Houston City Scope November 2015
UH Special Collections Hosts Archives from Houston’s Blues History
Thanks to the University of Houston, music aficionados can revisit the career of the late B.B. King, as well as those of other bluesmen who performed and launched careers in Houston.
UH’s Digital Library recently published “Duke-Peacock Records Publicity Photos and ACA Master Books.” This online collection contains promotional photos from the artists affiliated with Houston’s legendary Duke and Peacock record labels. Likewise, it contains the master books from the city’s Audio Company of America (ACA) studios, which document recording sessions from a variety of artists including King and others.
“Many people either forget or don’t realize Houston’s legacy as a musical epicenter,” said Vince Lee, archivist at UH’s Special Collections. “A lot of times, you’ll hear about the Motown sound or the Philly sound, but Houston had its own sound, too.”
Houstonian Don Robey launched Peacock Records in 1949. In 1952, Robey assumed control of Duke Records, home to stars such as Bobby “Blue” Bland.
“Don Robey was at one time considered the most successful African-American record label owner,” Lee said. “That was before Motown. He had the connections in the industry and owned a legendary nightclub in Houston, the Bronze Peacock.”
Items to be viewed in the digital “Duke-Peacock” collection include classic publicity photos of well-known artists such as King, Bland and Brown, as well as lesser-known artists. Log sheets from the ACA studios also are visible with times, dates and artists names reflecting recording sessions.
The digital collection complements hard copy items that reside in UH’s Special Collections. The “Duke-Peacock” items are just a portion of the larger Texas Music Collection, which contains artifacts related to the history of music in the Lone Star State. The Texas Music Collection also includes vintage newspaper clippings, photos, songbooks, financial records, administrative files and other documents. Houstonian and music historian Andrew Brown donated items to create this collection.
The public can view the digital “Duke-Peacock” collection online. Other items from the Texas Music Collection can be viewed at UH’s MD Anderson Library in Special Collections. The collections are open to the public from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon- 4 p.m., Saturday (during fall and spring semesters). Details regarding visiting the Special Collections can be found at info.lib.uh.edu.
Memorial Hermann’s Carol Paret Honored as Community Health Champion
For nearly two decades, Carol Paret, senior vice president and chief community health officer for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and the CEO of Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation (MHCBC), has spent her days behind the scenes with little fanfare toiling to provide access to health care to people who desperately need it, particularly children.
Paret was recently honored as the 2015 recipient of the Texas Health Institute’s Fratis L. Duff award, recognizing her outstanding contributions to public health and her long and illustrious career.
Paret, whose Memorial Hermann tenure spans 31 years, began her healthcare career with a community health planning emphasis that has not relented. She is currently serving as past board chairman of Gateway to Care, a collaborative involving 165-plus agencies whose mission is to improve access to care for Houston’s uninsured and the Provider Health Network, a project access model for specialty care. She is also chair of THI’s board of directors.
“This award is a great honor,” said Paret. “But I could not accomplish anything without my wonderful and hard-working staff, commitment from our board and leadership as well as the collaboration of some great community partners. I appreciate THI recognizing me as I know there are others who are working hard in their communities trying to make a difference.”
At the ceremony, Paret was celebrated by family, leaders from Houston’s public health community such as Stephen Williams, director of health and human services for the City of Houston, and Memorial Hermann colleagues, including Dan Wolterman, president and CEO.
“The great turnout at the event represents the community’s recognition of this humble, quiet visionary’s contribution to the underserved,” said Camille D. Miller, president and CEO of THI, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that provides leadership in development of health care solutions in Texas.“Carol’s contributions to public health in the greater Houston community are immeasurable and have touched many lives, in many families.”
In 1995, Paret oversaw the launch of the Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools (MHHCS) program, which has grown to 10 school clinics in five Greater Houston school districts – Aldine, Alief, Houston, Lamar Consolidated and Pasadena – and are available to more than 65,000 underserved children at 68 schools.
The MHHCS program has a primary goal: Keep students healthy and in school so they can learn and impact their chance of success. The program accomplishes that goal by providing a medical home for uninsured and underserved students from prekindergarten through 12th grade.
In addition to overseeing MHCBC efforts, Paret also is the privacy and security officer managing the medical records function, CME and a large family practice residency program. Paret is a graduate of the University of Houston, who did her graduate studies at the University of Texas School of Public Health.