Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Robert Shaw Collection, [ca. 1920-1980]



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Shaw, Robert, 1908-1985
Title: Shaw, Robert, Collection
Dates: [ca. 1920-1980]
Abstract: Composed of sheet music, scrapbooks, correspondence, videocassette tapes, and photographs, the Robert Shaw Collection, [ca. 1920-1980], documents Shaw’s career as a barrelhouse pianist.
Accession No.: 85-255
Extent: ca. 1 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Stafford, Texas, Robert Shaw (1908-1985) was the son of Jesse and Hettie Shaw. Despite his interest in music at an early age, Shaw’s father forbade him from taking piano lessons, encouraging him to work in the family’s cattle and hog business instead. As a teenager, Shaw traveled to Houston to listen to jazz musicians while paying for his own piano lessons. He eventually learned to the "barrelhouse" piano style and joined an itinerant band called the Santa Fe Circuit in the 1920s. As a solo artist, Shaw played throughout Texas while also hosting his own radio show in Oklahoma City in 1933. After settling in Austin around 1934, he started a barbecue business and grocery store. Following his marriage to Martha Landrum five years later, Shaw he recorded the album Texas Barrelhouse Piano with Mack McCormick in 1963. In 1967, he began performing again, playing at a number of venues, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Smithsonian Institution’s American Folk Life Festival.

Source:

Acosta, Teresa Palomo. "Shaw, Robert."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed April 27, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsh43.

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Scope and Contents

Composed of sheet music, scrapbooks, correspondence, videocassette tapes, and photographs, the Robert Shaw Collection, [ca. 1920-1980], documents Shaw’s career as a barrelhouse pianist. Sheet music concerns barrelhouse, blues, and jazz music, while scrapbooks consist of clippings related to the barrelhouse music scene and Shaw’s performances. The collection also contains correspondence and videocassette tapes relating to performances as well as photographs depicting Shaw and his family.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Shaw, Robert, 1908-1985 -- Archives.
Shaw family.
Subjects
Blues (Music) -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Musicians -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Piano music (Barrelhouse) -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Places
Texas -- History -- 20th century.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Shaw Collection, [ca. 1920-1980], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

Correspondence, sheet music, scrapbooks, and videocassette tapes, [ca. 1920-1980]Sound archives
box
3S28 Photographs

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