Skip to main content

Rockefeller's business records

Identifier: MS 0655
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 consists of the business records, including artist booking sheets and contracts, as well as promotional calendars, news clippings, and digital images that chronicle the history of the Houston music venue Rockefeller's.


  • Majority of material found within 1978-2016, dates 1978-1995

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

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

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from this material must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

The music venue, Rockefeller’s, began as way to cover the renovation costs of the historic Citizens/Heights State Bank building on 3620 Washington Avenue in Houston. In the beginning, Sanford and Susan Criner envisioned a performance space for local talent. Early on, they realized that local acts were not enough to fill the hall. The Criners turned to booking jazz acts and made a trip to Los Angeles to promote the venue to bigger names. The trip was incredibly successful.

From 1979 to 1997, Rockefeller’s hosted great performers from a variety of genres: blues, jazz, rock, country, and comedy. Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Pee-wee Herman, Bill Hicks, and Timothy Leary all graced the stage. While ownership of Rockefeller’s changed hands during that time, the venue always thrived on presenting Houston with a wide mix of talent.

As for the renovation, Taft Architects and construction manager Matt Pasternak headed up the project. The revitalized building, originally designed by Joseph Finger, won a Texas Society of Architects Honor Award for historical preservation.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the business records, promotional calendars, and digital images that chronicle Rockefeller's music venue.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Sanford and Susan Criner in 2016.


Additional materials are expected for this collection.

Related Materials

Please see the Rice University KTRU Radio records, UA 011.
Guide to the Rockefeller's business records, 1978-2016
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