This collection contains the papers of Sam Agins in
the form of correspondence, publications, music papers, various personal effects,
including Stetson hat and other cowboy memorabilia.
Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Manuscript Collection
Merrill-Cazier Library Utah State University 3000 Old Main Hill Logan, UT 84322-3000 Phone: 435 797-2663 Fax: 435 797-2880 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collection materials are in English.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant,
"Singin" Sam Agins was born in Denver, Colorado on June 4, 1919 and died in Sun City,
Arizona on March 28, 1996. Agins is best known as an American folksinger that learned to
play the fiddle and guitar in his youth. Though limited to the use of crutches or a
wheelchair for mobility, Agins became an inspiration for many who attended his concerts.
During the 1940s and 1950s he entertained disabled youth, veterans and children in
hospitals, acting as Ambassador of Goodwill Industries. Other groups treated to Agins'
talents included prisoners in New Mexico and guests at ranches in the Rocky Mountain
Not only a musician but a lyricist and collector of others' lyrics, Agins wrote,
collected and recorded songs throughout his life and established his own recording
company, Haywire, in the 1970s, He numbered among his friends the Mexican and American
cowboys, and hobos ("gentlemen of the highways") who shared their songs and stories with
him. His other writings included an autobiography, 3 Dimes and a
Button, several plays, poems, magazine articles, news columns, and a photo
essay called Round Legs.
Agins was not only a musician and writer but also a multi-talented craftsman. His
interest in American folk culture probably started in California where, as a boy, he
learned to train horses and grew adept at rope work, silver and goldsmithing.
Singin' Sam's career took him all over the Rocky Mountain West where he gave concerts
and taught classes about folk singing at the University of Wyoming, and at other
institutions in Colorado, Idaho, and Arizona. He represented the United States in the
1976 Smithsonian Institution's Montreal Expo and served as an expert on early American
folk songs in Washington, D.C. In the 1970s and 1980s, Agins participated in the
Festival of the American West and the Western Writer's Conferences held in Logan, Utah.
This collection contains the papers of Sam Agins in the form of correspondence,
publications, music papers, various personal effects, including Stetson hat and other
Use of the Collection
Restrictions on Access : Restrictions
Open to public research.
Restrictions on Use : Copyright
It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of
the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her
transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and
hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents
from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of
Singin' Sam Agins papers, 1919-1996. (COLL MSS 230) Utah State University. Special
Collections and Archives Department.
Organized in 5 series: I. Correspondence; II. Autobiography; III. Music; IV.
Miscellaneous Writings; V. Newspaper Clippings, Smithsonian Tours, Memorabilia,
The Sam Agins Collection is contained in ten manuscript and storage boxes. Arrangement
of the collection is topical and chronological. Correspondence is arranged
alphabetically by name of correspondent; the name of the correspondent's business,
company or organization is listed with the name. News clippings are arranged
chronologically by folders, each representing a decade. All other items are arranged
topically under general titles such as "Music" for any items relating to Agins' musical
Acquisition Information :
Donated by Frederica Agins in 1996.
Separated Materials :
Photographs removed to the Singin' Sam Agins photograph collection (P0134).
Books removed to the Sam Agins book collection (Folk Collection 30).
Cassette tapes removed to the Sam Agins cassette tape collection (Folk Collection 30a).
Records removed to the Sam Agins commercial record collection (Folk Collection 30b).
Videotapes removed to the Sam Agins commercial video and beta collection (Folk
Reel-to-Reel tapes removed to the Sam Agins commercial reel-to-reel collection (Folk
An oil portrait of Agins by John H. Wadell and six ink drawings of Johnny Hampton were
removed to the Art and artifacts collection in Special Collections and Archives.