Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Art Foxall Collection MSS.0397

Descriptive Summary

Creator Foxall, Art
Title: Art Foxall Collection
Dates: 1925 to 1990, 1940s-1950s
Dates (Bulk): Bulk, 1940-1959
Identification: MSS.0397
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet,1 doc. box, 2 cassette tapes, 2 cassette oral history interviews, 1 VHS videotape
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Art Foxall was born in Houston’s Fourth Ward on April 21, 1925, after his family moved from Louisiana to Texas. Mr. Foxall’s childhood was spent attending Blackshear Elementary and then Jack Yates High School. Mr. Foxall was one of many luminaries to surface from the music department at Yates. His musical career began with his playing the clarinet in the high school band under the direction of Mr. Abner Jones. After a short while, Mr. Foxall decided to play the saxophone exclusively.

Mr. Foxall developed a strong work ethic associated with his music. Throughout his career he never had difficulty securing work in a variety of venues including clubs, festivals and cruise ships; culminating in his goal to play with a symphonic orchestra. He is on record as saying that his primary objective in music is to play what makes people happy and that by doing this, he knew he would always be able to find work.

Following his service with the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946, Mr. Foxall continued to play professionally and received additional formal training when he attended the Schillinger School of Music, which is now known as the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Fellow Berklee alumnus Quincy Jones associated with Mr. Foxall in Bremerton, Washington, in their early years.

Mr. Foxall has discussed his style of playing music as the ‘Texas tenor’ sound, which remained with him throughout his life. As of 2007, Mr. Foxall continues to bring joy to audiences with his unique style of ‘spirited basic mainstream jazz.'

Scope and Contents

The material in the Art Foxall Collection chronicles Mr. Foxall's life and his musical career. The collection consists of a comprehensive taped interview OH470 of Mr. Foxall on February 9, 1990. The interview is completely transcribed to 40 pages of text. The oral history interview tape is housed with the Oral History Collection. The collection also includes publicity photographs, Mr. Foxall’s recorded music and a video-taped performance.


The oral history tapes are housed with the Oral History Collection OH 470, separate from MSS 397, the Art Foxall Collection. The materials in the Art Foxall Collection are arranged in four series by format.
Series 1: Oral History Interview
Series 2: Promotional Materials
Series 3: Photographs
Series 4: Recordings


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Art Foxall Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Berklee College of Music (Boston, Mass.)
Booker T. Washington High School (Houston, Tex.)
Bostick, Earl
Bridgewater, Joseph
Cobb, Arnett, 1918-1989
El Dorado Ballroom (Houston, Tex.)
Everett (Wash.) Symphony Orchestra
Foxall, Art
Gee, Matthew, 1925-1979
Hughes, Howard, 1905-1976
Jack Yates High School (Houston, Tex.)
Jacquet, Russell
Johnson, Clarence
Jones, Abner
Jones, Quincy, 1933-
Milburn, Amos
New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, Mass.)
Phyllis Wheatley High School (Houston, Tex.)
Rosedale Pharmacy (Houston, Tex.)
Shaw, Artie, 1910-
Smalley, Jr., Isaah H.
United States. Navy
Vinson, Eddie
Ye Olde College Inn (Houston, Tex.)
African Americans--Texas
Fourth Ward (Houston, Tex.)
Freedman’s Town (Houston, Tex.)
Jazz musicians--Texas--Houston
Race discrimination--20th century

Related Archival Materials note

Art Foxall Oral History, HMRC Oral History Collection, February 19, 1990.

MSS 345 Jimmy Ford Collection

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection

MSS 252 Milton Larkin Collection

MSS 337 Jewel Brown Collection

MSS 442 Herb Brochstein Collection

MSS 390 Campbell Tolbert Collection

MSS 349 I.H. Smalley Collection

MSS 403 Illinois Jacquet Collection

MSS 336 Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection

MSS 388 Ed Gerlach Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Art Foxall Collection. MSS 397. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Art Foxall, February 9, 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charles Stephenson and Tammy Jordan, April 7, 2007. Biographical note contributed by Tammy Jordan, June 25, 2007.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Oral History Interview

Box Folder
1 1 Personal interview transcript, 2/9/1990

Promotional Materials

Box Folder
1 2 Flyer: Gambits Showcase proudly presents Art Foxall and Overton Berry. No date.


Box Folder
1 3
Art Foxall publicity photos
General note
MSS 397.001 to MSS 397.004


Box Folder
1 4 Cassettes (2): Art’s Back in Town
Song listing: Art's Back In Town; Flamingo; Everybody's Blues, Tell It Like It Is; Georgia; Tory; Art Meets Monk.
4 VHS videotape: Conway Jazz [19]89. performance of Art Foxall and Arnet Cobb