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Richard J. Dobson collection

Identifier: MS 0654
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the correspondence, journals, music business files, and audio chronicling the music history of Richard Dobson.


  • Majority of material found within 1962-2014, dates 1977-1999

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from this material must be obtained from the family of Richard Dobson.

Biographical / Historical

Raised in Houston, Corpus Christi, and New Mexico, Richard Dobson (March 19, 1942 - December 16, 2017) graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 1966 with a degree in Spanish. He went on to join the Peace Corps and explored a fiction writing career in New York before settling on songwriting.

From 1971 and continuing into the next three decades, Dobson made both Nashville, TN and the Gulf Coast of Texas his home. While in Nashville, he participated in the Outlaw Country scene with fellow singer-songwriters Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, “Skinny” Dennis Sanchez, among others. In the Houston-Galveston area, he continued honing his song craft and releasing albums, all the while working on shrimping boats and off-shore oil drilling rigs, most notably the Sedneth I.

Starting in 1977 with “In Texas Last December” up until his current release “Plenty Good People” (2016), Dobson released 23 albums in total. His song were performed by others artists including David Allan Coe, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton, Nanci Griffith, and Kelly Willis. Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and Billie Jo Spears and Del Reeves have all recorded renditions of his duet ‘Baby Ride Easy.’

In addition to songwriting, Dobson maintained a relationship to his fans and friends via newsletters/zines. Originally, the “Omaha Rainbow” published his writings. Later on his own, he wrote “Poor Richard’s Newsletter,” which became “Don Ricardo’s Life and Times,” and is now entitled “Don Ricardo’s Report from the High Rhine.” The newsletters (late 1970s-2012) have been published as a set, “The Years the Wind Blew Away: Don Ricardo’s Life and Times” (2013). He also published the semi-autobiographical book, “The Gulf Coast Boys,” (1997) detailing his life in the 1970s to early 1980s.

In 1999, Dobson moved to Switzerland. He toured in Europe and throughout the United States. He also documented his new life abroad in the book “Pleasures of the High Rhine” (2012).


Dobson, Richard. "Gulf Coast Boys." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.

Dobson, Richard. "Artist website.", 2016.

Wikipedia. "Richard Dobson.", 2016.


3.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

6.14 Gigabytes (Nearline access: MS0654aip_001 (6.14 GB))

2.76 Gigabytes (Nearline access: MS0654aip_002 (2.76 GB))

4.09 Gigabytes (Nearline access: MS0654aip_003 (4.09 GB))

0.619 Gigabytes (Nearline access: MS0654aip_004 (0.619 GB))

Language of Materials



This collection contains the correspondence, journals, music business files, and audio of Richard Dobson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Richard Dobson in April 2016.


Additional materials are expected for this collection.

Related Materials

Please see the Rice University KTRU Radio records, UA 011.
Guide to the Richard Dobson collection, 1962-2014
Norie Guthrie
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA