Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Arhoolie Production Inc. Record Collection

Collection Summary

Creator Chris Strachwitz
Title Arhoolie Production Inc. Record Collection
Dates: 1930s-1970s
Abstract: Chris Strachwitz who created Arhoolie Productions, Inc. to promote the songs and styles of regionally known musicians donated music in different formats to South Texas Archives in 1997. This collection features mainly Mexican-American music familiar to the South Texas region.
Identification A1998-048
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/ead.php?xml=Arhoolie%20EAD
Quantity: 30 LPs
Location: H-3-5 Box 1&2; Media File for CDs and video, STA Photo File A1998-048
Language: English and Spanish

Historical Note

Originally Strachwitz's idea of making records grew out of his hobby of collecting 78 rpm recordings of various vernacular traditions, which began shortly after his arrival in the US from Germany as a teenager in 1947. Strachwitz was a fan and collector of swing, jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, Mexican rancheras, and old-time country and gospel records. In 1959 discovering that Lightin' Hopkins was alive in Texas and making music in beer joints in Houston, Strachwitz traveled to Texas to record him. Hopkins left for California as Strachwitz settled in Texas to start his production company. Mack McCormick, who introduced Strachwitz to Lightin' Hopkins in Houston came up with the name, Arhoolie, which means field holler. The name stuck and the first LP from the pressing plant was 250 copies of Mance Lipscomb LP # 1001. Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records has put out over 350 albums. Many of the regional music would never had national exposure without Arhoolie. The Smithsonian acquired the Arhoolie label from Strachwitz and his partner, Tom Diamant in 2016 to assure that his recordings would survive and remain available to future generations. The Arhoolie Records collection will be made available via the Smithsonian Folkways web in October of 2016. South Texas Archives was fortunate to be gifted with this collection of recordings from Strachwitz in 1997.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 30 LPs of Texas artists/rare & out of print; 28 LPs of Texas/Mexican Music; 1 LP Box set; 1 video “Chulas Fronteras”; 3 CDs Mexican/American; 1 C( 9019/20 Corridos; 1 CD 9041/4 Mexican Revolution; 30 photos & booklets; and 42 CDs - Mexican American.


The LPs , CDs, and photographs are arranged in the order they were donated.

Index Terms

Strachwitz, Christian Alexander, 1931 -
Holiday, Billie, 1915-1959
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971
Hopkins, Sam John "Lightnin," 1912-1982
Burnett, Chester Arthur, 1910-1976
Arhoolie Records, Inc
Pomona College
University of California, Berkeley
United States. Army
Blues Hall of Fame
Geographical Names
Reno (Nev.)
Santa Barbara, (Cal.)
Sound recording executives and producers
Sound recording industry
Music trade
Blues (Music)
Tejano music