Joe H. Bryant:
An Inventory of His Papers, 1949-1967, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library
The son of Reverend George H. Bryant and Sarah Belle Mercer Bryant of Amarillo, Joe H. Bryant appears in the Handbook of Texas website as one of three owners, and the managing operator, of the Cactus Theater in Lubbock, Texas, in 1938. The theater was financed and built by A. M. Leftwich for $30,000 and leased to Bryant, M. A. Sanders, and Glenn Woody. Architect Robert Maxey designed it in the Art-Deco style. The neighborhood theater was the seventh in Lubbock when it opened, and ran until May 1958 when television and drive-in theaters put the older theaters out of business.
Bryant must have seen that coming, because in 1953 he headed a group that opened Lubbock's second television station, KCBD-TV, using the call letters of the radio station Bryant owned. In 1968, Bryant and his company Caprock Broadcasting bought KSWS-TV in Roswell, New Mexico, as a satellite station for $490,000. Combined, the two stations served one of the geographically largest coverage areas in the nation at that time. KCBD became the sole NBC affiliate the next year in 1969, and was the first Lubbock station to broadcast in color. Bryant died in 1970, and State Telecasting Company of Columbia, South Carolina, purchased both KSWS and KCBD in 1971.
Among his many charities, Bryant chaired the Texas Tech Foundation. Before his death, he established the Joe H. and Mary Lee Bryant Foundation in 1967, providing funds for school and church activities. In 1973 he was posthumously named to the TTU School of Mass Communications Hall of Fame, and the next year Bryant's estate created the Joe H. Bryant Foundation to support scholarships in higher education.
The collection contains materials relating to Joe H. Bryant's family and various business ventures, as well as Congressional testimony regarding the impact of broadcast media on juvenile delinquency. It contains correspondence with prominent political and business figures. The collection is in good condition and is part of the Crossroads of Music archive.
The collection is open for research. Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by U.S. copyright law. Audio and visual recordings may need to be reformatted prior to use and require advance notice to the Reference Librarian.
Joe H. Bryant Papers, 1949-1967, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Cynthia Curry and Jon Holmes