Guide to the Sam Agins collection: fieldwork cassette tapes,
1950-1996

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Agins, Sam
Title: Sam Agins collection: fieldwork cassette tapes
Dates: 1950-1996 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Collection Number: USU_FOLK COLL 30f
Summary: Cassette tapes from the 1950s to 1996, which were recorded by Singin' Sam Agins; Mr. Agins own recordings made during sound recording sessions, folk festivals, radio interviews, conferences, etc. Musical content includes: cowboy songs and cowboy poetry, bluegrass, American folksongs, and folksongs of other nationalities. Also includes interviews, Hector Lee lecture, and an interview conducted by John Powell (USU Manuscript Curator) with Mrs. Fredrica Agins, 24 September 1996).
Repository: Utah State University. Merrill-Cazier Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Fife Folklore Archives

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

Singin' Sam Agins was born in Denver, Colorado, on June 14, 1919. He was born with a congenital paralysis of both legs and only weighed 2 lbs. at birth. Agins was limited to using crutches or a wheelchair for mobility from childhood. Despite his disability he led an active life, playing guitar, making poetry, and writing and collecting music. In addition he was a leather craftsman, stringed instruments mechanic, and a maker of hand-tooled silver buckle jewelry and violins. Agins passion was writing, collecting and singing American folk songs, particularly of the West. During the 1940s and 1950s he entertained disabled youth, veterans, and children in hospitals, acting as an Ambassador of Goodwill Industries. In addition, he entertained prisoners in New Mexico, guests at dude ranches, and taught classes about folk singing throughout the American West. Agins was also the United States representative in 1976 at the Smithsonian Institution's Montreal Expo and also served as an expert on early American folk songs in Washington D.C. During the 1970s and 1980s he participated in the Festival of the American West and the Western Writers Conferences held in Logan, Utah. On November 19, 1957 he married Frederica Agins (born May, 1938) and they had two sons, Judd and Joseph Agins. Sam Agins died in Sun City, Arizona, on March 28, 1996.

Content Description

Cassette tapes from the 1950s to 1996, which were recorded by Singin' Sam Agins; Mr. Agins own recordings made during sound recording sessions, folk festivals, radio interviews, conferences, etc. Musical content includes: cowboy songs and cowboy poetry, bluegrass, American folksongs, and folksongs of other nationalities. Also includes interviews, Hector Lee lecture, and an interivew conducted by John Powell (USU Manuscript Curator) with Mrs. Fredrica Agins, 24 September 1996).

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research. To access the collection a patron must have the following information: collection number, series number, sub-series number, if applicable, box number and folder number (or image number).

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the September 11, 2001 USU student documentary collection must be obtained from the Curator of the Fife Folklore Archives and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Sam Agins collection: fieldwork cassette tapes, 1950-1996. (FOLK COLL 30f). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Cassette tapes arranged numerically by assigned tape number.

Acquisition Information :  

The Sam Agins Collection: fieldwork cassette tapes (Folk Coll 30f) was donated by the Sam Agins Family and originally arranged and numbered by Mr. Agins. The original numbers are in brackets [].

Processing Note :  

Originally processed by John Powell and Randy Williams. Finding aid created by Randy Williams, July 2005; updated by Randy Williams, March 2012.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Cassette Tapes
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
tape
1 1 Aileen Vance: One song, untitled, written for Sam Agins
[Original number: 136]
1 2 Sam Agins
Side 1: Background Information for Trail Herd Incident: Old Saddle Bag Recording, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 220]
1 3 Interviews conducted by Singin' Sam Agins:"Folky interview at horseshow"
Side 1: Daryl and Betty Phillips and Glen Exley, Rodeo Cowboys, interview on cowboy ecology for an article. (All are Coloradans.), Side 2: Laska, Katie Lee, study tape. (Laska repeats several times; pipe organ at end). [Original number: 294]
1 4 Frank Wright
Side 1: Songs, Side 2: Interview conducted by Sam Agins, including songs [Original number: 297]
1975
1 5 Singin' Sam: Biggest Heart:
Side 1: Blank, Side 2: Biggest Heart Radio Program (Denver) [Original number: 307]
1 6 Singin' Sam Agins: Saddle Bag of Songs
Side 1: Singin' Sam Saddle Bag songs, 2: Mike's Mariachi, half of side [Original number: 308]
1 7 Hector Lee: The Pitfalls and Pratfalls of Storytelling:
Side 1: Fife Folklore Conference Lecture, Side 2: Conclusion of lecture [Original number: 314]
August 1978
1 8 Jaye Valenzuela and Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Jaye Valenzuela: vocal and lead guitar, Sam Agins: rhythm guitar; Sun City, AZ, circa 1994, shortly before Jaye died, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 315]
1 9 Interviews conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: White Stallion Guest Ranch (Tuscon, AZ) interviews: Alan and Doris True, owners and two songs by Jerry Davich, Side 2: White Stallion Guest Ranch (Tuscon, AZ) interviews: Mr. and Mrs. True and waitress Pauline (from Germany)[Original number: 320]
1 10 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1 & 2: Interview with Skipper Mapes (father of Louise Mapes), Triangle X Ranch, Moose, Wyoming [Original number: 322]
August 1963
1 11 Jim Connor: Sleeper Queen:
Side 1: Music by Jim Conner and lyrics by Singin Sam Agins, Side 2: Two mandolin pieces [Original number: 223]
1 12 Miss Cole
Side 1: Sam Agins recording song to learn by Miss Cole, Preston, Idaho, Side 2: empty [Original number: 329]
1 13 Harus Minami
Side 1: 1. Japanese song of Poston, Arizona Relocation Center, also the music the song was made up by, Side 2: Japanese songs by Harus Minami [Original number: 331]
1 14 Howard Nuskog: Cowboy Poems
[Original number: 340]
1 15 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: George Lopez (Penitente), Cordova, NM, Side 2: Skipper Mapes (father of Louise Mapes), [Original number: 341]
1 16 Idywild [Idyllwild?] Bluegrass Festival
Side 1: Festival [no year], Side 2: Blank [Original number: 347]
1 17 Katie Lee
Side 1: Practice tape of Katie Lee singing "El Gallo de Cielo, written by Jim Russell, both sides [Original number: 343]
1 18 1974 Idywild [Idyllwild?] Bluegrass Festival
Side 1: Festival, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 347]
1 19 Lynette W. Hart
Side 1: Demo tape 2, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 350]
1 20 Lynette W. Hart
Side 1 & 2: Demo tape 1 [Original number: 354]
2 21 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Songs and Interview with Jim Hopkins, late 1950s, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 357]
2 22 Jim Conner and Alvie Self
Side 1: 1. Jim Conner sings "Sleeper Queen," by Singin' Sam Agins with song by Alvie Self, Side 2: East Indian newage lecture [Original number: 358]
2 23 Joe Wolverton, Singin' Sam Agins, Katie Lee, and Frank Wright
Side 1: Two songs: Joe Wolverton: mandolin, Singin' Sam Agins: vocals and guitar, and Katie Lee: gallo, Side 2: Frank Wright [Original number: 359]
2 24 Singin' Sam Agins, Jim Conor, Dave Thorton
Side 1: 1. Bad Brahma Bull (read by SSA), 2. Coffee Pot Blues, 3. One Legged Man, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 360]
2 25 Jim Edgar and Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Cowboy Songs, Side 2: Singin' Sam at Elkhorn Ranch, [Original number: 361]
August 1967
2 26 Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Reincarnation [practice tape] Side 2: Blank [Original number: 362]
2 27 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Interview with Fred and Emma Weltner, Harding, MT, Side 2: Continuation of interview [Original number: 363]
1974
2 28 Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Singin' Sam Agins reads poetry by Al Dale, Cottonwood, AZ, Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 364]
1970s
2 29 Singin' Sam Agins and Katie Lee
Side 1: Jam session (tape garbled), Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 365]
2 30 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Interview and songs with Harry Temple, Desert Willow Ranch, Tucson, AZ, 1950s [Original number: 366]
2 31 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Interview with Dr. Robert Archibald (Western Heritage Museum) and Kay Call; Bill Nichols Side 2: Bill Nichols, Jackson Hole, WY [Original number: 367]
2 32 Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Singin' Sam recites his poetry Side 2: Singin' Sam recites his poetry [Original number: 368]
2 33 Antonio Mendoza and other artists
Side 1: Antonio Mendoza concert and lecture, Side 2: 1. Singin' Sam Agins and Colleen L'loyd, and others [Original number: 369]
2 34 Singin' Sam Agins interview
Side 1: Singin' Sam Agins interview on KOIN radio, Billings, MT, Side 2: Alan Lomax Texas cowboy songs [Original number: 370]
1978 September
2 35 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Interview with Grace, Bob and Jan Miller, Elkhorn Ranch, on guest (dude) ranching, Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 371]
2 36 Singin' Sam Agins interview
Side 1: Mike Reed interviews Singin' Sam Agins, Nevada, April 1978, Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 372]
2 37 Singin' Sam Agins: Saddlebag of Songs
Side 1: Recording of Saddlebag of Songs, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 373]
2 38 Singin' Sam Agins: Ten Cent Can of Paint Trail Herd Incident
Side 1: Ten Cent Can of Paint Trail Herd Incident, narrated by Singin' Sam Agins Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 374]
2 39 Singin Sam Agins
Side 1: Christmas Show from the Holy Cross Chapel: Singin' Sam sings "Roll on Little Doggies," and recites "Ranch Ruostabout's Christmas; and a radio interview and coverage of 1984 Wyoming State fiddling championship at Shoshni, WY, Side 2: Wyoming radio interview and songs by Hugh Mahler, River Grove Ranch [Original number: 375]
2 40 Interview conducted by Singin' Sam Agins
Side 1: Interview with Vassar Clements, Side 2: Continuation [Original number: 376]
1975 September
2 41 Singin' Sam Agins and Fredrica Agins
Side 1: Singin' Sam Agins sings "Coffee Pot Blues," Side 2: Fredrica Agins recites selections from Singin' Sam's poetry collection [Original number: 377]
1979
3 42 Singin' Sam Agins: Saddlebag of Songs
Side 1: Recording of Saddlebag of Songs, Side 2: Blank [Original number: 379]
3 43 Interview of Fredrica Agins by John Powell at time of donation of Singin' Sam Agins Collection
[Original number: Tape 1]
24 September 1996
3 44 Interview of Fredrica Agins by John Powell at time of donation of Singin' Sam Agins Collection
[Original number: Tape 2]
24 September 1996
3 44 Interview of Fredrica Agins by John Powell at time of donation of Singin' Sam Agins Collection
[Original number: Tape 3]
25 September 1996
3 46 Interview of Fredrica Agins by John Powell at time of donation of Singin' Sam Agins Collection
[Original number: Tape 4]
25 September 1996
3 47 John Wilkinson with Singin' Sam Agins
Fredirica Agins notes: "John Wilkerson with Singin' Sam Agins at the Elkhorn Ranch in the early 1960s. John was 21 years old and working a summer job in the kitchen at Miller's Elkhorn Dude Ranch in Gallatin Canyon,[Bozeman] Montana. John wrote the music and lyrics of this folk material and may have recorded some of it at a later date. By the 1970s, John was working as a guitarist with Elvis Presley."[Original number: 300]
3 48 Al Allen: Thanks
Fredirica Agins notes: "Al was MC-ing the Camp Verde Arizona Swapmeet during the 1980s, singing and playing his music live and recorded when he was on breaks. He sold his small label cassettes, duplicating them for customers on the spot. He was out of labels when we bought these two but they were duplicated by him for us and we bought them for $5.00 each." [Original number: 422]
3 49 Al Allen: Latest Thanks
Fredirica Agins notes: "Al was MC-ing the Camp Verde Arizona Swapmeet during the 1980s, singing and playing his music live and recorded when he was on breaks. He sold his small label cassettes, duplicating them for customers on the spot. He was out of labels when we bought these two but they were duplicated by him for us and we bought them for $5.00 each." [Original number: 423]
3 50 Katie Lee and Travis Edmunson: 10,000 Goddam Cattle
Fredirica Agins notes: "This is a possible jam session for their later album by the same name. It does not contain all the songs that are on the LP and at one point on the casette Katie askes Travis if he wants her to show him the chords. Included is a short bio on Katie Lee from Sharlot Hall Museum, Prescott, Arizona." [Original number: 335]
3 51 Interview of BB King by Singin Sam Agins: MISSING (was Folk Coll 30a No. 117
Interview at Elkhorn, Sun Valley, Idaho.[Reel-to-reel of BB King performing at Sun Valley on 23 July 1981 found at Folk Coll 30d no. 17] [Original number: 336]
25 July 1981
3 52 Steve Makara: Original Material
Side 1: 1. Nevada Sage, 2. Ringading, Munsoon, Ike's Last Medal, Prairie Dog, Side. 2: 1. The Terrible Truth about Cowboys, 2. Jordan James. Fredirica Agins notes: "Steve Makara contacted Sam during the '80s and sent this material. On one of the tapes he gives permission for Sam to record any of the material but requests that he be consulted if any changes are made to "Jordan James," which he may have later recorded. [Original number: 325]
3 53 Steve Makara: Original Material
Side 1: 1. Monsoon, 2. Jordan James, 3. Shotgun and Shells. Fredirica Agins notes: "Steve Makara contacted Sam during the '80s and sent this material. On one of the tapes he gives permission for Sam to record any of the material but requests that he be consulted if any changes are made to "Jordan James," which he may have later recorded. [Original number: 326]
3 54 Samantha "Sam" Moffatt and Hale: Moffatt and Hale: Hammered dulcimer (was FOLK COLL 30a No. 122)
[Original number: 140]
3 55 Samantha "Sam" Moffatt: Journey: Hammered dulcimer
[Original number: 150]
3 56 Samantha "Sam" Moffatt and Rick Fogel: Duets: Hammered dulcimer
[Original number: 179]
3 57 Sam Agin's Fieldwork
Fredrica Agins notes: "Field recordings by Singin' Sam Agins. Jam session with two different [unidentified] singers accompanying themselves on the guitar." Side 1: 1. Strawberrty Roan Parody, 2. Shear the Sheep in Old Montanta. [Original number: 304]

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Agins, Sam--Songs and music.
    • Personal Names :
    • Agins, Fredirica--interview.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Bluegrass music.
    • Cowboys--Poetry.
    • Cowboys--Songs and music.
    • Folk songs, English--United States.
    • Folk songs.

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