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Sam Kindrick Papers

Identifier: SWWC-134

Scope and Contents

The papers of reporter and publisher, Sam Kindrick, span 1934-2018, and are arranged into three series: Photographs, Personal Papers, and Action Magazine Records. Photographs comprise the bulk of the collection and number approximately 4,000. Most are photographs of artists and musicians from Kindrick’s Action Magazine files that document a veritable “who’s who” of local and touring performers who played in San Antonio and the region from 1975 to the mid 2010s.

The photographs are arranged alphabetically, and notable artists and personalities include Asleep at the Wheel, Moe Bandy, Johnny Bush, Johnny Cash, Hondo Crouch, Joe Ely, Freddy Fender, Kinky Friedman, John Lee Hooker, Waylon Jennings & Jessie Colter, Steve Jordan, Augie Meyers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Rodriguez, Leon Russell, Doug Sahm, Billy Joe Shave, Jimmy Spacek, and Jerry Jeff Walker. The Willie Nelson photographs are substantial in number, and of note are some images of his father, Ira, as well as images of each of the band members.

The photographs also document the unique culture of 1970s-1980s Texas and include files on armadillos; artists & craftsmen; beer; chili cookoffs; and politicians. In addition, there are a number of photographs of sports personalities, pool players, boxers, and dare devils.

And finally, the photographs include some of Sam Kindrick’s personal and family photos, including some from Kindrick’s childhood, school days, and early reporting career. Images of Kindrick with performers are filed with the respective performer’s file, such as Kinky Friedman, Augie Meyers, Willie Nelson, and Jerry Jeff Walker.

The bulk of Kindrick’s personal papers include clippings of his “Offbeat” column that appeared in the San Antonio Express News, 1968-1974. The column is a precursor to the work he would later do at Action Magazine, and the subjects are similar: music, culture, off-beat stories of sports, politics, and society.

The final series relates to Action Magazine itself and includes some artist press releases, advertising files, some layout pages, a wire newspaper stand, and a near-complete run of the newspaper from 1975-2018.


  • 1934-2018
  • Majority of material found within 1968-2018


Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Clarence Samuel Kindrick (November 3, 1934 - ) is a Texas journalist, author and publisher. The longtime newspaper reporter and columnist is best known as the founder of Action Magazine in March 1975 and for his wild and wooly chronicling of the outlaw country music movement of the 1970s from his home base of San Antonio and Bulverde.

Kindrick was born in San Antonio and grew up in a religious household in Junction. He graduated from Junction High School in 1953 and graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1957.

After short stints at the Bay City News and the Kerrville Daily Times, Kindrick joined the San Angelo Standard Times in 1958 as a general assignments reporter. In 1960, he was hired by the San Antonio Express-News where he worked as a reporter and columnist until 1975.

Kindrick forged close bonds with Willie Nelson, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Kinky Friedman, Hondo Crouch and Jerry Jeff Walker, adopted their redneck rock attitude, look and partying ways. His outrageous gonzo style of reporting made him the Hunter S. Thompson of the emerging music scene.


30 boxes

25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


The papers of reporter, photographer, and publisher, Sam Kindrick, span 1934-2018, and are arranged into three series: Photographs, Kindrick’s Personal Papers, and Action Magazine. The bulk of the collection relates to Action Magazine, a monthly newspaper Kindrick launched in 1975. Included are approximately 4,000 photographs from the publication, and a near-complete run of the paper. Kindrick’s personal papers include copies of his column from the San Antonio Express News, 1968-1974.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sam Kindrick, 2018

Guide to the Sam Kindrick Papers
Katie Salzmann
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA