University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Skipper Lee Frazier Papers, 1967-1993



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Frazier, Skipper Lee (1924-)
Title: Skipper Lee Frazier Papers
Dates: 1967-1993
Abstract: The Skipper Lee Frazier Papers (1967-1993) primarily document Frazier’s business ventures in radio, entertainment, and motels. A selection of personal papers are also included, as well as photographs, audio-visual materials, and newspaper clippings that Frazier collected.
Accession No.: 2007-062
OCLC No.: 239636156
Extent: 9 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Long-time Houston resident, Skipper Lee Frazier, businessman, radio disk jockey, manager and producer, is best known for his popular radio show at KCOH-AM. Frazier played a distinctive sign-on at the beginning of each show and its most memorable line, that he was implored by voices to "steal away and carry a mountain of soul to Houston," is still associated with him. After a 22-year career, Frazier retired and became a partial owner of the station. But Frazier’s career was not limited to the radio industry. He hosted a television variety show named "The Skipper Lee Show," ran an advertising business, and operated several budget motels. Frazier also had a long career in the music industry in tandem with his duties as a disk jockey. He served as a manager and producer for several local acts, including The Masters of Soul, Bo Williams, and The TSU Tornadoes. Frazier achieved his greatest success with Archie Bell and the Drells, who had a #1 hit in 1968 with the song "Tighten Up." The intersection of his radio and music careers led him to become involved with the KOOL Jazz Festival, serving as a producer, promoter, booker, and master of ceremonies. At present, Frazier operates the Skipper Lee & Son Eternal Rest Funeral Home in Houston with his son, James.


Scope and Contents

The Skipper Lee Frazier Papers (1967-1993) primarily document Frazier’s business ventures in radio, entertainment, and motels. The collection is divided into four series: Business Papers, Personal Papers, Photographs, and Audio-Visual Materials.

The Business series is comprised of: record contracts, royalty statements for groups that Frazier managed (mostly Archie Bell & the Drells), biographies and papers relating to Houston-area recording artists with whom Frazier worked (TSU Tornadoes, Archie Bell & the Drells, Masters of Soul, and Big Joe Nettles), advertisements for concerts and events, papers relating to the motels that Frazier managed, blank forms, Frazier's companies Frazier & McKay Productions, L. J. F. Productions, and S.L.F. Supply, a calendar with scheduled performance dates for Archie Bell & the Drells, papers relating to Frazier's membership in the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), correspondence, publications relating to the entertainment industry, transcripts of radio commercials broadcast on KCOH-AM, lists of ad sales on KCOH-AM, general information about KCOH-AM and its employees, ledgers and receipts that document Frazier's business expenditures, sheet music and lyrics, tax records, documents from the Bureau of Land Management, papers related to the Skipper Lee & Son Eternal Rest Funeral Home, and publicity and correspondence relating to the KOOL Jazz Festival (sometimes known as the Astrodome KOOL Jazz Festival.)

The Personal Papers series is comprised of: documents about events that occurred at Windsor Village United Methodist Church (Frazier's home church), a telephone directory from Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a proof copy of Tighten Up: The Autobiography of Skipper Lee, ephemera, correspondence and documents relating to the 1988 West Gulf Coast Engineers, Inc. lawsuit to which Frazier was a party, awards and certificates that Frazier received from various community organizations, invitations and advertisements for events in the community that Frazier assisted with, papers relating to Frazier’s unsuccessful bid for Harris County Commissioner, brochures and programs for community events, papers relating to the Muhammad Ali Testimonial dinner, papers relating to Ben Barnes’ race for governor, speeches given by Frazier, various magazines that Frazier collected, papers from the 1992 Republican convention site selection committee, Skipper Lee Frazier biographical information, correspondence, personal legal documents, and a 1993 wall calendar.

Photographic subjects include: snapshots of events, people and places in Houston, professional headshots of Frazier, live performances, Archie Bell & the Drells, Juneteenth Music Festival, promotional photographs collected by Frazier, Windsor Valley United Methodist Church, Skipper Lee & Son Eternal Rest Funeral Home, Jessie Jackson, Muhammad Ali, and "The Skipper Lee Show."

A cubic foot of audio-visual material collected by Frazier is present in the collection. This series is comprised of LPs, 45s, audiocassettes, and reel-to-reel tapes of musical groups (many from the Houston area), a recording of the 1965 National Association of Recording Artists convention, and demo tapes. VHS tapes with coverage of Houston-area events and musicians are also included in this series. A highlight of the VHS materials is a copy of A Mountain of Soul: Skipper Lee Frazier, which is a biographical feature on Frazier and covers the "roasts and toasts" that have been held in his honor.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Use of audio material and transparent media by appointment only. Please contact repository.

Access to portions of this collection is restricted. Contact repository for further information.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Frazier, Skipper Lee.
Subjects (Organizations)
KCOH-AM (Radio station: Houston, Texas).
Subjects
Hotels -- Texas.
Music publicity -- Texas.
Sound recording industry -- Texas.
Places
Houston (Tex.)

Related Material

A published copy of Tighten Up by Archie Bell & the Drells, The Making of A Million Selling Hit Record, The Autobiography of Skipper Lee Frazier, A Legendary Houston Disk Jockey (2001, Trafford Publishing) is held in the Texas Collection Library. The proof of this book is included in the Skipper Lee Frazier Papers.


Separated Material

Artifact separated to the Artifact Collection. Contact repository for more information.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Skipper Lee Frazier Papers, 1967-1993, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Julie Judkins, August 2008. Subsequent revisions were made by Megan Mummey, March 2010.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Business papers

box
2K46 Entertainment industry:
1975 calendar of scheduled shows
Archie Bell & the Drells
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)/Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
Artist biographies
Advertisements and flyers
box
2.325/K79b Large poster for "Grady Gaines/Show & Blues Revue/April 12/Rockefeller’s/3620 Washington/Houston, Texas"
Large poster for "The Third Annual Belly Up/Blues Festival, " Sun. Sept. 17
(2 copies)
Big Joe Nettles promotional materials
box
OD1424 Skipper Lee Frazier
Archie Bell and the Drells
box
2K46 Assorted sheet music and song lyrics
AUD Arena Stadium International Guide & Directory, 1979
The Bar-Kays Show, August 5th, 1978
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
Clay versus Boneva Fight, December, 7th, 1970
Contracts and Riders, August 9th, 1966 – October 20th, 1975
box
2K47 Contracts and riders, August 6th, 1975 – June 21th, 1991
Correspondence, May 29th, 1967 – August 25th, 1992, and undated
Frazier & McKay Productions
James Brown show, San Antonio, September 4th, 1978
Jazz Recording Labels in U.S.A.
Joe Nettles papers
Leased equipment receipts and brochures
L.J.F. Productions
Blank forms
Performance Guide, 7/1989
Performance Guide, 9/1989
Performance Guide, 10/1989
Performance Guide, 12/1989
Planning documents and notes
"Skipper Lee Show"
Talent agency flyers
Tax documents
box
2K48 Royalty statements
box
2K50 Photographs:
Archie Bell & the Drells
"Skipper Lee Show"
box
2K52 Assorted newspaper clippings
box
2K48 KOOL Jazz Festival:
Assorted Papers
Correspondence
Programs
Newspaper clippings
KCOH-AM:
Assorted papers, April 16, 1973 - December 31, 1978, and undated
box
2K49 Assorted papers, January 1, 1979 - 1991
Ad sales, April 16, 1968 - May, 1993, and undated
Commercial transcripts
Correspondence, September 24th, 1973 – April 15th, 1993, and undated
Gladys Hill Memorial Fund
Frazier Enterprises Ledger of Expenses, 1969-1970
box
2K50 Skipper Lee & Son Eternal Rest Funeral Home:
Assorted papers
Photographs
Joseph Paul Taylor, Jr. photo album
S. L. F. Supply, Inc. records
Skipper Lee Advertising records
box
2K51 Motel Business:
Assorted papers
Correspondence
Tax documents
Ledgers of expenses
Correspondence and invoices Richard J. Vane's motel additions
Bureau of Land Management, lands available for oil and gas filings
box
2K52 Receipts and invoices



 

Personal papers

box
2K49 General correspondence, June 27th, 1968 – April 22nd, 1993, and undated
Windsor Village United Methodist Church:
Church events
box
2K50 Photographs
Tighten Up: The Autobiography of Skipper Lee: Proof version of book, c. 2001
West Gulf Coast Engineers, Inc., correspondence and documents relating to lawsuit, 1988
box
2K51 Community Involvement:
Assorted papers
Awards and certificates received by Frazier
Ben Barnes for Governor
Assorted papers
box
2K50 Photographs
box
2K52 Newspaper clippings
Frazier’s Bid for Harris County Commissioner Seat, Precinct 1
Brochures and programs
Correspondence
Muhammad Ali Testimonial dinner
Site Selection Committee for the 1992 Republican Convention
Speeches
Publications collected by Frazier:
Wall Calendar, 1993
Houston telephone directories
Magazines
box
2K52 Newspaper articles written about Frazier
Ricky Bell clipping file
box
2.325/K79b Agent & Manager, June 1993
box
2K51 Assorted notes
Skipper Lee Frazier biographical information
Assorted personal legal documents



 

Photographic materials

box
2K50 Photographic prints:
Assorted photographs
Portraits and drawings of Skipper Lee Frazier
Juneteenth Blues Festival
Performances and musicians
Frazier with others
Candid photographs of Frazier
Photographic proofs
Promotional photographs collected by Frazier, unidentified; A-Z
box
3Y37a [restricted] Slides of musicians and Frazier
box
3Z319b [restricted] Negatives



 

Audio-visual materials:

box
2K53 LPs:
Streets Will Love You, Clay Hammond
(2 copies)
The Boogie is Back, Big Joe Nettles
For Ladies Only, Wildman Steve
Party Freak, Sexy Rapper
National Association of Recording Artists (NARA), 1965
Baby Don’t Leave, Tony Warner
Adventures in Negro History "You Are So Special to Me," Chuck Strong
The Last Request, Ben Branch & The Operation Breadbasket Orchestra & Choir
I Am Serious About Your Love, Quinn Golden
Shaft Soundtrack, Isaac Hayes
B.B. King LP insert
Stax/Volt Revue Vol. 1, Live in London, LP sleeve
(empty)
45s:
"Only Inside" & "Nothing Can Stop Me," TSU Toronadoes
"Do You Really Love Me?" & "By The Time I Get to Phoenix," Masters of Soul
"I Need You" & "Count The Times," Masters of Soul
Videotapes:
A Mountain of Soul: Skipper Lee Frazier (a biographical feature on Frazier and the "roasts and toasts" held in his honor)
"Windsor Village Church/ Caldwell/ March 1986"
"This is America" music video/ Gary Reese, April 1988
"Silk Willie"/ Houston’s Funniest/ Bus Driver/ Demo Tape
Willowridge Eagle Marching Band, 1990
U-Matic videocassettes:
Dennis Edwards – "Aphrodisiac”"
Master—Austin, Bobby Womack "30 second TV"
Dennis Edwards—"Don’t Look Any Further"
Church service, Windsor Valley United Methodist Church
"Venus Motel 30 sec. Houston Texas, 1/1983"
Bobby Womack Show—30 sec—Houston, TX—Dub
Audiocassettes:
"Q.T. Pie"/ "Dance To The Music," The Wild Boyz
Juvembah Promotional Cassette
Face to Face With Comedy
"Marie" demo
"Sweet Love," Leslie Pete
Unlabeled audiocassette
"I Want to Test Drive Your Body"/ "I’m A Booty Bandit," Forest Nelson
"Reach Out And Touch A Friend"/ "King Jesus," Edwardo Dismuke
"Holler for Help," Gloria Edwards/ "Galveston Sunrise," Nelson Mills III with Kathy Lawler
Instrumental (?) –Bert Lewis
Dellenor Miles demo
City Wide Club of Clubs
Calvin Owens
(3 copies)
The Entertainer, Jearlin King
Cleo ‘C’
"2 song"—Skipper Lee Frazier
"Original Mississippi Delta Blues/ Blind Lemon Jefferson/ 1927"
"This Side"
Grady Gaines & The Texas Upsetters
Reel-to-reel:
Demo: Cut 1: "Baby Don’t Leave Me"
Cut 2: "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"
box
2.325/F772 Restricted material:
[restricted until 2052] Financial Documents
Frazier & Frazier Motel:
[restricted until 2049] Tax Statements, 1973 – 1974
[restricted until 2056] Texas Employment Commission Quarterly Reports, 1980
[restricted until 2050] Payroll 1974 – 1975
[restricted until 2058] Transmittal of Returned Wage, 1983