Printing Corporation. This copy is number: 555 and is signed by the illustrator.

One more thing, here are some news items about the Woodson and those connected to our collections.

The creator of our Sugar Land Convict Leasing System collection Reginald Moore and Rice professor Caleb McDaniel gave interviews for a story in The Guardian on the Sugar Land 95.

Here’s the official Rice press release about the new Houston Blues Museum Archive.

New Collections, Sneak Peek

Big Walter "The Thunderbird" Price's suitcase and autographed photo.
There’s amazing stuff inside that suitcase.

While there will be more news about this later, we wanted to make a quick announcement. We will now be home to the Houston Blues Museum Archive. It will consist of the museum’s administrativerecords, along with artist collections like Big Walter “The Thunderbird” Price and other collections that tell the history of Houston Blues.

Preserving this history is a wonderful way to celebrate Juneteenth.