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One Man's Music: the Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell

One Man's Music: the Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell

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Date: April 15, 2009
Creator: Bell, Vince
Description: Texas singer/songwriter Vince Bell’s story begins in the 1970s. Following the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Bell and his contemporaries Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, and Lucinda Williams were on the rise. In December of 1982, Bell was on his way home from the studio (where he and hired guns Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson had just recorded three of Bell’s songs) when a drunk driver broadsided him at 65 mph. Thrown over 60 feet from his car, Bell suffered multiple lacerations to his liver, embedded glass, broken ribs, a mangled right forearm, and a severe traumatic brain injury. Not only was his debut album waylaid for a dozen years, life as he’d known it would never be the same. In detailing his recovery from the accident and his roundabout climb back onstage, Bell shines a light in those dark corners of the music business that, for the lone musician whose success is measured not by the Top 40 but by nightly victories, usually fall outside of the spotlight. Bell’s prose is not unlike his lyrics: spare, beautiful, evocative, and often sneak-up-on-you funny. His chronicle of his own life and near death on the road reveals what ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Inside John Haynie's Studio: a Master Teacher's Lessons on Trumpet and Life

Inside John Haynie's Studio: a Master Teacher's Lessons on Trumpet and Life

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Date: February 15, 2007
Creator: Haynie, John & Hardin, Anne
Description: “This wonderful collection of essays is a treasure of insight into the mind and heart of one of our great American performers and teachers. If the Arban book is the trumpet player’s ‘Bible,’ then I’d have to say Inside John Haynie’s Studio is the trumpet teacher’s ‘Bible.’”–Ronald Romm, founder, Canadian Brass and Professor of Trumpet, University of Illinois “The essays in this remarkable volume go far beyond trumpet pedagogy, providing an exquisite portrait of the studio practices of one of the first full-time single-instrument wind faculty members in an American college or university setting. John’s concern for educating the whole person, not just cramming for the job market, emanates from every page. This book showcases a teaching career that has become legendary.”–James Scott, Dean of the College of Music, University of North Texas “The principle that pervades my entire educational philosophy did not come from education or psychology classes; it did not come from the many sermons preached by my Dad and hundreds of other pulpiteers. It came from John Haynie’s studio.”–Douglas Smith, Mildred and Ernest Hogan Professor of Music, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary “I read a book like this and I come out the other end asking, ‘Why didn’t ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Death of a Ventriloquist: Poems

Death of a Ventriloquist: Poems

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Date: April 15, 2012
Creator: Fay-LeBlanc, Gibson
Description: This debut collection includes love songs and prayers, palinodes and pleas, short histories and tragic tales as well as a series of ventriloquist poems that track the epiphanies and consequences of speaking in a voice other than one’s own. Other poems speak to a Beloved and the highs and lows of parenthood and personhood—all with music and verve, with formal dexterity, with sadness and humor, with an intimate voice that can both whisper in our ears and grab us by the collar and implore us to listen. “What drives the poems in this wonderfully animated debut volume and prompts the reader’s pleasure in them is the patent honesty of the poet’s voice. In the ‘ventriloquist’ series itself, Fay-LeBlanc creates a remarkable refracted self-portrait, bristling with moments of unabashed illumination.”—Eamon Grennan, author of Out of Sight
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Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger

Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger

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Date: February 15, 2011
Creator: Parsons, Chuck
Description: Captain John R. Hughes, Lone Star Ranger is the first full and complete modern biography of a man who served as a Texas Ranger from 1887 until early 1915. He came to the attention of the Rangers after doggedly trailing horse thieves for nearly a year and recovering his stolen stock. After helping Ranger Ira Aten track down another fugitive from justice, Hughes then joined Company D of the Texas Rangers on Aten’s recommendation, intending to stay for only a few months; he remained in the service for nearly thirty years. When Sgt. Charles Fusselman was killed by bandits, Hughes took his place. When Captain Frank Jones was killed by bandits in 1893, Hughes was named captain of Company D. As captain, Hughes and his men searched the border and identified every bandit involved in the killing of Jones. They all received justice. Toward the end of his career Hughes became a senior captain based in Austin, and in 1915, having served as a captain and ranger longer than any other man, he retired from the force. His later years were happy ones, with traveling and visiting friends and relatives. He became a Texas icon and national celebrity, receiving more ...
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Houston Blue: The Story of the Houston Police Department

Houston Blue: The Story of the Houston Police Department

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Date: November 15, 2012
Creator: Roth, Mitchel P.
Description: Houston Blue offers the first comprehensive history of one of the nation’s largest police forces, the Houston Police Department. Through extensive archival research and more than one hundred interviews with prominent Houston police figures, politicians, news reporters, attorneys, and others, authors Mitchel P. Roth and Tom Kennedy chronicle the development of policing in the Bayou City from its days as a grimy trading post in the 1830s to its current status as the nation’s fourth largest city. Prominent historical figures who have brushed shoulders with Houston’s Finest over the past 175 years include Houdini, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, O. Henry, former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, hatchet wielding temperance leader Carrie Nation, the Hilton Siamese Twins, blues musician Leadbelly, oilman Silver Dollar Jim West, and many others. The Houston Police Department was one of the first cities in the South to adopt fingerprinting as an identification system and use the polygraph test, and under the leadership of its first African American police chief, Lee Brown, put the theory of neighborhood oriented policing into practice in the 1980s. The force has been embroiled in controversy and high profile criminal cases as well. Among the cases chronicled in the book are ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Stray Home: Poems

Stray Home: Poems

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Date: April 15, 2010
Creator: Clark, Amy M.
Description: With poems that combine the self-scrutiny of Philip Larkin with the measure of Elizabeth Bishop, Amy M. Clark burnishes her first collection, Stray Home, with exquisite understatement and formal control. Sweeter than Larkin and more intimate than Bishop, these poems address the suppressed pain and shame of living as a childless woman in a world of mothers, the dissociation attendant on depression and fraught family relationships, and the search for a sense of belonging in the face of dislocation. Stray Home cuts deeply to discover the buried emotions and insights universal to all suffering and compassionate human beings. “Clark is able to imbue our small, usually overlooked moments with unexpected grandeur. A quiet humor is employed in service of her twin gifts, imagination and metaphor. This is an accomplished, deft, and important debut.”—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Tender Hooks and judge
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Saving the Big Thicket: From Exploration to Preservation, 1685-2003

Saving the Big Thicket: From Exploration to Preservation, 1685-2003

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Date: July 15, 2004
Creator: Cozine, James J., Jr.
Description: The Big Thicket of East Texas, which at one time covered over two million acres, served as a barrier to civilizations throughout most of historic times. By the late nineteenth century, however, an assault on this wilderness by settlers, railroads, and timber companies began in earnest. By the 1920s, much of the wilderness had been destroyed. Spurred on by the continued destruction of the region, the Big Thicket Association (BTA) organized in 1964 to fight for its preservation. Arguing that the Big Thicket was a unique botanical region, the BTA and their supporters convinced President Gerald Ford to authorize an 84,550-acre Big Thicket National Preserve in 1974. Saving the Big Thicket is a classic account of the regions history and a play-by-play narrative of the prolonged fight for the Big Thicket Preserve. It is a clearly written case study of the conflict between economics and preservation, presenting each side with objectivity and fairness. Originally written by Cozine in 1976, it has been updated with a new afterword by Pete A. Y. Gunter.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
A Texas Baptist Power Struggle: the Hayden Controversy

A Texas Baptist Power Struggle: the Hayden Controversy

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Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Early, Joseph E. Jr.
Description: The Hayden Controversy was one of the most bitter feuds in Baptist history. In the nineteenth century, Protestant denominations in Texas endured difficult transitions from a loosely organized frontier people to a more cooperative and organized body capable of meeting the needs of growing denominations. The Methodists, Churches of Christ, and Baptists all endured major splits before their survival was certain. Of all the Protestant bodies, however, the Hayden Controversy was the fiercest and most widespread, with repercussions that continue to affect current Baptist life. Joseph E. Early, Jr., tells the story of how one man, Samuel Augustus Hayden, almost destroyed the newly organized Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) before it could take root. In the final decades of the nineteenth century, Hayden caused such unrest among Texas Baptists that after a failed attempt to take over the BGCT, he was expelled from the state body. In turn, he created a rival organization, the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA), which continued to fight perceived oppression by the BGCT. While trying to take over the BGCT, Hayden, through his newspaper, accused his enemies of embezzlement, heresy, arson, and strong-arm tactics. Haydens high-profile opponents included some of the most powerful and well-known ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Jade Visions: the Life and Music of Scott Lafaro

Jade Visions: the Life and Music of Scott Lafaro

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Date: September 15, 2009
Creator: LaFaro-Fernández, Helene; Ralston, Chuck; Campbell, Jeff & Palombi, Phil
Description: Jade Visions is the first biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential jazz musicians, bassist Scott LaFaro. Best known for his landmark recordings with Bill Evans, LaFaro played bass a mere seven years before his life and career were tragically cut short by an automobile accident when he was only 25 years old. Told by his sister, this book uniquely combines family history with insight into LaFaro’s music by well-known jazz experts and musicians Gene Lees, Don Thompson, Jeff Campbell, Phil Palombi, Chuck Ralston, Barrie Kolstein, and Robert Wooley. Those interested in Bill Evans, the history of jazz, and the lives of working musicians of the time will appreciate this exploration of LaFaro’s life and music as well as the feeling they’ve been invited into the family circle as an intimate. “Fernandez’ insightful comments about her brother offer far more than jazz scholars have ever known about this significant and somewhat enigmatic figure in the history of jazz. All in all, a very complete portrait.”—Bill Milkowski, author of Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture

Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture

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Date: October 15, 2002
Creator: Everett, Holly
Description: A fifteen-year-old high school cheerleader is killed while driving on a dangerous curve one afternoon. By that night, her classmates have erected a roadside cross decorated with silk flowers, not as a grim warning, but as a loving memorial. In this study of roadside crosses, the first of its kind, Holly Everett presents the history of these unique commemoratives and their relationship to contemporary memorial culture. The meaning of these markers is presented in the words of grieving parents, high school students, public officials, and private individuals whom the author interviewed during her fieldwork in Texas. Everett documents over thirty-five memorial sites with twenty-five photographs representing the wide range of creativity. Examining the complex interplay of politics, culture, and belief, she emphasizes the importance of religious expression in everyday life and analyzes responses to death that this tradition. Roadside crosses are a meeting place for communication, remembrance, and reflection, embodying on-going relationships between the living and the dead. They are a bridge between personal and communal pain–and one of the oldest forms of memorial culture. Scholars in folklore, American studies, cultural geography, cultural/social history, and material culture studies will be especially interested in this study.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press