Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Richard Dobson collection, 1962-2014 MS 654



creator mus Dobson, Richard J.
creator mus Foley, Blaze
source Dobson, Richard J.
Title: Richard J. Dobson collection
Dates: 1962-2014
Abstract: This collection contains the correspondence, journals, music business files, and audio of Richard Dobson.
Identification: MS 654
Quantity: 3.0 Linear Feet(4 boxes)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical / Historical

Raised in Houston, Corpus Christi, and New Mexico, Richard Dobson graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 1966 with a degree in Spanish. He went on to join the Peace Corps and explored a fiction writing career in New York before settling on songwriting.

From 1971 and continuing into the next three decades, Dobson made both Nashville, TN and the Gulf Coast of Texas his home. While in Nashville, he participated in the Outlaw Country scene with fellow singer-songwriters Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, “Skinny” Dennis Sanchez, among others. In the Houston-Galveston area, he continued honing his song craft and releasing albums, all the while working on shrimping boats and off-shore oil drilling rigs, most notably the Sedneth I.

Starting in 1977 with “In Texas Last December” up until his current release “Plenty Good People” (2016), Dobson has published 23 albums in total. He has also sold songs to others artists including David Allan Coe, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton, Nanci Griffith, and Kelly Willis. Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and Billie Jo Spears and Del Reeves have all recorded renditions of his duet ‘Baby Ride Easy.’

In addition to songwriting, Dobson has maintained a relationship to his fans and friends via newsletters/zines. Originally, the “Omaha Rainbow” published his writings. Later on his own, he wrote “Poor Richard’s Newsletter,” which became “Don Ricardo’s Life & Times,” and is now entitled “Don Ricardo’s Report from the High Rhine.” The newsletters (late 1970s-2012) have been published as a set, “The Years the Wind Blew Away: Don Ricardo’s Life and Times” (2013). He has also published the semi-autobiographical book, “The Gulf Coast Boys,” (1997) detailing his life in the 1970s to early 1980s.

In 1999, Dobson moved to Switzerland. He currently tours in Europe and throughout the United States. He has also documented his new life abroad in the book “Pleasures of the High Rhine” (2012).

Sources:

Dobson, Richard. "Gulf Coast Boys." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.

Dobson, Richard. "Artist website." http://www.richard-j-dobson.ch/, 2016.

Wikipedia. "Richard Dobson."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dobson, 2016.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains the correspondence, journals, music business files, and audio chronicling the music history of Richard Dobson.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from this material must be obtained from Richard Dobson.


Index Terms

Folk music
Country music
Dobson, Richard J.
Foley, Blaze
Dobson, Richard J.
Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant

Related Materials

Please see the Rice University KTRU Radio records, UA 011.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Richard Dobson collection, 1962-2014, MS 654, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Richard Dobson in April 2016.

Accruals

Additional materials are expected for this collection.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Business files, 1970-2010

Box Folder
1 1 Coe, David Allan royalties 1976-1984
2 European tour 1990-1992
3 Fliers 1970-1990s
4 Foreign royalty issues 1990-1994
5 Lyrics 1970s-1990s
6 News Clippings 1977-1999
7 Promotional materials 1990s-2010s
8 Royalties 1980-1999
9 "Salty Songs" 1998
10 "Save the World" 1982
11 State of the Heart 1986-1988
12 "Texas Last December" 1977
13 "True West" 1986-1987



Series II: Correspondence, 1962-1998

Box Folder
1 14 1962
15 1964
16 1965
17 1966
18 1967
19 1968
20 1969
21 1970
22 1971
23 1974
24 1977
25 1978
26 1979
27 1970s
28 1980
29 1981
30 1982
31 1983
32 1984
33 1985
34 1986
35 1987
36 1988
37 1989
38 1990
39 1991
40 1992
41 1993
42 1994
43 1995
44 1996
45 1997
46 1998
47 n.d.



Series III: Publications, 1964-1999

Scope and Contents
The files within this series contain published and unpublished items by Richard Dobson and others.
Box Folder
2 1 Blaster Al Ackerman zines/newsletters 1970s-1980s
2 "La Casagram" zine/newsletter 1993
3 College essay ca. 1965
4 "Country Eastern West" zine/newsletter 1989-1993
5 "Don Ricardo's Life and Times" zine/newsletter 1984, 1990
6 Foley, Blaze art 1989
7 Gordon, Roxy "ARTMAGIC" zine/newsletter 1980s
8 "Gulf Coast Boys" correspondence 1997-1999
9 "Gulf Coast Boys" draft ca. 1997
10 "Gulf Coast Boys" research ca. 1997
11 Hemmer Ridge Mountain Boys zine/newsletter ca. 1979
12 "How the Whole Damn Thing Works" - Tom Prejean 1994
13 Poetry book ca. 1964
14 Short stories 1960s
15 Weir, J.W. - "The Toilet Paper" zine/newsletter 1992



Series IV: Journals and Notebooks, 1966-1991

Box Folder
2 16 Journal - Peace Corps 1966-1967
17 Notebook - poems, postcards ca. 1968
18 Journal 1968-1969
19 Journal 1968-1969
20 Journal - songs 1969-1971
21 Journal 1970
22 Journal 1971
23 Journal 1972
24 Journal - lyrics 1973-1974
25 Journal 1974-1975
Scope and Contents
Journal contains transcriptions of cassette tapes from the Rocky Mountain Tour with Townes Van Zandt and the Hemmer Ridge Mountain Boys.
26 Journal 1975-1976
27 Journal - Sedneth I 1977-1978
28 Journal - off-shore 1978-1980
29 Notebook ca. 1980s
30 Notebook - lyrics 1980s
31 Notebook - off-shore 1980
32 Notebook 1982
33 Notebook 1983
34 Journal - off-shore 1982, 1984
35 Notebook ca. 1983
36 Notebook ca. 1984
Box Folder
3 1 Notebook - lyrics 1985-1986
2 Notebook - lyrics 1986
3 Notebook 1987
4 Notebook - lyrics 1987
5 Notebook 1987-1988
6 Notebook (European tour) 1988
7 Notebook 1990
8 Notebook ca. 1990
9 Notebook 1990-1991
10 Planner 1991



Series V: Photographs and Negatives, 1970s-1980s

Box Folder
3 11 Negatives ca. 1972
12 Photographs 1970s-1980s



Series VI: Audio, 1978-2014

Box item
4 1 Rinconada Buttermilk Project - 7" vinyl 45 1978
2 "The Big Taste" - 12" vinyl 1979
3 "Back Tracks: Save the World/True West" 1995
4 "Here in the Garden" - CD 2013
5 "Gulf Coast Tales" - CD 2014