Jerry Jeff Walker and Ray Benson Donate Career Archives to Wittliff’s Texas Music Collection

By David West
Junior News Reporter

Ray Benson, of legendary western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, will donate his personal collection to Wittliff’s new Texas Music Collection. 

Benson formed the band in Philadelphia in the early 70s, but moved to Austin in 1973 and never left.  Since then, Asleep at the Wheel has been a staple of Texas music, including opening every Austin City Limits Music Festival.

David Coleman, Director of The Wittliff Collections, said the collection is growing and will be one of the Wittliff’s focuses going forward.

“We really want to craft a collection that people will really love to see, but also love to research too.” Coleman said.  “We have established Texas Music kind of as our new collecting area and we have a really great foundation.”

Benson is not the only artist the collection features. The first Texas artist to donate was Jerry Jeff Walker. Coleman could not name specific artists that the collection is working with, but he would confirm that more are coming.

“Definitely working with several other artists all at once.” Coleman said. “We’re really looking to this being kind of a jump start for us. Kind of like how we are always working with photographers and we’re always working with writers we now are working with musicians to try and have them kind of join the family and get a few items or whole archives too. Either way we are happy to have whatever we can get from these great Texas artists. From a full range of musical backgrounds and musical cultures all that kind of feed up what Texas music really is”

The collection is open seven days a week for both visitors and research. Hours and more information can be found on their website.

Featured image by Asia Daggs.

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