Guide to the Sam Agins collection: reel-to-reel tapes,

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Agins, Sam
Title: Sam Agins collection : reel-to-reel tapes
Dates: 1985-1996 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (1 box)
Collection Number: USU_FOLK COLL 30d
Summary: Reel-to-reel tapes tapes from 1985-1996 of Singin' Sam Agins performances, interviews, and a 1996 memorial service for Sam Agins.
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

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

Reel-to-reel tapes recorded by Singin' Sam Agins, largely from the 1970s, (and one from 1991), with Sam Agins and others performing cowboy songs, jazz, bluegrass, and cowboy poetry, recorded during sound recording sessions, performances, folk festivals, and interviews.

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: reel-to-reel tapes, 1985-1996. (FOLK COLL 30d). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Reel-to-reel tapes arranged numerically by assigned record number.

Acquisition Information :  

The Sam Agins Collection: Reel-to-Reel Tapes (Folk Coll 30d) was donated by the Sam Agins Family and originally arranged and numbered by Mr. Agins. Original numbers in brackets [].

Processing Note :  

Originally processed by John Powell and Randy Williams. Finding aid created by Randy Williams, 2 August 2005; updated by Randy Williams, March 2012.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Reel to Reels
1 1 Singin' Sam Ranch Roustabout Christmas, Poetry, Jim Connor recordist, at Holy Cross Chapel
[Original number: 230]
1975 December 18
1 2 Singin' Sam Singin' Sam's Saddlebag of Songs, Master Side 2
[Original number: 231]
1 3 Singin' Sam Singin' Sam's Saddlebag of Songs, Singin' Sam recordist, Master Side 1
[Original number: 232]
1 4 Singin' Sam Agins, Voice Trac for Ramblers Notebook, Edited by Bill Spies, Recorded at Porter Sound
2 track stereo [Original number: 233]
1991 March 28
1 5 Singin' Sam Ranch Roustabout Christmas, Poetry, Jim Connor recordist, at Holy Cross Chapel
[Original number: 235]
1975 December 18
1 6 Unknown artist(s) Idlywild Bluegrass Festival, Singin Sam recordist
[Original number: 237]
1 7 Singin' Sam Rambler's Notebook, Singin' Sam recordist
[Original number: 238]
1 8 Unknown artist(s) Idlywild Bluegrass Festival, Singin' Sam recordist
[Original number: 239]
1 9 Clarence Gatemouth Brown Clarence Gatemouth Brown Blues, Singin' Sam recordist
[Original number: 240]
1 10 Joe Wolverton Joe Wolverton, (Jazz/Popular), Original Master Recordings, Singin' Sam recordist
[Original number: 242]
1977 December 5
1 11 Joe Wolverton Joe Wolverton, (Jazz/Popular), Singin' Sam recordist
[Original number: 243]
1 12 Singin' Sam Rambler's Notebook, Master, Singin' Sam Reciting Cowboy Poetry, including "Rancher's Widow"
[Original number: 286]
1 13 Various Artists, Interviews and Songs Recorded by Singin' Sam
(40) Singin' Sam, counting
(60) John Jacob Niles, singing
(97) John Jacob Niles
(?), speaking
(250) Judd Agins, approx. 2 years old 1963
(309) John Jacob Niles
(?), speaking (overrides conversation between Sam and Judd)
(350) 2 different unidentified singing cowboys
(450) John Jacob Niles
(?), speaking
(467) John Jacob Niles
(?), whistling and guitar, and "Pretty Boy Floyd"
(776) John Jacob Niles
(?), "Billy the Kid"
(1002) John Jacob Niles
(?), Jim Fisk
(1358) unknown male singer, Carol Chessman, "Go Down You Murderer Go Down"
(1590) Singin' Sam interviews/records Harry Temple at Desert Willow Dude Ranch, Tucson, AZ, 1956 March 10
(1660) Harry Temple, Mickey Brannigan's "Bull Purp";
(1825) Harry Temple, interview
(1985) Harry Temple, "Bill was There"
(2233) Harry Temple, "He Goes to Church on Sundays"
(2465) Harry Temple, interview
(2578) Harry Temple, American Fandango (instrumental)
(2685) Dick Barker (circa 1957), "When the Hoot Owl Toots His Tooloo"
(2900) Dick Barker, instrumental
(2991) Dick Barker, "The Cat Come Back"
(3248) Dick Barker, "rock Island Line"
(3490) Singin' Sam, guitar solo
(3676) Harry Belafonte, "Scarlet Ribbons"
(3940) Katie Lee, "Homestead" ca. 1957
(4153) Katie Lee, "Funny Little Man, 7" Reel
[Original number: 287]
1 14 Singin' Sam and Janelle Pintelle, selections from Ramblers
[Original number: 288]
1 15 Singin Sam, Introduction to Ramblers with selection of readers
[Original number: 289]
1 16 Singin' Sam and others
(0000) Interview of Biggest Heart Award
(very slow speed)
(2550) "Cool water"
(low speed)
(2949) Goin' to Jackson"
(3190) "Down to Old Wyoming"
(3436) ?
(3500) "Place I Love the Best"
(3785) Fastest Draw This Side of the Alamo"
(4049) Auctioneer"
10" Reel [Original number: 291]
1 17 Recording of BB King performing
Recording of BB King performing, Sun Valley, Idaho. 7" Reel [Cassette tape of Singin' Sam interviewing BB King at Sun Valley on 25 July 1981 found at Folk Coll 30a no. 117] [Original number: 236]
1981 July 23

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    • Personal Names :
    • Agins, Sam--Songs and music.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Bluegrass music.
    • Cowboys--Poetry.
    • Cowboys--Songs and music.
    • Jazz.

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