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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980
Page 22
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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 22. January 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 10, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2137.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(January 1980). Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 22. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2137

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 22, January 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 10, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2137.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, January 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date January 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 22
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_556au.jpg
Transcript RT: Don Roby, here in town, controlled the black clubs. Blacks wouldn't come and see the blues acts I billed. B. B. King, they'll go see him, when Don Roby hires him, but they wouldn't go see Mississippi Fred McDowell. The ethnic blacks weren't popular. Rhythm and blues would be. I was never in conflict with black clubs. I never competed with anyone. JB: A lot of acts that ran at Liberty Hall, you booked before they were big box office. How could you tell they were going to make it? RT: We just knew. We used to get four or five record albums a day. It got to be a real hassle to listen to everybody and we would book the ones we liked. The first time I heard Bruce Springsteen, I said, "He's a star," and he only had one album out. We booked him three times and he cancelled three times before he finally came down. JB: But was he well known before he got there? RT: No. He played Liberty Hall for four nights and then I saw him in Los Angeles six months later. He said, "Man, thank you, that was some of the best shows I've ever done in my life. I didn't know I could play that good." He told me he enjoyed the intimacy of the hall. Then, he sky rocketed. He made Time and Newsweek. auditorium. RT: Yes, we knew some wouldn't fill the Music Hall because I used to tell the booking agents, "Hey, man, if you don't want to play here, there's a 3000 seat Music Hall downtown, but your act is going to look funny playing to about 200 people." JB: Who were those artists? RT: Oh, there was Loggins and Messina, Little Feet, Bonnie Raitt, B.W.Stevenson, Willis Alan Ramsey, Joy of Cooking, Mason Profit, Leo Kotke, Alex Taylor, Dr. John The Night Tripper, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Taj Mahal, the Goosecreek Symphony and Cheech and Chong, to name a few. You've got to remember we booked over 400 acts in seven years. JB: How many people did Liberty Hall seat? And how did you decide on playing two shows a night? RT: Paul LaGrone, he was one of our original incorporators, had the idea to turn the house, to play two shows a night. That way we could get close to 1000, rather than 500. By the way, Paul was from Beaumont, too. Most of us were from Beaumont-Port Arthur, except Roberto Gonzalez. He was from Santiago, Chile. JB: I know there were hundreds of people who made Liberty Hall work, but it seemed to a lot of us that it took the We used to take care of people who came to the Hall. We'd invite them into our family. We'd eat with them, we'd have fun with them and we'd work with them. That's what I enjoyed most about Liberty Hall. JB: Did you get him back? RT: No. As a matter of fact I discovered that about most of the artists. It's a hard business if you don't have them on contract. They never come back if they make it. It's because the record companies, their managers, the booking agencies tell them what to do. All these people depend on them for a living, so the artists are under a lot of pressure. They don't have a choice. Johnny Winters didn't have these people on his back. I called him in New Orleans. He was in the hospital and when he got out, he came down to play with Jimmy Reed. He did three nights. And you know what I paid Johnny Winters? $30 a night. He came to the office to collect. Here I was paying this super star $30 a night. He was one of the few people who did that for Liberty Hall. An act that refused to help us was Z Z Top. They played Liberty Hall in the beginning, but once they made it big, they never would, even though they lived here in town. It got so bad their manager wouldn't let them come and participate in the audience. I thought that was a little too much. After a while we'd say to a group, we'll book you, but we want you for two return options. Doug Weston did that at the Troubador. The Trouba- dor was to L.A. what Liberty Hall was to Houston. JB: Something else that seems to striking about Liberty Hall was that you gave a stage to artists who couldn't fill an combination of you, Mike and later, Roberto and Ken Fontenot to really bring it all together. RT: I guess you could say so. I was in charge of the finances, the box office, and the pr work. Mike was more into the aesthetics, the bookings, the stage settings. Later on when Roberto and Ken became partners, Ken took over the box office and Roberto did the bar and stage. Sometimes he would introduce the shows—wearing a Lone Ranger mask. We didn't have a hierarchy, no titles or business ~.ards. But there were hundreds of others over seven years. The people in the sound, stage and lighting departments, the transportation and maintenance crews, the restaurant staff and the waitresses. The waitresses were great. There was one, in particular, Maggie Mayer. She was the head waitress for five years. Now, she'e at Anderson Fair. Maggie was great. So were Jane and Wendy Broyles. And I always remember George Banks and Ham, the two guys that put up the sign at Liberty Hall. George fell and broke his wrist putting up that sign. George had a hand-operated printing press and did a lot of our posters. Ham did, too. Man, this is hard, I want to mention everybody. We were a close-knit family. JB: Most of the people I knew that went to Liberty Hall picked up on that feeling of togetherness. I heard you had weddings there and a lot of HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 22 DEAEMBER/JANU.ARY 1980