SHREVEPORT STOMPS: OUR CITY'S SONGS (1924-1990)
Compiled in December 2009, liner notes revised November 2018.
Songs about Shreveport, songs recorded in Shreveport, songs by Shreveporters, songs on Shreveport record labels.
Listen online: https://www.mixcloud.com/shreveportsongs/5-shreveport-stomps-our-citys-songs-1924-1990/
1 FERD (JELLY ROLL) MORTON Shreveport Stomps (Gennett 5590, 1924)
Having honed his piano skills in New Orleans' Storyville neighborhood during the early 1900s, Morton recorded multiple versions of the song that boasts our city's name. This early version is a solo performance and perhaps the only one to pluralize "Stomp."
2 HITER COLVIN Rabbit Up The Gum Stump (Victor 40239, 1929)
Born near Dubach, Louisiana, Colvin played at dances and fiddle contests throughout the North Louisiana/Southern Arkansas/East Texas region.
3 JOHN MCGHEE & FRANK WELLING Hello World Doggone (Hello World Broadcasting Corp. unnumbered, 1930)
Though un-credited on the record label, the musicians are McGhee and Welling. These prolific recording partners are singing about W. K. Henderson and his radio station, KWKH.
4 KING SOLOMON HILL The Gone Dead Train (Paramount 13129, 1932)
The tangled biography of KSH identifies him as Joe Holmes from the area of Sibley/Minden, Louisiana. Holmes also had connections to blues musicians in Shreveport and Dallas.
5 LONE STAR COWBOYS Just Because (Bluebird 6052, 1933)
Having formed in Tyler, Texas, the LSC moved to Shreveport in the early 1930s to perform on KWKH. They also performed and recorded with Jimmie Davis during the 1930s. After the LSC breakup, members splintered into the Shelton Brothers and Leon's Lone Star Cowboys.
6 BLACK IVORY KING (DAVE ALEXANDER) The Flying Crow (Decca 7307, 1937)
The Flying Crow was a train line connecting Port Arthur, Texas, to Kansas City, Missouri. Alexander notes a few stops along the way including the crew change in Shreveport.
7 CHARLES MITCHELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA Mean Mama Blues (Bluebird 33-0508, 1941)
Known for once sharing the writers' credit with Jimmie Davis on "You are My Sunshine," steel guitarist Mitchell performed in Davis’s band during the 1930s and 1940s. A handful of records were issued under Mitchell's name such as this one.
8 CURLEY WILLIAMS AND HIS GEORGIA PEACH PICKERS Barbecue Rag (Columbia 20633, 1949)
Originally from Georgia, this itinerant group called Shreveport home for the latter half of 1948. During that time, they hosted a radio show on KWKH and performed on the Louisiana Hayride.
9 WEBB PIERCE AND HIS SOUTHERN VALLEY BOYS High Geared Daddy (4 Star 1413, 1949)
Hailing from Monroe, Louisiana, Pierce moved to Shreveport in the mid-1940s. While working at Sears, he began singing on the radio and playing at dances. In 1949, he joined the Louisiana Hayride.
10 PERCY MAYFIELD AND ORCHESTRA Louisiana (Specialty 432, 1952)
Originally from Minden, Louisiana, Mayfield found success after moving to Los Angeles. He suffered a serious car accident in 1953. Still, he continued singing and writing songs such as "Hit the Road Jack" for Ray Charles in 1961.
11 OWEN PERRY All Dressed Up With No Place To Go (Capitol 2751, 1953)
After moving to Shreveport in the early 1940s, Perry performed with Harmie Smith's group on KWKH, then began recording under his own name in 1947. This song was recorded at the KWKH radio studio and includes Ace Lewis on drums
12 CAROLYN BRADSHAW Oh! I Like It (Chess 4861, 1954)
Chess Records issued a handful of country releases around 1954 thanks to a relationship with Stan Lewis and the deep pool of talent on the Louisiana Hayride. Here's a song from one such record.
13 CHICO CHISM WITH JERRY AND GARLAND Romp and Stomp (Clif 102, 1957)
In his younger years, drummer Chism apeared on a few Shreveport 45s; he went on to make a name for himself in the Chicago blues scene. The 1957 Billboard magazine reviewed this song: "The primitive, out-of-tune rumbling on this waxing is bad enough to make it dangerous."
14 JERRY KENNEDY Teenage Love Is Misery (Decca 9-30577, 1958)
Prior to becoming a Nashville music producer, Kennedy took guitar lessons from Tillman Franks, attended Byrd High School, and performed on the Louisiana Hayride. This song, written by Franks, was recorded by Kennedy at age 17.
15 GENE GALIMORE Sweet Jungle Love (Jolly 111, circa 1960)
Perhaps the songwriter's credit reveals this musician's true personality: Eugene Krock. Publishing credit Su-Ma indicates Stan Lewis's involvement.
16 JIMMY WRAY Better Do It Now (circa 1960)
Wray recorded a few demo songs under the guidance of Harding Guyon Desmarais (aka Dee Marais). Marais ran the Bayou Record Shop on 70th Street, co-founded Murco Records, and also operated music publishing companies.
17 JOHN GREER Honey, Why (MOA 1002, 1960)
When Wilson Evans (owner of the Music of America record label) filed the copyright on this song, Greer's address was listed as a life insurance company's office on Sprague Street. Who is Greer? I suspect it's not the R&B saxophonist of the 1950s with the same name.
18 BILLIE JEAN HORTON Here Comes Trouble (Custom 103, 1962)
From Bossier City, BJH, the widow of Hank Williams and Johnny Horton, launched a musical career, too. Here's one of her early songs.
19 CHARLES PENNYWELL WITH THE STEPHEN SCOTT SINGERS Web of Love (Smash 1794, 1963)
After singing on a couple Fairlanes 45s on Lucky Seven Records, Pennywell cut this record and received top billing. Two from Lucky Seven were involved here, too: Dee Marais ran Heads Up publishing and Shelby Singleton ran Mercury Records' subsidiary, Smash Records.
20 JIMMY DOBRO Swamp Surfer (Philips 40137, 1963)
Our city's favorite session musician in disguise: James Burton.
21 JERRY ANN AND LAS VEGAS CATS Go Go Girl (Red River 17057, circa 1965)
Released on Jesse Thomas's record label, this song also includes his vocals and most likely his guitar playing.
22 TOM & THE CATS The Wine Song (Jewel 750, 1965)
With instruments purchased at Walker & Rodie Music (two members were Rodie's sons), T&TC played teen dances and fraternity parties. A 1966 Shreveport Times article suggests the band caught flack for the subject matter of this song.
23 THE SENSATIONAL GOLDEN KNIGHTS OF SHREVEPORT, LA. Thank You Jesus (Hosanna 8024, circa 1965)
Local group, Dallas record label, "J. Richards" as the songwriter. Who were they? Gene West (later of the Relatives) sang with this group at one point.
24 LONNIE AND FLOYD You Got To Feel It (Jewel 781, 1967)
From the first of two 45s by Floyd Beard and Wister LeFlore on Jewel. Label credits reveal it was recorded at Sound City.
25 GEATER DAVIS I Know (My Baby Loves Me) (House of Orange 2407, 1971)
After settling in Shreveport, Vernon "Geater" Davis fell into the city's 1960s soul/r&b scene, which included Reuben Bell, Elgie Brown, and Eddie Giles. Davis began recording under his own name in 1970, and cut this song (co-written by Bell) at Sound City Studios.
26 FEATHER DA GAMBA Surprise (1972)
Unusual, lo-fi rock with baby crying noises. From their only record, a self-released LP. Some members currently perform in The Rockin' Redeyes.
27 ADOLPH & THE ENTERTAINERS My Baby's Gone (Alarm 101, circa 1972)
Lead vocals by Barbara Thomas. The first of two 45s recorded for Alarm Records by Adolph Washington and his band. Perhaps these were the group's only releases.
28 WORLD WONDERS Funky Washing Machine (Alarm 21644, circa 1972)
Produced by Dee Marais and recorded at Sound/City Studios, located at 3316 Line Ave. The studio track identification chart for this recording session lists band members' addresses in Leesville and Monroe, Louisiana.
29 LOYD JONES Trip To CCI (Patricia 1516, 1981)
Caddo Correctional Institute, the parish jail: a place you don't want to be sent. Replaced by the Caddo Correctional Center in 1995; another place you don't want to be sent.
30 ARTEE L. PHILYAW Long Journey To The Promised Land (Gospel Sound's Recording Co. 5366, 1990)
In the 1940s, Philyaw and his quartet, The Echoes of Zion, sang over KWKH. Later, he worked as a radio announcer on KANB and KIOU. Philyaw also served as a deacon at Mount Hermon Baptist Church. In the 1990s, he released a couple 45s of his solo gospel material.
31 LOUISIANA HAYRIDE Theme Song (circa 1958)
One could catch the Hayride most Saturday nights from 1948-1960 at the Municipal Auditorium or on KWKH. In the mid-1950s, it also aired overseas on United States Armed Forces radio stations. Here's the program's intro and outro theme.