Stan "The Record Man" Lewis
During the heyday of modern American music, Shreveport was home to numerous record stores that frequently also served as recording studios. They included Murco Records/Bayou Record Shop in the Cedar Grove neighborhood, Stan’s/Jewel-Paula-Ron Records at 728 Texas Avenue, RAM Record Shop/Recording Studio on Greenwood Road near the Louisiana Exhibit Museum, and the Bossier Strip.
Murco Records specialized in 1960s R&B and local bands, releasing “Losin’ Boy” by Eddie Giles in 1966. Other successful artists included Reuben Bell and the Belltones, Dori Grayson, Charles Crawford, Ann Alford, Abraham & the Casanovas, and Marion Ester. Murco was responsible for forming much of the early catalog that comprises the “Southern Soul” genre.
Stan’s, established by proprietor Stan Lewis in 1948, was operational until the 1980s. Frequented by Elvis Presley and other Hayride performers, Stan’s also served as a distributor for numerous labels, including Atlantic, Chess, Modern, Specialty, and Lewis. In 1957, Lewis began writing and producing for R&B and rock & roll performers. Entrenched in the local music scene, Lewis and his family were intimately familiar with a number of artists, such as Dale Hawkins, whose 1957 seminal “swamp rock” hit “Susie Q” was written about Lewis’ daughter Susan. In 1963, Lewis established the Jewel label, which would later be supplemented by the Paula and Ronn labels. His clients included Big Joe Turner, John Lee Hooker, Ernest Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, and Toussaint McCall, with the catalog also including recordings by Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, Redd Foxx, and BB King. Later that decade, Lewis acquired Cobra Records, which led to the addition of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Magic Slim. In 1999, the rights to Jewel were sold to EMusic.com, although Lewis remains an active consultant in the industry.
RAM Record Shop and Recording studio, founded by Myra Smith, specialized in rock and roll, rockabilly, R&B, and country music until moving to Nashville in the 1960s.
The Bossier Strip, located across the Red River in Bossier City, was also associated with a number of prominent musicians. This is where Hawkins’ recorded “Susie Q” and other songs, and is also where the Newbeats’ “Bread and Butter” was recorded, resulting in a request to formally record the track for Hickory Records. “Bread and Butter” reached number 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was certified Platinum, selling over 1 million copies in the US.
Pop/R&B/country subsidiary of Shreveport, Louisiana-based Jewel Records (3), launched in 1965. Named after company founder Stanley Lewis' wife Paula. Label and record company.
Notable artists include John Fred & His Playboy Band, the Ink Spots, Fontella Bass, Young-Holt Unlimitedand Cajun comedian Justin Wilson.