Jim Bob Tinsley Papers
Scope and Content
The Jim Bob Tinsley Papers contain galley proofs and photographs for Tinsley's books, He Was Singin' This Song and For a Cowboy Has to Sing. Accompanying the galley proofs and photographs are approximately 50 pieces of Western sheet music from 1900 to 1950. In addition, this collection contains research for Tinsley's work on the Florida Panther, bass fishing sites in Florida, and his book The Sailfish, Swashbuckler of the Open Seas. Additional material donated in 2017 includes research material that Tinsley collected on cattle rancher Jacob Summerlin.
- Tinsley, Jim Bob. (Person)
The collection is open for research.
Jim Bob Tinsley was an avid outdoorsman, writer, and musician known for Western and cowboy songs. He was born in Brevard, North Carolina ion August 12, 1921. He graduated from Brevard High School in 1940, and served as a naval aerial photographer during World War II. After the war, he married Dottie (Dolores) Wilson and earned money for college by working as a cowboy in Arizona. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. In 1958, he completed a master's degree in education from what is now Northern Arizona University. He went on to a career in education, retiring in 1982 after 28 years with the Marion County School System.
He was an accomplished singer of cowboy ballads, beginning his career at the age of 13 performing with WWNC radio station out of Ashville, North Carolina. During the course of his career, he played with numerous musicians, including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Tinsley wrote books on western music, including For a Cowboy Has to Sing and He Was Singin' This Song, which won the Cowboy Hall of Fame's Western Heritage Award for music in 1982.
In addition to his books on music, Tinsley was the author of works on other subjects. He was an avid sportsman, which inspired him to write The Puma: Legendary Lion of the Americas, The Florida Panther, and The Sailfish, Swashbuckler of the Open Seas. His experience with photography helped him produce a work on waterfalls in his home state of North Carolina entitled The Land of Waterfalls: Transylvania County, North Carolina. He also wrote about the history of the Tinsley family in From Totopotomoy to Transylvania: A Descendancy Line of the Tinsley Family in America since 1638.
Tinsley received many awards and honors during his lifetime, including the Pioneer Award, the Cowboy Cultural Award, and induction into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame. He also was the recipient of the Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Western Artists in 2000. His passion for western music left him with numerous artifacts from the West. He and his wife Dottie opened the Jim Bob Tinsley Museum in 1994, which closed in 2007. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82.
4.21 Linear feet (9 boxes; 2 record albums)
Language of Materials
The collection contains galley proofs and photos for Tinsley's books He Was Singin' This Song and For a Cowboy Has to Sing. Accompanying the galley proofs and photographs are approximately 50 pieces of Western sheet music from 1900 to 1950. The collection also contains research materials on the Florida panther, bass fishing sites in Florida, cattle rancher Jacob Summerlin, and Tinsley's book The Sailfish, Swashbuckler of the Open Seas.
University of Florida Smathers Library Building
Gift of Mrs. Dottie Tinsley. Material on Jacob Summerlin donated by Dr. Lynn Herrick on behalf of Mrs. Dottie Tinsley.
- "Into the Sunset." Hendersonville Times-News, 21 January 2004.
- Dottie Tinsley. "James Robert (Jim Bob) Tinsley - Transylvania County "Renaissance" Man." Transylvania Heritage Museum, http://www.transylvaniaheritage.org/content/james-robert-jim-bob-tinsley-transylvania-county-renaissance-man
Tinsley's Works Include:
- The Sailfish, Swashbuckler of the Open Seas. Gainesville, University of Florida Press, 1964.
- The Florida Panther. St. Petersburg, Fla., Great Outdoors Pub. Co., 1970.
- From Totopotomoy to Transylvania: A Descendancy Line of the Tinsley Family in America since 1638. Ocala, Florida: Des Abbott & Gordon Mobbs, 1976.
- He Was Singin' This Song: A Collection of Forty-Eight Traditional Songs of the American Cowboy. Orlando: University Presses of Florida, 1981.
- The Puma, Legendary Lion of the Americas. El Paso: Texas Western Press, University of Texas at El Paso, 1987.
- The Land of Waterfalls: Transylvania County, North Carolina. Brevard, N.C.: J.B. and Dottie Tinsley, 1988.
- Florida Cow Hunter: The Life and Times of Bone Mizell. Orlando: University of Central Florida Press, 1990.
- For a Cowboy Has to Sing: A Collection of Sixty Romantic Cowboy and Western Songs, Covering Fifty-Year Golden Era of Popular Standards between 1905 and 1957. Orlando: University of Central Florida Press, 1991.
- The Hash Knife Brand. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1993.
In 2017, Dr. Lynn Herrick donated material to the Tinsley Papers on behalf Mrs. Dottie Tinsley. This second accession included research materials collected by Jim Bob Tinsley on cattle rancher Jacob Summerlin. The new material can be found in box 9.
- A Guide to the Jim Bob Tinsley Papers
- Finding aid created by Philip Durnin and Bridget Bihm-Manuel
- December 2010
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America