University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Lipscomb-Alyn Collection, 1960-1995

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lipscomb, Mance
Creator: Alyn, Glen
Title: Lipscomb-Alyn Collection
Dates: 1960-1995
Abstract: Collection relates to Glen Alyn's production of the biography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas blues musician.
Accession No.: 80-72 through 95-305, 2008-308
Extent: 9 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Mance Lipscomb, guitarist and songster, was born Bowdie Glenn Lipscomb, in the Brazos bottoms near Navasota, Texas, on April 9, 1895. Lipscomb was born into a musical family and began playing at an early age. His mother bought him a guitar when he was eleven, and he was soon accompanying his father, and later entertaining alone, at suppers and Saturday night dances.

Although he had some contact with such early recording artists as fellow Texans Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnson and early country star Jimmie Rodgers, he did not make recordings until his "discovery" by whites during the folk-song revival of the 1960s. He won wide acclaim and emulation from young white audiences and performers for his virtuosity as a guitarist and the breadth of his repertoire. Admirers enjoyed his lengthy reminiscences and eloquent observations regarding music and life, many of which are contained in taped and written materials in the Lipscomb–Alyn Collection. Lipscomb represented one of the last remnants of the nineteenth-century songster tradition, which predated the development of the blues. Despite his popularity, however, he remained poor. After 1974, declining health confined him to a nursing home and hospitals. He died in Navasota on January 30, 1976. [from The Handbook of Texas}

Glen Alyn is the author of I Say Me for a Parable : The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Songster [Glen Alyn was formerly known as Glenn Myers.]

Scope and Contents

Transcripts, notes, correspondence, literary productions, clippings, printed material, maps, photographic materials, video and audio tapes and phonograph records relate to Glen Alyn's production of the biography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas blues musician.


Access Restrictions

Collection open for research and photocopying, but copyright is held by the donor's estate. Contact reference staff for further information.

Subject Headings

Subjects (Persons)
Alyn, Glen--Archives.
Bingham-Bouliane, Nancy
Bowman, George
Grossman, Stefan
Hamer, Frank
Lipscomb, Elnora
Lipscomb, Mance, 1895-1976
Myers, A. Glenn
Strachwitz, Chris
Wilson, Burton
Subjects (Organizations)
Arhoolie Records, Inc.
Armadillo World Headquarters (Austin)
Blues musicians--Texas--History--Sources.
Blues (Music)--Texas--History--Sources.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Lipscomb-Alyn Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2K197 Alyn's original research:
Oral history tape transcripts:
July 21-August 1, 1973
2K198 September 2, 1973 and 1974-1975
Topical, 1973-1976
2K199 Topical, 1973-1976
Correspondence, 1967-1978
Songs and recordings notes, undated
2K200 Songs and recordings notes, undated
Scrapbook, undated
Other materials, 1960-1978
2K201 Research from other sources:
Bill Pearson thesis on Mance Lipscomb, 1974
University of Texas Folklore Center, 1965-1978
2K202 Southern Methodist University Oral History Project, 1974
Articles and other publications, 1959-1978
Video transcripts, 1970 and [ca. 1976]
Individuals, 1960-1978 and undated
2K203 Alyn's literary productions:
Articles, 1973-1980
I Say Me for a Parable, 1981-1983 and undated
2K204 I Say Me for a Parable, 1981-1983 and undated
2K205 I Say Me for a Parable, 1981-1983 and undated
Queries, 1976-1978
Non-research material:
Correspondence, 1973-1981
Grant proposals and related letters, 1973-1977
Clippings, 1980-1981
Publicity for Myers' (a.k.a. Glen Alyn) publications and media about Lipscomb, 1993-1995
Publicity for Lipscomb exhibit at the Center for American History, 1993
2.325/A112 Essay, "Fight, Flight or Blues: Mance Lipscomb; Musician, Farmer, Storyteller, Philosopher, Legend, Gatekeeper of the Centuries," by Glen Alyn, 1995
Clippings, 1992
Printed material, 1993, undated
2.325/V12 Oversize materials:
Songs and recordings notes, including record album covers, undated
Calendar, annotated, 1978
Posters, 1973 and 1977
3Y138 Photographs:
By Glen Alyn (contact sheets):
Mance Lipscomb, family and friends, 1973-1976 and undated
Scenes of Grimes and Washington counties, ca. 1974
Collected by Alyn from other sources:
Burton Wilson photographs of Lipscomb at home and in Austin (contact sheets), 1965-1974
Ed Badeaux photographs of Lipscomb at home and with family members (contact sheets), undated
Linda Banks photographs of Lipscomb, undated
Photographs (from album) of Lipscomb in concert, playing at home and with family and friends, 1965-1974
Photographs (from album): copies of historic photographs and postcards of sharecroppers and early Navasota, from Marcus Mallard, undated
3S186.1 Exhibit prints from “Mance Lipscomb: Grimes County Blues Master,” Center for American History, 1993
3Y138 Prints for the book on Mance Lipscomb, 34 items, 1960s-1970s
Photographs of Lipscomb and his farm, and unidentified scenes, taken by Jim Baird and Foy Campbell, 1963
Lipscomb's House and scrapbook (unprinted), 1976
Lipscomb; Grimes and Washington counties scenes, 1973-1976
Historic photographs and postcards album from Marcus Mallard, undated
3Y139 Mance and Elnora Lipscomb, 1973
Robert Shaw: longhorn cattle, 1976
Lipscomb in hospital; Brenham (unprinted), 1974
Lipscomb's house,. photos and scrapbooks (unprinted), 1976
Navasota and Washington, Texas (unprinted), 1974-1975
2/FilmE120 Film, 16 mm, A Well Spent Life
Vidcass 330 CAH Videotape, A Well Spent Life, documentary on Mance Lipscomb
2.325/OD31 Maps:
Texas highway, 1968
Grimes County, road map, 1976
2X48c Audio cassette tapes: "Options, and interview with Mance Lipscomb," by Social Security Administration, [ca. 1968-1973]
2.325/R Sound archives:
Non-Alyn tapes:
Interview with Alyn, June 1981
Profile of Lipscomb and Myers broadcast on National Public Radio, September 1981
"The Texas Blues: A Celebration of Mance Lipscomb,” Barker Center Program, May 2, 1981
Lipscomb at Kerrville Folk Festival, 1972
Lipscomb at University of Texas, November 1974
Alyn's phonograph recordings of Lipscomb:
Arhoolie series
Reprise R-2012, "Trouble in Mind"
Raglan, "The Unexpurgated Folk Songs of Men"
Blues Classics 16, "Texas Blues - The Early 50's"
Alyn's tape cassettes and reels of oral history by and about Lipscomb
2X7a Access Audio CDs for oral history cassette tapes 1 to 34.
2X74j Access Audio CDs for oral history cassette tapes 35 to 68.
2X74k Access Audio CDs for oral history cassette tapes 69 to 77.
Artifacts Contact repository.