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A Guide to the Joe Nick Patoski Papers, 1929-1998 (Bulk: 1975-1995)

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Patoski, Joe Nick, 1951-
Title: Joe Nick Patoski Papers
Dates: 1929-1998 (Bulk: 1975-1995)
Abstract: Typescripts, correspondence, clippings, photographs, sound recordings, printed material, handwritten notes, ephemera, and artifacts, 1929 to 1998 (bulk 1975-1995), created and maintained by Joe Nick Patoski, document much of his writing career, as well as some aspects of his business and personal life.
Identification: Collection 029
Extent: 31 boxes (17 linear feet)
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Note

Joe Nick Patoski was born June 6, 1951, in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Victor Albert Patoski, who was an engineer, and Irene (Cassalias) Randall, who was a travel agent. The family moved to West Fort Worth in 1953. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Texas at Austin, where he began his career as a writer and consultant in the music business in 1972. Patoski married artist Kristine Anne Cummings November 18, 1980.

Starting as a columnist with the Daily Texan, the newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin, Patoski soon earned a reputation as one of the most respected critics of pop culture in the Southwest. He worked as a stringer for Rolling Stone from 1974 to 1980, and as a contributing editor for Texas Monthly from 1975 to 1980. During the early 1980s, Patoski was the manager and executive producer for several top Texas rock and roll bands, and toured the United States, Europe, and South America. From 1975 to 1979, Patoski was a radio commentator as well as co-producer of two twelve-hour Texas music specials for KUT-FM, Austin. Since 1991 he has been a weekly guest on the “Kevin and Kevin KGSR in the Morning” radio show in Austin.

Starting in 1985, Patoski was an associate editor at Texas Monthly; he was senior editor from 1988 to 2003. Patoski has written on various topics covering the entire range of Texas culture, including the environment. He is currently a freelance writer, with articles published in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, No Depression, Harp, Austin Chronicle, and Dallas Morning-News, as well as Rolling Stone, Spin, and Country Music Magazine. His work has also appeared in Mother Jones, Village Voice, Westways, and Conde Nast Traveler.

Scope and Content Note

Typescripts, correspondence, clippings, photographs, sound recordings, printed material, handwritten notes, ephemera, and artifacts, 1929 to 1998 (bulk 1975-1995), created and maintained by Joe Nick Patoski, document much of his writing career, as well as some aspects of his business and personal life.

The collection has been arranged into nine series: Writing (1975-1998, n.d.), Correspondence (1971-1998, n.d.), Promotional Material (1975-1998, n.d.), Research Material (1929-1998, n.d.), Artist Development Inc. (1985-1986, n.d.), Personal (1980-1995), Photographic Material (n.d.), Ephemera and Printed Material (1975-1997), and Sound Recordings (1962-1990). These series have been created by the cataloger, as the materials arrived with very little discernible order. Though Research Material and Writing are not the two largest series in the collection, they do offer the most insight into Patoski's research and writing process, as well as into the topics that interest him. The largest series include Sound Recordings (5.5 lin. ft.), Promotional Material (almost 4 lin. ft.), and Research Material (3.25 lin. ft.).

Music, in particular Texas and Southwestern music and musicians, is one of Patoski's major areas of interest. This is well documented in the collection, as each series contains material that reveals Patoski's involvement in the music world as a manager, a critic, and as a fan. Much of the music material (photographs, interviews, clippings, ephemera) in the Research Material series was complied by Patoski, and it relates to later articles and books written by Patoski. The largest concentration of music related material is in the Promotional Material series, but the majority of these materials (publicity photographs, press releases, news clippings) are commercial in nature, and were routinely mailed to Patoski. Therefore, these materials do not necessarily reflect his personal tastes or interests in music.

Patoski's passion for music has not prevented him from writing about many other topics. He has written on topics ranging from miniature golf to B-B-Q to the closing of Aquarena Springs in San Marcos. The wide variety of topics Patoski has researched and written about is well represented in the Writing series and the Research series.

A relatively smaller group of material in this collection relates to Patoski's personal life. In the Correspondence series, many of the letters, particularly the letters from his father, offer insight into Patoski's relationships with family and friends. The Photographic Material series contains many unidentified snapshots of Patoski with friends and family throughout his life.

Series I: Writing, 1975-1998, n.d. Boxes 1-3

This series documents the wide variety of topics Patoski has written about, and helps illustrate his writing process from initial handwritten notes to published articles. Contained in this series are clippings of Patoski's work, as well as unpublished band and club reviews, creative works, and a large quantity of handwritten notes. A course packet for a feature writing class taught by Patoski is also included in this series.

Series II: Correspondence, 1971-1998, n.d. Boxes 3-4

This series contains Patoski's personal and professional correspondence, separated into groupings, for Texas Monthly Correspondence and General Correspondence. The majority of the general correspondence is personal in nature. Of particular interest is the relatively large number of letters in general correspondence from Patoski's father, Victor Patoski, most of which are signed simply with the letter V. The Texas Monthly correspondence are mostly from fans and critics of Patoski's work in the magazine. Also contained in the Texas Monthly correspondence are interoffice memos, letters from other publications soliciting Patoski's work, correspondence regarding editing, general fan letters, and several personal letters.

Series III: Promotional Material, 1975-1998, n.d. Boxes 4-11

This series of subject files and artist files, made up of newspaper clippings, notes, interviews, photographs and ephemera, illustrates Patoski's many areas of interest and his research methods. Patoski wrote about and published pieces relating to many of the topics and people in the subject and artist files. Of particular note is the large amount on material on Joe "King" Carrasco and his band, who Patoski managed in the 1980s.

Series V: Artist Development Inc., 1985-1986, n.d. Box 18

This series consists of bank records and a photograph from Joe Nick Patoski's music management business, Artist Development, Inc. This business existed from about 1985 to 1987, and managed several music groups including Joe "King" Carrasco, Dino Lee, and The True Believers. Patoski managed these groups while he was also working full-time at Texas Monthly.

Series VI: Personal, 1980-1995, n.d. Boxes 18, 29, 30, 31

This series contains a small group of documents pertaining to Patoski's personal financial, legal, and medical matters, as well as art works on paper, and an array of artifacts. Of particular interest is Patoski's collection of mostly music related buttons.

Series VII: Photographic Material, n.d. Box 19

The photographs in this series are more personal in nature than those in previous series. Many images of Patoski throughout his life are contained in this series.

Series VIII: Ephemera and Printed Material, 1962-1990 Box 19-20

This series is a collection of miscellaneous clippings and notes. They are divided into different categories. They are writing related, travel related, health and medical related, or arts related.

Series IX: Sound Recordings, 1962-1990, n.d. Box 21-27

The majority of phonographs in this series are from Patoski's personal collection, but some were sent to him as promotional material. The audio cassettes are mostly non-professional recordings of music, and a few are of interviews with musicians. A relatively large portion of the audio cassettes are of the band Joe "King" Carrasco, which Patoski managed during the 1980s.


Access Restrictions

Open for Research. Photocopying allowed. JNP holds copyright for Selena materials he wrote and created, and half of the Caught in the Crossfire materials he wrote and created with co-author Bill Crawford. Other items will require copyright status determined on a case- by -case basis.

Index Terms

Carrasco, Joe King.
Texas Monthly, Inc.
Texas Literature--Sources.
Music--Texas--20th century.
Blues musicians--Texas--20th century.
Aquarena Springs (San Marcos, Tex.)
Barbecue cookery.
Audio recordings.
Patoski, Joe Nick, 1951- ,donor

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Joe Nick Patoski Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection/Texas State University-San Marcos.

Acquisition Information

Gift donated by Joe Nick Patoski, 1997-1998. Contact the SWWC for information about additional materials from this writer that have not yet been fullyprocessed.

Processing Information

Emily Painton, 1998. [Inventoried Revised by Amy Cockreham, 2006].

 Published Works 

Crawford, Bill and Joe Nick Patoski. Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire, New York, New York: Little Brown and Co., 1993.

Patoski, Joe Nick. Selena: Como La Flor, Boston: Brown and Co., 1996.

________. Texas Mountains, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.

________. Texas Coast, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.

________. Big Bend National Park, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

 Note to Researchers 

Two other collections containing Joe Nick Patoski's papers are also housed at the Southwestern Writers Collection. The Crawford /Patoski Stevie Ray Vaughan Biography Papers (1964-1993), and the Patoski Selena: Como La Flor Papers (1994-1997) (unprocessed as of 10/98). These two collections only contain material specifically related to the production of those particular books, and offer further insight into Patoski's research and writing process.

Detailed Description of the Collection


The inventory for this collection is currently unavailable. Please contact the Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos for more information regarding this collection.