Southern Methodist University

Roger Horchow papers, 1927-2013 :

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Horchow, Roger
Title: Roger Horchow papers
Dates: 1927-2013
Abstract: Roger Horchow was a businessman and Tony Award winning Broadway producer who lived in Dallas, Texas. His luxury mail order business, Horchow Collection, operated from the early 1970s to 1988. He spent the rest of his life producing and investing in multiple Broadway shows. This collection includes catalogs, photographs, correspondence, business records, and music.
Identification: MSS 154, MSS 154X
Quantity: 30 boxes (16 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Samuel Roger Horchow was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 3, 1928. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Yale University in 1950 before serving in the Korean War as a first lieutenant in the Army Security Agency for three years. Horchow moved to Houston, Texas and worked for Federated Department Stores (Foley’s) as a buyer of china, glass, and giftware. He later moved to Dallas to work for Neiman Marcus in the 1960s as merchandise director, and in the mail order department. In 1971 Horchow began working for Kenton Corporation for a few years until he was able to buy the company with the help of investors. The business was renamed the Horchow Collection.

His luxury mail order business was very successful, and by the 1980s additional catalogs included Trifles, Grand Finale, and SGF (Savings on Gifts and Furnishings). In 1988 he sold the Horchow Collection to Neiman Marcus and focused on producing Broadway shows. Horchow’s mother was a concert pianist, and he grew up listening to George Gershwin and music from the early twentieth century. In 1992 he won the Tony Award for producing the Best Musical, “Crazy For You,” and again in 1999 for Best Revival of a Musical, “Kiss Me Kate.” Other musicals he produced include “Curtains” (2006), “Gypsy” (2008), “Annie” (2012), and “Bandstand” (2017).

Horchow also authored three books: Elephants in Your Mailbox: How I Learned the Secrets of Mail-order Marketing Despite Having Made 25 Horrendous Mistakes (1980); Living in Style: In a Time When Taste Means More Than Money (1981); and The Art of Friendship: 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections (2006) co-authored with his daughter Sally Horchow.

He married Carolyn Pfeifer and they had three daughters. Roger Horchow died in Dallas, Texas, on May 2, 2020.

Sources:

Speech for International Direct Marketing and Mail Order Symposia, Montreux, Switzerland, 1976 April 28-30, Box 5, Folder 8

Genzlinger, Neil. “S. Roger Horchow, Retailer Turned Broadway Producer, Dies at 91.” New York Times, May 15, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/business/roger-horchow-dead.html

“Roger Horchow 1928-2020.” Dallas Morning News, May 5, 2020. https://obits.dallasnews.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?n=roger-horchow&pid=196142656

Wolfe, Jane. “Mail-order Mogul: Roger Horchow Delivers the Goods.” D Magazine, February 1985. https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/1985/february/mail-order-mogul


Scope and Contents Note

Roger Horchow’s papers focuses on his mail order and Broadway production business interests. The first series begins with Horchow’s job at Kenton Corporation in 1971, and continues with the Horchow Collection business records until 1990.

The second series includes research about George Gershwin music; business records for Broadway shows that Horchow produced; publicity, posters, and playbills. The final boxes in this series include 75 home audio cassette tapes of Gershwin music.

The last series contains speech notes, genealogies, press clippings about Roger Horchow and his businesses, as well as family and business photographs. The photographs of China in box 26 chronicle Horchow’s buying trips in the 1970s.

Books from Roger Horchow’s papers can be found by searching the online catalog with the search string "Part of the Roger Horchow collection."


Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 3 series:
Series 1: Mail order business, 1971-2000
Series 2: Horchow Productions Inc. and Broadway shows, 1927-2013
Series 3: Personal papers, 1938-2007

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which DeGolyer Library assumes no responsibility.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Horchow, Roger
Gershwin, George, 1898-1937
Subjects (Organizations)
Horchow Collection (Firm)
Subjects
Mail-order business--Texas--Dallas
Commercial catalogs
Luxury goods industry--Texas--Dallas
Musicals--Production and direction
Places
China--Description and travel
Occupations
Businessmen--Texas--Dallas
Theatrical producers and directors--United States
Document Types
Catalogs
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Theatrical posters
Audiocassettes

Related Material

Stanley Marcus papers, A1993.1869

Roger Horchow Collection of George Gershwin (Manuscript Collection MS-01589). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

A. C. Greene Papers, AR409, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Roger Horchow papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Roger Horchow, 2006, 2020.

Processing Information

This collection was originally accessioned as A2006.0008 in 2006, and material was placed in acid free folders. Additional materials were received in 2020 for a total of 15 boxes. Many of the photographs were removed from albums, and placed in mylar sleeves.

Books from Roger Horchow’s papers were cataloged and shelved separately. These volumes can be found by searching the online catalog with the search string "Part of the Roger Horchow collection." 2.5 linear feet of various playbills were separated from the collection and are shelved with DeGolyer ephemera and playbills. In 2021, Cynthia Franco processed the collection, wrote and encoded the finding aid.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Mail order business, 1971-2000
13 boxes

This series begins with Roger Horchow’s employment with Kenton Corporation in 1971 and includes the Horchow Collection business records from its beginning to 1990. The last box includes records for PRH (company related to London musical production), and a self-published book by his coworker Margaret Anne Cullum about their business trip to China.
Box Folder
1 1 Kenton Mail Order, Inc. records, 1971
2-3 Horchow Corporation stock, 1974-1981
Box Folder
2 1-2 Horchow Corporation minutes, 1974-1981
3 Horchow Mail Order Inc. stockholders, 1982-1988
4-6 Horchow Mail Order Inc. records, 1975-1985
Box Folder
3 1 Horchow Investment Corporation minute book, 1978-1981
2 Horchow Mail Order Inc. minutes, 1985-1988
3-8 Horchow Mail Corporation consolidated financial statements, 1973-1984
Box Folder
4 1-4 Horchow Mail Corporation consolidated financial statements, 1973-1988
Box Folder
5 1 Horchow Mail Order Inc. financial statements and preliminary presentation, 1988
2 Documents submitted to Horchow Mail Order Inc. board of directors meeting held 1985 April 10
3 Horchow Mail Order Inc. lease agreement, 1986
4 A concentrated appraisal of Neiman-Marcus mail order, 1988; Horchow Mail Order Inc. financial information, 1988
5 Horchow Mail Order Inc. financial information, 1990
6 Horchow Mail Order Inc. software selection project, 1986 June
7 Specialty Mail Order Businesses: What Are They and What Are They Worth? report by Thomas Kelly, 1984 May 16
8 Speech for International Direct Marketing and Mail Order Symposia, Montreux, Switzerland, 1976 April 28-30
Box Folder
6 1-2 Horchow Mail Order Inc. acquisition by the Neiman-Marcus Group, 1988 October 1 [2 volumes]
3 Horchow information memorandum, 1988 June
4 [business scrapbook], 1971-1974
Box Folder
7 1 Roger Horchow newsletters, 1983-1989
2-18 The Kenton Collection catalogs, 1971-1973
19 Horchow Collection Book for Cooks, 1973
20-32 Horchow Collection catalogs, 1974
Box Folder
8 1-42 Horchow Collection catalogs, 1974-1981
Box Folder
9 1-34 Horchow Collection catalogs, 1982-1984
Box Folder
10 1-14 Horchow Collection catalogs, 1985-1986
15-21 Another Perspective From Horchow catalogs, 1982-1983
22-41 Grand Finale catalogs, 1981-1986
Box Folder
11 1 Horchow Antique Collection catalog
2 A Portfolio of Business Gifts catalog
3 Practicalities catalogs, 1983
4-7 SGF [Savings on Gifts and Furnishings] catalogs, 1985-1986
8-34 Trifles catalogs, 1977-1984
Box Folder
12 1-10 Trifles catalogs, 1985-1986
11 Weston Trading Company catalogs, 1974-1975
12 Yale Collection catalog, 1980 June
Glass paperweight with Horchow, Grand Finale, SGF, and Trifles miniature covers, and Neiman Marcus Group acquisition announcement, 1988
One million dollars cashier’s check from Horchow Corporation to Kenton Corporation, 1973 June 15, in plexiglass with plaque from Brook Hollow National Bank
Box Folder
13 1 1973 Southern Creativity Annual
2 The Jefferson Awards, 1977
3 China Once Upon a Time by Margaret Anne Cullum
4 PRH minute book, 1992-2000



Series 2: Horchow Productions Inc. and Broadway shows, 1927-2013
14 boxes

This series includes research about George Gershwin music; business records for Broadway shows that Horchow produced; publicity, posters, and playbills. Researchers should note that Horchow also invested in Broadway shows, such as Les Miserables. The final boxes in this series include an audio reel of the 1970 Gershwin Festival, a Crazy For You Broadway cast recording on compact disc, and 75 home audio cassette tapes of Gershwin music.
Box Folder
13 5-6 Horchow Productions Inc. records, 1991-2004
Box Folder
14 1-5 Gershwin project, 1969-1994 – correspondence with Frank E. Tuitt and notes
Box Folder
15 1-2 Gershwin project, 1969-1994 – correspondence with Frank E. Tuitt and notes
3 [Popular early twentieth century song music]
George Gershwin’s Song-Book. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1932 ; George Gershwin’s Preludes for Piano. New York: New World Music Corp., 1927
The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960
The Book [popular song tunes]
Box Folder
16 1 Les Miserables playbills, 1987 March
2 Crazy For You – Girl Crazy (original version) script, 1977?
3 Crazy For You – piano conductor’s score, 1995
4 Crazy For You – costume designs
5 Crazy For You – memorandum, 1993 June 16
6 Crazy For You – New York personnel, 1993
7-8 Crazy For You – Lutz and Carr [accountants], 1992-1996
9 Crazy For You – New York merchandise, 1992-1996
Box Folder
17 1-3 Crazy For You – New York legal documents, 1991-1996
4 Crazy For You – Four Corners Agreement, 1994
5 Crazy For You – [Michael S.] Strunsky [Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts], 1993-1994
6 Crazy For You – contracts, stock and amateur rights, 1993-1995
7-10 Crazy For You – general information, 1994-1996
Box Folder
18 1 Crazy For You – New York, 1993-1995
2 Crazy For You – tour personnel, 1993
3 Crazy For You – USA tour, 1993-1995
4 Crazy For You – London, Baker Tilly [accounting], 1993-1995
5 Crazy For You – London personnel
6 Crazy For You – London legal documents, 1992-1994
7 Crazy For You – London, 1994-1997
8 Crazy For You – Canada unrecouped, 1994-1995
9 Crazy For You – Canada, 1995-1996
Box Folder
19 1-2 Crazy For You – Japan, 1992-1995
3 Crazy For You – Japan contracts, 1992
4 Crazy For You – Japan playbills
5 Crazy For You – Shiki Theatrical Company, 1988 [promotional booklet in Japanese]
6 Crazy For You – Dallas engagement publicity recap, 1993
7 Crazy For You – publicity, 1993
8 Crazy For You – promotional ephemera
9 Crazy For You – programs
10-11 Crazy For You – clippings, 1991-1992
Box Folder
20 1-5 Crazy For You – clippings, 1992-1993
Box Folder
28X 2 Crazy For You – clippings, 1993
3 Crazy For You - posters
Box Folder
20 6 Performing Arts magazines – 1993 May, June, September
7 Tony Awards supper ball seating arrangements brochure, 1992
Box Folder
21 1 Kiss Me Kate – vocal score, 1967
2 Kiss Me Kate – casting, 1999-2001
3 Kiss Me Kate – programs, 1999-2000
4-7 Kiss Me Kate – photocopies of reviews, 1999-2000
Box Folder
22 1 Kiss Me Kate – photocopies of reviews, 2000-2001
2 Kiss Me Kate – booklet for London, 2001 production
3 Kiss Me Kate – posters, 2000
OversizeFolder
Kiss Me Kate – poster for Martin Beck Theatre production
Box Folder
22 4 Curtains – programs, compact disc, 2006
5 Curtains – clippings, 2007
Box Folder
28X 4 Curtains – cast photograph; marquee photograph by Jason Michael Blair, 2008
Box Folder
22 6 Tony Awards playbill, 2007
7 Gypsy – playbill, 2008 March
8 Gypsy – clippings, 2008
9 Annie – programs, 1979, 2012
Box Folder
27X 3 Annie – programs, 2013
Box Folder
22 10 Dinner at Eight: a Musical Based on the Classic Play
Box
29-30 Gershwin Festival audio reel, 1970 October 28-29
Crazy For You Broadway cast recording, compact disc, 1992
75 home audio cassette tapes of Gershwin music, 1970s-1980s



Series 3: Personal papers, 1938-2007
7 boxes

This series contains speech notes, genealogies, press clippings about Roger Horchow and his businesses, a VHS tape of a 48 Hours segment on Horchow, family and business photographs. The photographs of China in box 26 chronicle Horchow’s buying trips in the 1970s.
Box Folder
22 11 Notes for speech at DeGolyer Library
12 Genealogies
13 Gershwin postage stamps; Adlai Stevenson first issue stamp, 1965
14 Roger Horchow clippings, 1971-2007
15 Kenton Mail Order newspaper clippings
Box Folder
23 1-15 Horchow Collection catalog and Roger Horchow newspaper clippings, 1971-1989
16 You Can Never Be Too Rich poster
Box Folder
24 1 Bazaar, 1972 May
2 Business Week, 1971 December 12
3 D Magazine - 1977 December, 1993 April, 1985 February
4 Dallas Life Magazine, 1985 October 27
5 Financial Enterprise, 1984 Summer
6 Fortune, 1974 May
7 Home and Garden Dallas-Fort Worth, 1983 September
8 Lifestyle, 1972 November
9 Metropolitan Home, 1982 February
10 National Geographic, 1984 September
11 Open Market, 1985 Spring
12 People, 1976 December 13
Box Folder
27X 4 Saturday Evening Post, Winter 1971; Summer 1972
Box Folder
24 13 Spirit, 1987 December
14 Store Call, 1963 August 30
Box Folder
25 1 Texas Monthly – 1977 December, 2000 September
2 Time, 1978 November 27
Box Folder
27X 5 Town and Country, 1954 March; 1961 May
Box Folder
25 3 Travel and Leisure, 1972 February/March
4 Vogue, 1971 September
5 Ultra - 1982 November, 1984 October, 1985 November, 1987 October
Audio cassettes – Horchow Collection Expands, Gets Silver Mailbox; Quality High Ticket Items By Mail; Success Case History [2 copies]; Horchow Profile 1980 July 24
VHS tape – 48 Hours Making News, 1994 April 13
Box Folder
26 1 Roger Horchow photographs, 1972-2007
2 1971 Kenton Collection Begins – photographs
3 [Reproduction scrapbook of 1976 trip to China]
4-6 Trip to China photographs, 1978
7 [Japan business trip photographs, 1978]
8 China photographs, 1982
9 China - SRH and Barney Young photographs, 1982
10 China photographs [with note from Jim]
11 Carolyn and Roger [China] photographs
12 Photographs, 1984
13 [Horchow Collection business photographs, 1986-1988]
14 [Photograph of two unidentified children at piano]
Box Folder
27X 1 Family photograph, 1938
2 Scrapbook, 1974-1976
Box Folder
28X 1 [Al Hirschfeld illustration of dancers, 3 copies]