Audiorecordings in Series 11: AUDIO CASSETTES are restricted. Researchers must request a listening copy to be produced.


Papers of Sam Hinton, professional folksinger and teacher of literature and folklore. The collection is primarily composed of song compilations from Hinton’s performances, collected songs, coursework from UC Folklore courses, and contracts and correspondence regarding Hinton’s recording career. Also included is Hinton’s work with Sing Out! Magazine; this material includes work written and edited by Hinton. The collection also includes drafts and research for Hinton’s published articles and books, as well as drafts of his personal writings and unpublished materials. In addition, the papers contain biographical materials, writings, correspondence, and artwork and calligraphy that Hinton created during his personal and professional career.


Sam Hinton was born on March 31, 1917, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At an early age he began performing music, playing his button accordion, harmonica and pennywhistle for the public. Hinton and his family moved to Crockett, Texas, when he was 12. In 1935, Hinton began to perform with his two sisters, Ann and Nell, under the name of “The Texas Trio.” The Texas Trio performed on numerous local radio programs, and in 1937 Sam was hired to perform on the popular radio program The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour.

Hinton enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1937. While he was studying zoology, he met Leslie Forster; they were married in 1940. Hinton graduated from UCLA with a degree in zoology in 1941. While he pursued his degree, he appeared in the musical revue, Meet the People, from 1939-1940.

Hinton was the director of the Palm Springs Desert Museum for three years, until he was hired as an editor/illustrator for the University of California Division of War Research in San Diego, California. He continued his career with the University of California for the next 35 years, where he regularly taught courses on Folklore for UC San Diego and UC Extension. He spent 16 of those years as the director of Relations with Schools for UCSD. He retired from UCSD in 1980.

After Hinton retired from UCSD, he continued to perform full-time. He performed for local schools in San Diego, where he created his classroom program, "Singing Through History." Hinton used his knowledge of the history of folklore to create playlists and programs for the classroom. He also continued to travel throughout the United States, where he performed at national folk festivals and musical workshops.

Hinton served as the director of the Aquarium-Museum at the Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography for almost 20 years. During this time he wrote two books on marine biology, Exploring Under the Sea; and Seashore Life of Southern California. Besides his personal publications, Hinton served on the board of directors of Sing Out! Magazine, and wrote numerous articles for various science and folklore journals.

Throughout his career, Hinton recorded 12 solo albums, which include Singing Across the Land, 1956; Whoever Shall Have Some Peanuts, 1964; I’ll Sing You a Story, 1972; and Sam Hinton: Master of the Solo Diatonic Harmonica, 2005.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The Sam Hinton Papers reflect Hinton's professional performance career. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence; drafts and notes for published books, magazine, and newspaper articles; and engagement calendars and notebooks. The materials also contain photographs and biographical memorabilia. Although the materials span from 1937 through 2006, the bulk of the collection dates from the 1950s through the late 1980s.



The CORRESPONDENCE series is made up of letters between Hinton and the staff and faculty members of UCSD, personal mail, letters about various workshops and performances in which Hinton performed, and fan mail.

One correspondence of significance are letters between Hinton and Pete Seeger, another well-known folksinger from the 1960s and 1970s. Besides performing together at festivals such as the Berkeley Folk Festival, Hinton and Seeger shared a friendship and wrote letters back and forth over the decades.


The SONGWRITING AND RECORDING series is arranged in two subseries: A) Songwriting, and B) Recordings.

A) The first subseries, Songwriting, contains songs written and composed by Hinton, and includes song lyrics, sheet music, and song drafts.

B) The second subseries, Recordings, contains information about each album that Hinton recorded. Materials in this subseries include contracts, album and liner notes, album reviews, and correspondence between Hinton and various record labels. This subseries also contains discographies that provide a chronological outline of all the albums and recordings that Hinton created over the years. The albums are arranged in chronological order.


The PERFORMANCES series comprises brochures and programs from 1939 through 1999 for multiple folk music festivals and workshops. The collection also includes programs and flyers from various folk music festivals in which Hinton performed. This series is arranged in alphabetical order.

A large part of this series is made up of performance engagement calendars, which cover Hinton's performing career during the 1980s and 1990s. These documents contain a daily calendar for each year with accompanying performance and workshop information, including an engagement calendar from 1937, when Hinton was a member of the Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour. This series also includes oversize performance posters from 1964 through 1976 from multiple concerts and festivals.

The final part of this series is made up of song lists by date of performances, which contains the song lists from Hinton's performances dating from 1957 to 2002. These lists are arranged chronologically. Hinton also created song list notebooks, which range from 1951 to 1996. These personal notebooks list the date and location of the performances, as well as a brief song list for each event.


The COLLECTED SONGS SERIES is arranged in two subseries: A) Lyrics and Sheet Music, and B) Song Titles.

A) The first subseries, Lyrics and Sheet Music, contains songs written by others that Hinton collected over his lifetime, which are organized by subject, such as Irish Songs or Sea Shanties; or alphabetically by song title. This sheet music was kept in Hinton's original order.

B) The second subseries, Song Titles, contains undated compilations arranged by subject (i.e. Cowboy Songs or Work Songs) or era (i.e. Depression Songs or Gold Rush Songs). Put together for various purposes, Hinton utilized these lists at his live performances, at his workshops, and as a resource for others interested in folk music.


The TEACHING MATERIALS series is made up of syllabi, lecture notes, course outlines and correspondence regarding several of the music and literature courses that Hinton taught at UCSD and the UC Extension program. These documents are organized alphabetically by course name.

Two of the courses included in this series, "Forms of Folklore" and the "Nature of American Folk Music," were taught over consecutive years. The documents for these courses include lecture notes and outlines from various years that Hinton was employed by UCSD. Lecture audio cassettes Hinton utilized for "Forms of Folklore" can be found in Series 11, AUDIO CASSETTES.

The final part of this series includes "Hinton’s Singing Through History" lectures, which he performed for local San Diego County schools. These materials include sample programs by grade and by subject.


The WRITINGS series is made up of drafts and research materials for Hinton’s unpublished works, which include poetry, miscellaneous essays, and multiple scientific and musical articles.

A significant portion of this series is Hinton's article entitled Longevity of Fishes in Captivity. The papers concerning this article include correspondence regarding research and first and final drafts of the article.

Another part of this series contains the entire manuscript of the final draft of Hinton’s unpublished memoir A Naturalist in Show Business.


The PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS series contains three subseries: A) California Folklore Society, B) Other Organizations, and C) Sing Out!.

A) The first subseries, California Folklore Society, consists of documents pertaining to Hinton's involvement with this organization during the 1970s, and includes brochures, lecture topics, and general correspondence.

B) The second subseries, Other Organizations, contains information regarding various associations in which Hinton belonged. These documents include correspondence, meeting minutes, and other organization information for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography-Aquarium Museum, the California Traditional Music Society, and the Scripps Shoreline, Knoll and Underwater Reserve Committee.

C) The third subseries, Sing Out! is made up of documents pertaining to Sing Out! Magazine. This subseries contains the mission statement and strategic plan for the organization, by-laws and a list of the board of directors for the association, as well as correspondence for both Hinton and the board of directors for the organization.


The ARTWORK series is organized in two subseries: A) Calligraphy and B) Sketches and Drawings.

A) The first subseries, Calligraphy, contains Hinton’s original drafts of awards and pamphlets that were done on tracing paper in addition to finished calligraphy works. This subseries also includes original gift tags that were made by Sam, his wife Leslie, and their children Leanne and Matt.

B) The second subseries, Sketches and Drawings, consists of both Hinton's published drawings that appeared in newspapers and magazines, and unpublished sample illustrations, drafts, portraits, and a sketch book.


The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series contains selected files from Hinton’s UCLA undergraduate coursework, annual calendars, news clippings, photographs, Hinton’s college diploma from UCLA, and various awards from Hinton’s professional career. A large portion of this series is made up of daily planners dating from the mid-1950s through 1999 that contain Hinton's personal and professional appointments. This series also contains news clippings and blurbs pertaining to Hinton’s life and his work as both a professional musician and a faculty member at UCSD. Hinton also created a scrapbook of newspaper articles from his time with the Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour.

Another portion of this series contains the photographs and images folders, which are made up of promotional portraits of Hinton used during his musical career, including photographs for album covers and promotional paraphernalia. These photographs also contain negatives of promotional pictures. Also included with these images is a photolithographic plate done in the 1940s of a promotional shot of Hinton and his guitar.


The MISCELLANEOUS series contains a scrapbook of signed photographs Hinton collected from the time he was on the Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour. This series also contains blueprints, sketches, and written instructions on how to create different musical instruments. Along with these instruction manuals, Hinton also kept materials that included instructions on how to create string figures and play string figure games.

This series also contains documents given to Hinton by Theodore Folsom on Folsom's 1956 pipe harmonica patent. Included are notes, correspondence, patent drafts, research, and pipe harmonica plans.


The AUDIO CASSETTES series includes audio cassette tapes used by Hinton for the "Forms of Folklore," LIT 161 course taught at UCSD. The tapes contain different instruments, song examples, and various cultural and ethnic recordings from around the world.


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1 1 American Federation of Musicians, 1963-2002.
1 2 Cohen, Ronald, 1992-1993.
Letters between Hinton and Ronald Cohen, professor at the Department of History at Indiana University Northwest, regarding a project compiled by Cohen entitled Political Folk Recordings, 1923-1953.
1 3 Fan mail, 1963-2006.
1 4 I Hear America Singing Exhibit, 2000-2003.
1 5 Instruments, 1964-1993.
1 6 Library of Congress, 1938-1970.
1 7-8 Miscellaneous, 1937-2006.
1 9 Palm Springs Desert Museum, 1981-1997.
Includes a Palm Springs Desert Museum announcement written and illustrated by Hinton.
1 10 Publications, 1957-2001.
1 11 Research, 1940-2003.
1 12 Seeger, Pete, 1956-2000.
2 1 Sherline, Phee and Ken Graydon, 1983-1987.
2 2 United States. Department of Interior, 1963-1966.
2 3 University of California, 1959-1999.
Workshops and performances.
2 4-5 1937-1975.
2 6 1980-2003.



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2 7 Songs by Sam Hinton.
Includes correspondence and contract information for songs written by Hinton.


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2 8 Discography.
2 9 Album Reviews.
Album Titles.
2 10 Folksongs of California and the Old West, 1951.
2 11 Singing Across the Land, 1955.
2 12 A Family Tree of Folksongs, 1956.
2 13 The Real McCoy, 1957.
2 14 How the West Was Won, 1960.
2 15 The Song of Men, 1961.
3 1 Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts, 1961.
3 2 Newport Folk Festival Album, 1963.
3 3 The Wandering Folksong, 1967.
3 4 I'll Sing You a Story, 1972.
3 5 Cowboy Songs, 1976.
3 6 Personal Recordings, 1981-1983.
Includes liner notes for albums recorded personally by Hinton. These albums were of live performances and were given to friends as gifts or momentos.
3 7 Of Frogs and Dogs and Such, 1991.
3 8 Sam Hinton: The Library of Congress Recordings, 1947-, 1999.
These songs were originally recorded in 1947 at the Library of Congress, but were not released until 1999 by Bear Family Records.
3 9 Sam Hinton: Master of the Solo Diatonic Harmonica, 2005.
Record Companies.
3 10 Decca Records - Contracts and Correspondence, 1952-1957.
3 11 Folkway Records - Correspondence, 1960-1986.


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3 12 Idyllwild Arts Foundation, circa 1956-1964.
Includes program schedules and correspondence Idyllwild Arts Foundation's Folk Music Weekends from 1956-1964.
Performance Engagement Calendars.
3 13 1937.
3 14-15 1985-1990.
4 1-5 1990-1992.
5 1-6 1993-1994, 1996.
6 1-3 1997-1999.
Performance Posters.
6 4 7th Annual Berkeley Folk Music Festival, 1964.
6 5 FB-483-01 Oversize Posters.
6 6 Performance Reviews, 1954-1977.
6 7 1939-1968.
7 1 1970-1999.
Song Lists by Date.
7 2-5 1957-2002.
8 1 Not Dated.
Song Lists Notebooks.
8 2 1951-1958.
8 3-13 1960-1991.
9 1-6 1992-1999.


Lyrics and Sheet Music

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Alphabetical by Title.
9 7-18 A - L songs.
10 1-4 M - P songs.
10 5-9 R - W songs.
10 10-11 Y - Z songs.
Alphabetical by Subject.
10 12 Untitled Songs.
10 13 African Songs.
10 14 American Songs.
10 15 British Songs.
10 16 Canadian Songs.
10 17 Cowboy Songs.
10 18 Dust Bowl Songs.
10 19 French Songs.
10 20 German Songs.
10 21 Irish Songs.
11 1 Jewish Songs.
11 2 Lithuanian Songs.
11 3 Mexican Songs.
11 4 Miscellaneous European Songs.
11 5 Modal Examples.
11 6 Mormon Songs.
11 7 Native American Songs.
11 8 Negro Ballads and Spirituals.
11 9 North East U.S.A..
11 10 Occupational Songs.
11 11 Railroad Songs.
11 12 Rounds.
11 13 Scottish Songs.
11 14 Sea Shanties.
11 15 Southern Mountain Songs.
11 16 Swiss Songs.
11 17 Welsh Songs.
11 18 Westward Expansion Songs.
11 19 White Spirituals.
11 20 American Folksong Song Titles, 1954-1958.
11 21 Miscellaneous.
12 1 Miscellaneous.

Song Titles

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12 2 Albums.
Includes lists of albums and song titles that were released by other artists.
12 3 By Subject.
12 4 Songs I Know - Includes an alphabetical list of approximately 2,000 songs that Hinton knew as of January 9, 2005.


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12 5 American Balladry and Folk Song - Lectures.
12 6 American Folk Music, LIT 106 - Outline and Syllabi, 1964-1967.
12 7 Folk Music Class, 1950-1951.
12 8 Folk Music in America, 1970-1978.
13 1-2 Folk Musicians - Syllabi and Course Notes, 1971-1973.
13 3 Folk Songs Around the World, MUS 446 - Schedule and Lectures, 1964-1965.
13 4-5 Folks Songs in the Classroom, 1989-1991 & 1993-1998.
Forms of Folklore, LIT 161.
13 6 Outline and Syllabi, circa 1956-1983.
14 1-4 Lectures, 1978-1983.
14 5 Guitar for the Classroom Teacher, MUS 418 - Notes and Lectures, circa 1979.
14 6 Miscellaneous Courses - Syllabi and Lecture Notes, circa 1954-1974.
14 7 Miscellaneous Lectures, 1969-2000.
Nature of American Folk Music.
14 8 Outline and Correspondence, 1967-1972.
15 1-2 Lectures.
15 3 Oceanography 400.
Singing Through History.
Sample Programs.
15 4 By Class Level.
15 5 By Subject.
15 6 Miscellaneous.
Includes miscellaneous song compilations and other research tools that Hinton utilized in his "Singing Through History" workshops.
Tape Lectures.
Includes written transcripts of tape lectures for Folk Music in the United States, compiled by Hinton in 1979.
15 7 1979 - Part 1.
16 1 1979 - Part 2.
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16 2 A Bird in the Book (1964), 1964.
16 3 Book and Tape Reviews by Sam Hinton, 1964-1993.
Includes album reviews written by Hinton for Sing Out!
16 4 A Descriptive Account of the Harmonica (1987), 1977-1987.
Includes correspondence from the original paper written in 1977 for 25th Annual California Folklore Society Meeting.
16 5 Distribution of Three Genera of Land Snails in California (1957).
16 6 Exploring Under the Seas (1957), 1954-1963.
16 7 Folk Music in the United States - Chapter Ten Draft.
16 8 How to be a Seashore Animal.
Longevity of Fishes in Captivity (1956).
16 9 Drafts and Final (1956), 1956-1962.
16 10 Correspondence, 1955-1964.
16 11 Research, 1955-1956.
16 12 Miscellaneous.
Includes quotes and proverbs Hinton utilized as research for articles and essays.
17 1-3 A Naturalist in Show Business.
These folders contain a final draft of Hinton's unpublished book, "A Naturalist in Show Business."
17 4 The Nature of Folk Music.
17 5 Ocean World - Notes and Correspondence, 1960-1989.
17 6 Poetry and Prose.
17 7 Research Materials.
17 8 The Sea is Their Home (1955).
17 9 Seashore Life of Southern California (1969).
This folder contains a "Master Copy" of the published book from 1969, as well as a CD-ROM containing a final copy of the third edition from 2003.
18 1 The Shape Note Hymns (1972), 1972.
18 2 Toward a Functional Classification of Traditional Mnemonics (1971), 1970-1971.
Contains Hinton's research on mnemonics, including writings by others and research from his students for his "Forms of Folklore," LIT 161 course in 1972.
18 3 Verbatim Articles, 1977-1984.
18 4 What Child is This?, 1984-1986.


California Folklore Society

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18 5 Brochures and Lectures, 1970-1977.
18 6 General Correspondence, 1972-1982.
18 7 Presentation Topics, 1973.
Includes presentation topics for the California Folklore Society's 21 Annual Meeting. Hinton served as the Program Chairman for the event.

Other Organizations

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18 8 California Traditional Music Society, 1988-1993.
Includes correspondence and contract information for a staff position held by Hinton.
18 9 Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), 1981-1998.
Includes correspondence and programming schedules.
18 10 Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Aquarium Museum, 1955-1970.
Includes correspondence, newsclippings and aquarium plans and blueprints.
19 1 Scripps Shoreline, Knoll, and Underwater Reserve Committee, 1979-1989.
Includes correspondence and meeting minutes.

Sing Out!

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19 2 Writings by Sam Hinton, 1963-1967.
19 3 General correspondence, 1965-2002.
19 4 Publishing guidelines, 1971-1986.
19 5 Board of directors meeting minutes, 1983-1991.
19 6 Board member correspondence, 1983-1991.
19 7 By-Laws and board of directors lists, 1983-1991.
19 8 Newsletters, 1984-1990.
19 9 NPR radio transcripts, 1985-1986.
19 10 Song lists, 1985-1997.
19 11 Mission statement and strategic plan, 1988-1994.
Collected reprints.
19 12 Part 1, 1997.
20 1 Part 2, 1997.



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20 2 Gift tags.
20 3 Finished works.
20 4 Tracing paper.
20 5 Finished works.
20 6 Finished works, 1983.
Contains one oversize miscellaneous award to recognize people with the Ellen and Roger Revelle Award, October 18, 1983.
20 7 Tracing paper.
20 8 FB-483-02 Tracing paper - Oversize.
21 1 Finished work.
21 2 Tracing paper.
21 3 Works by others.

Sketches and Drawings

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21 4 Illustrations.
LP-001-006 Illustration & layout for record sleeve - LP, Is Freedom Academic?.
21 5 Portraits.
21 6 Published work.
21 7 Science.
21 8 Sketch book.


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21 9 Awards and recognitions, 1956-1988.
21 10 Biographical information.
Includes Hinton's yearbook from 1931, biographical blurbs and promotional material.
Daily Planners.
21 11 1950-1953.
22 1-6 1957-1966.
23 1-5 1966-1982.
24 1-5 1981-1987.
25 1-5 1987-1995.
25 6 1997-1999.
26 1 FB-483-03 Diploma - UCLA, 1942.
26 2 Genealogical Chart and Information.
26 3 Memoir Draft.
26 4 Hinton Family Newsletters, 1998-2004.
News Clippings.
26 5 FB-483-04 Scrapbook - Contains newsclippings regarding Hinton's time with the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, 1937-1939.
26 6 1940-2004.
Photographs and Images.
26 7 Hinton with Others.
26 8 KOGO Radio Interview, 2002.
This folder contains a CD-ROM with photographic images of Hinton from his radio interview with KOGO Radio in 2002.
26 9 Photolithographic Plate, circa 1940.
26 10 Portraits - Promotional.
26 11 Portraits - Sam and Leslie Hinton.
26 12 Transcript of Adam Miller's Interview with Sam and Leslie Hinton, 1999.
26 13-14 University Coursework - Includes scientific sketches done by Hinton for his zoological courses at UCLA.


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27 1 Instruments - Plans and Diagrams.
27 2 Scrapbook of Signed Photographs of Performers, circa 1939.
27 3 String Figure Game.
Theodore Folsom Harmonica Patent.
27 4 Correspondence, 1952-1963.
27 5 Patent - Second Ammendment.
27 6 First Draft.
27 7 Oscillator Notes.
Pipe Harmonica Diagram.
27 8 Pipe Harmonica Diagram.
27 9 FB-483-05 Oversize, 1959.
Includes an oversize copy of the pipe harmonica diagram drawn by Theodore Folsom.
27 10 Pipe Harmonica Patent, 1948-1960.
27 11 Promotional Material.
27 12 Research Materials.
27 13 Whistle Notes.


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Forms of Folklore, LIT 161 - Lecture Resource Tapes.
Includes audio cassette tapes used for the "Forms of Folklore," LIT 161 course. Tapes contain different instruments, song examples, and various cultural and ethnic recordings from around the world.
28 1 Folk Music Style USA, 1974.
Restrictions Apply
28 2 Black Children's Play.
Restrictions Apply
28 3 Folk Heritage.
Restrictions Apply
28 4 The Seven Most Popular Ballads.
Restrictions Apply
28 5 Jack and the Robbers.
Restrictions Apply
28 6 Lectures 2 and 3, 1978.
Restrictions Apply
28 7 Foreign Language, March 1983.
Restrictions Apply
28 8 USA Music Style, 1982.
Restrictions Apply
28 9 Style - Lecture 9, 1978.
Restrictions Apply
28 10 American Indian.
Restrictions Apply
28 11 The Outlandish Knight.
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28 12 Style Samples, February 1979.
Restrictions Apply
28 13 Lit 161: Classifications of Musical Instruments, 1978.
Restrictions Apply
28 14 Ballads - Intro.
Restrictions Apply
28 15 American Religious Music - White and Black, March 1983.
Restrictions Apply
28 16 Richard Chase - Jack and the Robbers.
Restrictions Apply
28 17 Religious Music, 1983.
Restrictions Apply

Finding aid generated: 2014-01-21