Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Vince Bell collection, 1960s-2016 MS 674

creator Bell, Vince
Title: Vince Bell collection
Dates: 1960s-2016
Abstract: This collection contains news clippings, fliers, journals, photographs, business records, audio, and other items chronicling the musical history of Vince Bell.
Identification: MS 674
Quantity: 6 Linear Feet(5 boxes)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical / Historical

Starting in 1970, Houston-native Vince Bell began playing folk music in clubs across Houston, including Sand Mountain Coffee House, the Old Quarter, Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant, as well as larger venues like Liberty Hall and local universities. He also went on to play the U.S. coffee house circuit.

In the mid-1970s, he spent his time living in both Austin and Houston forming bands and playing solo. In 1980, he worked on the rock ballet “Bermuda Triangle” with James Clouser for the Space/Dance/Theater. The ballet premiered in Houston at the Miller Outdoor Theater in May 1980.

After recording in an Austin studio, on December 21, 1982, he was hit by a drunk driver. The accident damaged his right arm, caused a severe brain injury, and he had a partially paralyzed vocal chord. After the accident, he worked over the next decade to rebuild his life and play the guitar again. This led him to develop a unique picking style and to write new music for his singing voice.

In 1994, he released his first album, “Phoenix,” to wide critical acclaim. He went on tour with The Jayhawks throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He followed this up with, “Texas Plates” (1999), “Live in Texas” (2001), “Recado” (2007), and “One Man’s Music” (2009), and the DVD “New Lamps for Old". His songs have been covered by Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Little Feat, Trout Fishing in America, among others.

He later chronicled his life in two independently published autobiographies, which were later re-published as one book entitled “One Man’s Music: The Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell” by University of North Texas Press.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains news clippings, fliers, journals, photographs, business records, audio, and other items chronicling the musical history of Vince Bell. There are also materials relating to his autobiographies.


Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from this material must be obtained from Vince Bell.

Index Terms

Folk music
Folk-rock music

Related Materials

Please see the Rice University KTRU Radio records, UA 011.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Vince Bell collection, 1960s-2016, MS 674, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Vince Bell in November 2016.


Additional materials are expected for this collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: General

Box Folder
1 1 "Bermuda Triangle" 1980
2 Biography 1999
3 Black Coffee Music 1970s-1980s
4 Brackenridge Hospital medical records 1982-1983
Vince Bell obtained these medical records and used them to write his autobiography. He knowingly donated them.
5 Brockwood School 2001
6 Calvert Bell 1979-1980
7 Complete Works 1971-2000
8 Correspondence 1975-1989
9 Degree/Certificates 1986-1987
10 Design 1980s
11 European tours 1990s
12 The Flatliners 2005-206
13 Fliers 1970s-1980s
14 Fliers 1990s
15 Fliers/Programs 2000s
16 Fliers 2010s
17 Froese line drawing portraits 1998
18 Griffith, Nanci 1990-1993
19 Laurelwood Hospital medical records 1983
Vince Bell obtained these medical records and used them to write his autobiography. He knowingly donated them.
20 "Live in Texas" business 2001-2002
21 "Live in Texas" promotion 2001
22 "Live Music's Cool from Live Music School" 1999-2000
23 Lovett, Lyle 1994-2012
24-25 Lyrics 1970s-1980s
26 Moon Hill Management 1970s-1989
27 News clippings 1970s-1980s
28-29 News clippings 1990-1999
30 News clippings 2000-2009
31 Notes ca. 1983
32 "One Man's Music: A Monologue with Song" 2009-2010
33 "One Man's Music" CD 2009
34 "Phoenix" CD art 1994
35 "Phoenix" promotion 1994
36 Promotional materials 1990-1996
37 Publishing 2008
38 Radio 1990s-2010
39 "Recado" costs and copyright 2007
40 "Recado" orders 2007
41 "Recado" promotion 2007
42 Royalties 1999
43 Selected Works 1971-1992
Box Folder
2 1 Set lists 1970s-1980s
2 Sheet music 1990s
3 Steadybug records 2007
4 Sturtevant, Bob - "Big Dusty Went Back to Jacumba" 2012
5 "The Sun and Moon and Stars: A Musical" 1988
6 "Texas Plates" costs 1998
7 "Texas Plates" CD design 1998
8 "Texas Plates" promotion 1999
9 Tour 1995
10 Traumatic brain injury outreach 1983-2003
11 Vince Bell Benefit 1983-01
12 Website 1998

Series II: Books

Sub-Series A: One Man's Music
Box Folder
2 13 Book reading 1999
14 Business 1997-1999
15 Cover art 1998
16 Excerpts for book 1999
17-18 First edit 1990s
19 Outlines and early writings 1990s
20 Reviews 1999
21 Second edit 1990s
22 Taylor, Hobart - phone interview transcript 1990s
Sub-Series B: Sixtyeight Twentyeight: The Life and Times of a Texas Writer and a Flap Top Box Guitar
Box Folder
2 23 "Live Music's Cool at Live Music School" 1990s
24 Cover illustrations 2006
25 Promotion 2006
26-27 Proof 2000s
28 Reviews 2007
Sub-Series C: One Man's Music: The Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell
Box Folder
2 29 Promotion 2009
30-31 Proof 2000s
32 Reviews 2009-2010
33 Royalties 2009-2011

Series III: Journals and Planners

Box Folder
2 34 Hospital pages 1982
35 Journal 1972-1974
36 Journal 1976
37 Journal 1977
38 Journal 1970s
Box Folder
3 1 Journal 1979-1989
2 Journal 1990-1992
3 Laurelwood Hospital notebook 1983
4 Lyrics and sheet music notebooks 1990s
5 Planner 1990
6 Planner 1991
7 Planner 1992
8 Planner 1993

Series IV: Photographs

Box Folder
3 9 late 1960s-1980s
10 "Phoenix" recording 1994
11 "Texas Plates" recording 1998
12 Tours - Europe and Canada 1990s
13 1990s
14 Austin City Limits 2000
15 2000s

Series V: Audio and Video

Sub-Series A: Vince Bell audio
Scope and Contents
These audio recordings represent performances by Vince Bell.
4 "Old Blue Dogs" / "Cincinnati Song" (45 rpm) early 1970s
"The Copacabana Song," "All Through My Days" (reel-to-reel) 1970s
"The Sun and Moons and Stars: The Musical" (2 cassettes) 1989
"Phoenix" (2 CDs, 3 cassettes) 1994
"The Watermelon Sampler: Volume 1" (CD) 1995
"Fast Folk: Musical Magazine: Volume 8, Issue 9" (CD) 1997
"Texas Plates" (CD) 1998-10-23
"MRQ #7" (CD) 1999
"Texas Plates" (CD) 1999
"Live in Texas" (2 CDs, 1 cassette) 2001
"Recado" final master (CD) 2007-02-27
"Recado" (CD) 2007
"One Man's Music" master (CD) 2008-12-17
"One Man's Music" master (2 CDs) 2009-01-06
"The Front Row" (CD) 2009-11-04
"Acoustic, Volume IX #7 Radio Sampler" (CD) 2009
"One Man's Music" (CD) 2009
"Folkways: Vince Bell with Bill Browder" (CD) 2010-01-22
"The Bells" (cassette) 2016
Broken cassette tape n.d.
"Early Dorks" master (cassette) n.d.
Live recording (cassette) n.d.
Master (CD) n.d.
"Music School Publishing" (cassette) n.d.
"Recent Works" master (cassette) n.d.
Singles (cassette tape) n.d.
Scope and Contents
Features songs "Labor of Love," "One Man's Music," "Reaching for the Stars," "The Goodnight Lullaby," and "Where the Child Sleeps"
Sub-Series B: Other audio
Scope and Contents
These audio recordings feature song(s) written by Vince Bell, but performed by other artists. It also includes songs where Bell plays, but is not the featured artist.
4 Franke, Denice "Comfort" (CD) 2001
Griffith, Nanci "Late Night Grande Hotel" (CD and cassette) 1991
Griffith, Nanci "Other Voices, Other Rooms" (CD and cassette) 1993
Lovett, Lyle "Step Inside This House" (2 CDs and 1 cassette) 1998
Miller, Kim "Risk of the Roar" (CD) 2007
Ravera, Davide "Dr. Dave and Mr. Haze" (CD) 2008
Trout Fishing in America "Closer to the Truth" (2 CDs) 1999
Sub-Series C: Book interviews
4 Bell, Lana 1996-06-09
Bell, Vince 1996
Browder, Bill 1996
Dixon, Ronn 1996
Fromholz, Steven 1996
Hammond, Shary Bell (2) 1996-06-08
Jarrard, Franci and Stephen 1996-06-22
Leatherwood, Tim 1996
Mercier, Mandy 1996
Sturtevant, Bob (3) 1996-05
Vick, Kathleen 1996
Sub-Series D: Video
4 "Little 'Ol Show: Calvert Bell" (VHS) 1979
Vince Bell benefit (3 DVDs) 1983-01-30
Anderson Fair, Houston, TX - Don Sanders, Eric Taylor, Vince Bell (VHS) 1984-12-22
Bell interview with Toni Bruni (2 VHS) 1985
Anderson Fair, Houston, TX (VHS) 1984-12-20 - 1984-12-21, 1985-11-08
River Bottom Folk Festival (VHS - Damaged) 1986
Cactus Cafe, Austin, TX (VHS) 1994-07-16
Day Progrm, St. David's Rehabilitation Center (VHS) late 1990s
"In the Prime: Turning Point" (VHS) mid-late 1990s
Four songs (VHS) 1990s
Scope and Contents
Performing "Just Because," "I've Had Enough," "Hard Road," "Frankenstein."
Waterloo Ice House, Austin, TX (VHS) 2000-08-26
"Austin City Limits: Step Inside This House" (2 VHS) 2000
NBC Nightly News - New York (DVD) Fall 2010
Excerpts from "One Man's Music: A Monologue with Song" (DVD) 2010
"One Man's Music: A Monologue" performance (DVD) 2011-05
"Anderson Fair Reunion" (DVD) 2011
"New Lamps for Old" rough draft (DVD) 2013-01-04
"New Lamps for Old" (2 DVDs) 2013-02-05

Series VI: Memorabilia

4 Mayor of Montrose desk name plate 1970s

Series VII: Oversized Materials

Box Folder
5 1 Art of Vince Bell 1970s
2 Design work for books and albums 1980s-2000s
3 Personal graphic design work 1980s
4 Photographs 1960s-1980s
5 Posters 1970s-2000s
map-drawer item
182 3-5 Posters (3 from European Tour) 1990s