“Lightnin’ Hopkins (“Rock me, Mama”) and Stan Lewis, the Shreveport record producer (“Suzie Q”) seem to have really liked each other,” said Houston-based author Roger Wood in his talk, “Lightnin’ and Lewis: An Iconic Texas Bluesman and Stan the Record Man.”
The talk by Wood was part of the Norla Preservation Project conference called Shreveport Sounds: A Music History Symposium.
Produced by Kelly Rich, director of the Highland Jazz & Blues Fest, along with Grant Nuckolls of Twisted Root Burgers and musician Winston Hall, of the NWLA Music Coalition, the conference brought together music and history lovers with music mavens like Dan Garner (“Blue Goose Blues”) and authors like Wood, who wrote about Hopkins in his book, Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues.
Also on the bill was Louisiana Tech professor and author of The Hank Williams Reader, David Anderson. He presented the talk “Stan Lewis and the Business of Music.”History maven Chris Brown, “Romp & Stomp,” KSCL FM 91.3 on Tuesdays, 5 to 6 pm, presented “Unboxing ‘KWKH and the Louisiana Hayride,'” a background of the German production (Bear Family Records) of a comprehensive aural and print history of the Hayride.
Veteran trombonist Lou C. Wells was interviewed about his Shreveport musical history, by Robert Trudeau, as was sax player and teacher Dorsey Summerfield.
Garner introduced the audience to Shreveport’s Blue Goose railroad stop and singers such as Jesse “Babyface” Thomas, with whom Garner produced a record.
I presented a Lead Belly lecture based on notes from The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (Wolfe/Lornell) and photos from the book Leadbelly; A Life in Pictures (Tyehimba/Robinson).
The Symposium moved from morning lecture sessions at the Robinson Film Center to a Buddy Flett performance at the Shreve Memorial Library. Included afterwards were tours of the Municipal Auditorium and Calanthean Temple.
Rich’s NORLA began as a project to save abandoned shotgun houses. It has since expanded its purview to saving local music history.