Allen, Terry and Jo Harvey, Bukka and Bale

Collection Details: 
The collection offers the music of the artistic family of Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen, including their sons Bukka and Bale. Many of the original master tapes were recorded at the Don Caldwell Studio in Lubbock, Texas.


The world-famous conceptual artists Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen met and dated at Monterey High School in Lubbock. After a semester at Texas Tech he moved moved to the West Coast for professional training at Chouinard Art Institute in painting and sculpture. He proposed by phone, and they married in 1962. She studied poetry at Woodbury College. Their sons were born in California: Bukka in 1967 and Bale in 1968.

Jo Harvey became known as a performance artist, actor, playwright, and director whose works like A Moment's Hesitation, Counter Angel, and Homerun have appeared on stages and other venues worldwide, while her drawings and photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries. With Terry Allen she produced the "Rawhide and Roses" radio show that aired Sundays from 1967 to 1971 on Pasadenda station KPPC, becoming one of the first female country music disc jockeys. She and Bukka wrote the radio play Every Three Minutes for National Public Radio. Film-goers know her best, perhaps, from Fried Green Tomatoes, her lead in David Byrne's musical Texas satire True Stories, and The Homesman, directed by Tommy Lee Jones in 2014.

Terry Allen, whose sculpture and art installations have been rewarded with National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim fellowship, also pursued a career in music, dating from his performance of an original two-song medley on TV's Shindig! in 1965. His "New Delhi Freight Train" became a hit for the band Little Feat in 1977. After his own debut album Juarez (1975), he released Lubbock (On Everything) (1979, with a five-star review in Rolling Stone) and Smokin' the Dummy (1980) and Bloodlines (1983), produced at Don Caldwell Studios using local talent including members of the Maines Brothers Band. Those have been followed by projects like Pedal Steal, Amerasia, and Human Remains.

Overview of collection:

A separate Terry and Jo Harvey Allen Collection at SWC/SCL holds the personal journals and correspondence, workbooks and drafts of scripts generated during their long and productive careers in the arts. Both are aligned with a unique initiative called the Terry and Jo Harvey Allen Center for Creative Studies at Texas Tech University, which Terry once attended.

The material in the collection described in this finding aid bulks with master tapes recorded at the Don Caldwell Studios in Lubbock and other professional recording companies. Other than an audio cassette or two, the holdings are either 1/4-inch or 2-inch reel-to-reel audio tapes.

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