University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Art and Barbara Squires Papers, 1901-1996, 2007

Descriptive Summary

Creator Squires, Art; Squires, Barbara; Klaw, Marc; Erlanger, Abraham Lincoln
Title Art and Barbara Squires Papers
Dates: 1901-1996, 2007
Abstract Business correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, promotional material, photographic material, collected material, and printed material document the operations and productions of Art and Barbara Squires' various companies.
Accession No.: AR 2002-148; 2002-246; 2003-016; 2008-129; 2010-314; 2013-286; 2016-078
OCLC No.: 57562559
Extent 5 ft, 7 in.
Language Materials are written in English.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas

Biographical Note

Collection includes the papers of Art and Barbara Squires and Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger.

Art and Barbara Squires: Art and Barbara Squires owned a number of successful theatrical businesses, including Southwest Concerts Inc., Stage Door Associates, Barbara Productions, Art Advertising Agency, and Sixth Street Live that promoted a wide variety of major performers, primarily in Texas. Art’s father, Harry Squires (1897-1963), was also involved in the entertainment industry as; a concert and tour manager for orchestras and individual performers, songwriter, music publisher, and one-time agent with MCA and the William Morris Agency. Harry’s wife Eleanor was also a songwriter, and the two collaborated on works before they were married. Harry’s unpublished autobiography, The Man Behind the Man, describes the rewards and frustrations of the entertainment industry.

Art and Barbara married in 1953, and in their first business endeavor together, Art brought Carlos Montoya to Houston’s Lamar High School. The Squires began producing innovative theatrical events in 1959, with the Jones Hall opening of “Maurice Chevalier” and the national touring company of “My Fair Lady” at the Music Hall. The couple established Southwest Concerts (SWC) in 1960 and incorporated in Texas in 1964. Until 1984, SWC aimed to produce concerts, Broadway shows, and other major theatrical events. The company also contracted and organized private corporate functions and produced most of the performances showcased at Austin’s Sixth Street Live.

In 1979, SWC filed a lawsuit against Arena Operating Company claiming an exclusive arrangement with Pace Management regarding the Summit, Houston’s new arena and concert venue. With only one company handling all bookings at the Summit, SWC experienced sizeable forfeitures of production company profits. SWC prevailed in federal court and the Summit became equally open to SWC and other production companies.

Art Squires also managed Stage Door Associates, which booked jazz and other concerts throughout Texas and neighboring states. Art’s older brother Irving represented Stage Door Associates in New York and also served as general manager of Victor Borge’s performances at New York’s Golden Theater. The Squires also published The Playbill and designed custom-built limousines for his Southwest Carriage Limousine Service, earning The National Limousine Association and Progressive Insurance “Operator of the Year” award in 1990-1991. Art Squires also managed Westchase Ticketron which opened in 1982 as the first of its kind in the Houston area, allowing audiences to purchase tickets for all of the shows on Ticketron’s nationwide network, including concerts in Houston, Broadway shows in New York, and even campsite reservations throughout the United States. In a Variety article dated July 6, 1960, Art said “There are two major industries in Texas – oil and show business.”

Art and Barbara brought the best of Broadway to the Southwest including A Matter of Gravity, Chorus Line, Annie, The Wiz, and Hello Dolly as well as some of the biggest names in show business such as Burt Bacharach, Johnny Carson, and Billy Joel. Together, Art and Barbara Squires have produced thousands of performances as of 2004, playing to over three million people in the Southwest.

Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger: As theatrical producers and theater owners, Abraham Lincoln Erlanger (1859-1930) and Marc Klaw (1858-1936) had a profound influence on the American Theater in the early part of the twentieth century. Beginning with a jointly operated theatrical booking agency in New York City purchased in 1886, Klaw & Erlanger expanded their influence on the theatrical community through the purchase and construction of theaters such as Broadway's New Amsterdam and St. James and the consolidation of networks of contacts in the theater world.

In an effort to standardize booking and scheduling ostensibly in order to provide more security for both managers and artists, powerful theater owners Charles Frohman, Samuel Nixon and Fred Zimmerman of Nixon and Zimmerman, Al Hayman, and Klaw & Erlanger consolidated their individual theater networks into one national chain in 1986. This chain was dubbed the “Theatrical Syndicate” or “Theatrical Exchange” but was more commonly referred to by the names of its managers, Klaw & Erlanger. The Syndicate rose to a position of near-monopoly over theatrical bookings in the United States. A small motion-picture company, Kalem, in 1907 produced an unlicensed film version of Ben Hur which prompted a lawsuit involving the Theatrical Syndicate resulting in a landmark Supreme Court Decision (Kalem & Co. v. Harper Bros., 222 U.S. 55 (1911)) protecting the intellectual property of writers from copyright infringement by film and theatrical productions.

A.L. Erlanger became well known for the ruthless and predatory business practices evidenced by his widely quoted statement; “I never trust a man I can’t buy.” These practices soon led to opposition to the Syndicate by independent producers, notably John Cort and the Shubert Brothers. Cort, a Seattle theater owner, became dissatisfied with the quality of service provided by the syndicate and with help from the Shuberts formed the Independent National Theatre Owner’s Association in 1910 which organized the defection of hundreds of theaters from the syndicate. An accommodation was finally reached with Klaw & Erlanger to allow both Syndicate and independent artists to perform at the Association’s theaters before Erlanger had completed his new Syndicate Metropolitan Theatre in Seattle.

The Actors’ Equity Association’s 1919 strike finally broke Klaw and Erlanger’s monopoly. The strike forced widespread acceptance of this actors union and the adoption of protections for union members. After this the Klaw & Erlanger partnership fell apart, and although Klaw retreated from the public eye, Erlanger remained a powerful figure in the New York Theater until his death.

Scope and Contents

Collection includes the papers of Art and Barbara Squires and Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger.

Art and Barbara Squires:Business correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, promotional material, photographic material, collected material, and printed material (4 ft., 1.5 in.) document the operations and productions of Art and Barbara Squires' various companies (1964-1996). The papers also include materials from the estate of Harry D. Squires and his wife Eleanor Young (1947-1960) and the estate of Irving Squires (1960-1965), all of whom were also involved in the entertainment industry. The bulk of the material consists of the records of Art and Barbara Squires' primary production company, Southwest Concerts, Inc. (1964-1984). The remainder of the material consists of records and printed material of their affiliate companies and other endeavors, including Stage Door, Inc., Barbara Productions, Sixth Street Live, Westchase Ticketron, and Southwest Carriage Limousine Service. Also included are business correspondence and accompanying materials of the early twentieth century theatrical promoters Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger (1896-1919). The papers are arranged in ten series. The [2013-286] addition to the collection is composed primarily of promotional materials created by Southwest Concerts, Inc. between 1971 and 1985, the bulk of which are newspaper advertisements.

Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger: The Klaw & Erlanger Papers, 1901-1914 (bulk 1906-1907), 1918, 1974 (5 inches), are composed of business letters, contracts, detached letterheads, and printed materials documenting the operations of the Theatrical Syndicate. The bulk of these papers consist of letters received by Klaw & Erlanger at the New Amsterdam Theatre relating to booking performers and relaying performance contracts, many of which contain shorthand notes made in pencil. Principle correspondents include Sam S. and Lee Shubert Incorporated, Sousa and His Band, and the Nixon and Zimmerman firm. Significant exceptions to scheduling correspondence include the following: performers requesting bookings, towns proposing that Klaw & Erlanger build a local Syndicate theater; and an August 27, 1906 letter from a lawyer containing advice about an African-American's $10,000 suit claiming racial discrimination in hiring practices. There are many examples of the elaborate stationary used by performers and businesses as a form of advertising, notably the April 3rd, 1908 letter from the Rosar-Mason Stock Company. These letters were arranged chronologically due to a lack of existing order and to the sequential nature of the performance booking process.

A small amount of material related to the letters exists in the form of contracts for performances organized chronologically, letterheads that have been detached from the body of a letter organized alphabetically by establishment, and various printed materials.



The papers are arranged in the following series:
Series I. Southwest Concerts, Inc., includes the general financial documentation (1964-1984) of Southwest Concerts, Inc. and box office statements from various productions and venues. The subseries entitled "Broadway Information" contains booking materials and touring agendas extracted from a binder labeled "Broadway Information." The contents of this binder were divided into sections (Settlements, Profit and Loss Statements, etc.) and were maintained in the order in which they arrived. The series also includes copies of The Playbill programs for various productions, including those sponsored by Foley's and Neiman Marcus as well as booking information, financial documentation, and press releases for the 1982 Tom Jones Tour, Mame, and Rock and Roll Revival. The subseries entitled "Legal Documentation" includes depositions and clippings pertaining to the 1979 lawsuit, SW Concerts v. Arena Operating Co., et al. The subseries "Art Squires' Personal Autograph Collection" includes personal letters from Lyndon Baines Johnson and Katherine Hepburn.
Series II. Barbara Productions, Inc. includes clippings and advertisements illuminating various productions put on by SWC, Inc. affiliate Barbara Productions, including The Wiz and A Chorus Line. The series also includes Le Programe, the original programs for the company's productions (1974-1983).
Series III. Irving Squires/Stage Door, Inc. includes box office statements, financial documentation, correspondence, and programs reflecting productions produced and managed by Art and Irving Squires of Stage Door Associates and productions managed by Irving Squires in New York and Philadelphia including On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and The Garden of Sweets.
Series IV. Sixth Street Productions, documents the Squires' involvement in the establishment of an Austin nightclub named Sixth Street Live. Included are advertisements, an employment guide, and financial documentation. The advertisements reflect concerts produced at the venue by SWC, Inc.
Series V. Westchase Ticketron, includes vouchers, correspondence, and financial documentation establishing and concerning the Squires' ownership of Westchase Ticketron.
Series VI. Southwest Carriage Limousine Service, includes a concise page documenting the company's history, and correspondence in which the Promotion Manager of Ticketmaster expresses gratitude to Art Squires for providing limousine service for "Night Out With the Houston Rockets Dance Team" promotion.
Series VII. Production Materials, includes souvenir programs that do not contain specific production company information, but most are productions that SWC, Inc. and its affiliate companies brought to the Southwest. The majority of souvenir programs are housed together in one box, while oversized souvenir programs are housed in two oversize boxes. Five of the souvenir programs are inscribed to Art Squires and/or his wife, Barbara, including those from Shirley MacLaine, KISS, and Tom Jones. Among the celebrities represented in the autographed photographs are Brenda Lee, Mitzi Gaynor, and The Supremes. The assorted tickets and backstage passes found in this series do not contain the name of the production company. The scrapbooks contain clippings and advertisements from all of the Squires' companies. Several promotional posters and souvenir programs are restricted for preservation purposes.
Series VIII. Business Materials, is comprised of clippings and publications concerning the show business industry in general. Some of the materials do not mention specific involvement with the Squires and/or their companies.
Series IX. Harry Squires, includes approximately 600 typescript pages of Harry Squires' autobiography The Man Behind the Man, describing his career as a concert and tour manger for orchestras and individual performances, a songwriter, and a music publisher. This work is telling of the rewards and frustrations of show business. Also included are Harry Squires' obituary, programs for productions with which he was involved, and sheet music for a composition by Squires and Eleanor Young entitled "When the Whole World Forgets (Your Mother Thinks the World Of You)."
Series X. Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger Papers


Access Restrictions

Open for research except for some items restricted for preservation purposes.

Related Material

Forms part of the Touring Entertainment Industry Archive held by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Artifacts Unit.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Art and Barbara Squires Papers, 1901-1996, 2007, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2.325/U140 SWC, Inc.
Financial Documentation, 1964-1984
Box Office Statements, 1964-1981
"Broadway Information"
Ticket Scalings, 1969-1980
Profit and Loss Statements, 1967-1982
Advice Sheets, 1969-1982
Newspaper and Radio Advertising, 1975, 1976
Settlements, 1972-1977
Performances, 1977-1981
2.325/U138 Correspondence:,
Correspondence, 1906-1913
Correspondence, 1977-1981
2.325/U140 Clippings, Ads, and Press Releases, 1966-1984
Variety Ads, 1967-1976
2W73 "Here's Entertainment" Ad, 1982
2.325/U138 Productions
2.325/U138 The Playbill (A-H), 1969-1978
The Playbill (I-Z), 1967-1977
MAME, 1969
Rock and Roll Revival, 1970-1973
Tom Jones Tour, 1982
3V245c Television Commercials
2.325/U138 Tickets and Backstage Passes, n.d.
SW Concerts v. Arena Operating Co., et al.
Press and Publicity, 1966-1981
Allen Becker Deposition, 1981
Depositions, n.d.
Related Materials, n.d.
3G17 Deposition note cards, n.d.
Art Squires' Personal Autograph Collection
4Jc123a [2016-078]
SWC general material [photocopies], 1960-1991
SWC proceeding materials [photocopies], 1967-1981
3G17 Barbara Productions, 1979-1983, n.d.
Le Programe, 1974-1982
Irving Squires/Stage Door, Inc., 1960-1984, n.d.
Sixth Street Productions, 1983-1984, n.d.
Westchase Ticketron, 1983, n.d.
Southwest Carriage Limousine Service, 1993-1996, n.d.
Production Materials
2W53a Souvenir programs, n.d.
2.352/U128 Oversize souvenir programs, n.d.
2W73 Promotional Posters, n.d.
3V245b "Showbiz" Photographs
Color Photographs and Photocopies, n.d.
Damaged Black and White Photographs, n.d.
Black and White Photographs (1 of 3), n.d.
Black and White Photographs (2 of 3), n.d.
Black and White Photographs (3 of 3), n.d.
Autographed Black and White Photographs (1 of 2), n.d.
Autographed Black and White Photographs (2 of 2), n.d.
3G18 Playbill (A-M), 1973-1998
Playbill (N-T), 1973-1998
Scrapbooks [RESTRICTED]
Tickets and Backstage Passes, 1972-1976, n.d.
Assorted Business Materials, 1976-1994, n.d.
3G19 Harry Squires
"The Man Behind the Man"
Assorted Materials, 1947-1960
2.325/D36g Photograph, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers 20th Annual Dinner, Ritz-Carlton, March 27, 1935
Library Sheet Music Book, A Very Special Christmas, 2007
3G20 Klaw & Erlanger Papers
Business correspondence
Contracts, 1905-1913, n.d.
Printed materials
4C728 [2013-286]:
Tom Jones tour newspaper ad tear sheets and clippings, 1981-1982
From various sources including the Lubbock-Avalanche-Journal, El Paso Times, Beaumount Enterprise, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, Houston Chronicle, Houston Post, the Oklahoman, the Austin American Statesman, Austin Homes and Gardens, as well as complete issues of the Frank Erwin Center publication Applause, Vol. 3, No. 7 and No. 8.
Tom Jones tear sheets, San Antonio Express-News, 1982
Photographs of Ferrante and Teicher, undated
Houston Chronicle, newspaper tear sheets, 1978-1979
Featuring advertisements for various shows including Warren Zevon, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Marshall Tucker Band, Bread, California Suite, The Impossible Years, For Colored Girls, A Chorus Line, The Wiz, Liza Minelli, Timbuktu, Annie, and I Do! I Do!
Houston Chronicle, newspaper tear sheets, 1978-1982
Featuring advertisements for various shows including Ferrante and Teicher, Ben Vereen, Sheena Easton, Tom Jones, Children of a Lesser God, Bob Fosse's Dancin', Earth Wind and Fire, and Lou Rawls.
Houston Post, newspaper tear sheets, 1978-1979
Featuring advertisements for various shows including Annie, Liza Minelli, For Colored Girls, Bread, Blondie, Eubie, and I Do! I Do!
Houston Post, newspaper tear sheets, 1982
Featuring advertisements for various shows including Ferrante and Teicher, Tom Jones, and Sheena Easton.
Engelbert show newspaper ad tear sheets, 1981
From various sources including the El Paso Times, The Seattle Times, The Orange Leader, Lake Charles American Press, Houston Chronicle, and the Houston Post.
Engelbert tear sheets, Beaumont Enterprise-Journal, 1981
Box Office Statements and Forms, undated
Actors’ Equity Association Agreement, 1975
Actors’ Equity Association correspondence, 1977
Marshall Tucker Band, Houston, 1978
Department Store Series, 1971-1984
Correspondence, contracts, and other paperwork related to Art Squires’ advertising, particularly with Foleys.
25-cent addendum, signed copies, 1976
Stage questionnaires, undated
Newspaper tear sheets and clippings, 1971-1982
From various sources, including the Houston Post, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times-Herald, The Oklahoman, Houston Defender, Corpus Christ Caller-Times, Wichita Eagle-Beacon, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Pasadena Citizen, as well as to two complete issues of Reflections of Houston, Vol. 1, No. 3. Shows mentioned include: Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Annie, Ben Vereen, Tom Jones, Ferrante and Teicher, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Promises, Promises, David Brenner, Marshall Tucker Band, Warren Zevon, A Chorus Line, The Impossible Years, Children of a Lesser God, Clarence Darrow, Bread, and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’.
A Chorus Line newspaper tear sheets and clippings, 1978
From various sources including the Houston Chronicle, Houston Post, Pasadena Citizen, and a complete issue of Where Magazine from November.
Christmas ads, December 1974
Best Little Whorehouse El Paso records, September 22-26, 1981
Best Little Whorehouse El Paso bills, 1981
Tom Jones financial records, 1982-1985
Comp tickets correspondence and forms, 1978-1981
London material, 1975
Promotional flyers and programs for various shows, 1973-1982
4C729 Newspaper clipping collage (fragile), 1974
Bound materials, including the Summary Plan for the Southwest Concerts, Inc. Profit Sharing Plan and American Capital Inc.’s Prototype Profit Sharing/Money Purchase Plan and Trust, undated