National Scene > Shreveport, Louisiana
Will Sutton (57) - Submitted Monday Jul 2, 2007
We moved to Shreveport in June of 1964, just after my freshman year of high school. Beatlemania and the British invasion were at their high points in terms of new releases and new bands. (Moving when we did, from Jacksonville, Fla, I missed my only ever chance to see the Bealtes live. They played the Gator Bowl that Sept). Back in those days at the La. State Fair every October there were free shows at the Fairgounds grandstand. That Oct. my mother took my younger sister and me to one of those shows and we saw, for free, The Ventures, Chad & Jeremy, and Johnny Rivers. Sure, Chad & Jeremy were the only invasion act on the bill, but the Ventures were still pretty big and they had Walk Don't Run '64 on the charts, and Louisiana's own Johnny Rivers was one of the only American acts having much success at the time. It was the first rock/pop show of any kind I had ever been to. Later that year or in early '65 the Rolling Stones played the coliseum at the Fairgrounds on one of their first US tours, but my parents would not let me go. In fact, I never saw the Stones until the Some Girls tour in '78 when they played the Superdome for the first time. Anyway, back to the Shreveport scene. Starting in late '66 during my Junior year at Jesuit High, I don't think I missed a weekend dance in the area. The three big venues were the Progressive Mens' Club, the Forty & 8 Club, and the VFW Hall, all on Cross Lake. Most of the time we went to listen to either John Fred and His Playboys, Joe Stampley & the Uniques, or local band The Inn Crowd (their drummer, Steve Tuminello, was in my class). One time both John Fred and the Uniques played the Progressive Mens' club the same night, each set up at opposite ends of the dance floor. The Progressive Mens' was a location for a lot of school proms and dances, too, and at one of those I saw Cookie & the Cupcakes. I think my Senior Prom featured the Inn Crowd the night before they dumped lead singer James Gordon for a guy named Bill Wray. They soon changed the band's name to Bill Wray and the Showband Royale and I know I saw them at least once after that. I enjoyed all of the shows but really liked John Fred the best, though my steady date at the time preferred the Uniques--she had a cousin that dated one of the band members. These dance floors also hosted some lesser known national acts now and then. I saw the Music Machine at the Progessive Mens' club (Dynamite show) and Roy Head (Treat Her Right) at the VFW.
J (30something) - Submitted Sunday Dec 10, 2006
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is from Shreveport. He used to play at Shooters. He was only 14 or 15, a freshman in HS, and had to sneak in to play at bars. Luckily I had a fake id. I saw him in concert years later in Atlanta.
J (30something) - Submitted Sunday Dec 10, 2006
I saw Kenny Rogers at the State Fair in early 80s. We were walking over to the stage where he was gonna perform and he was coming out of his dressing room. My mother was drooling. That was big time for Shreveport and the Revel for Kenny Rogers to be playing. It was the height of his career.
Steve Smith (56) - Submitted Thursday Nov 30, 2006
We used to go to dances in High School. We saw John Fred and the Playboys (Judy in Disguise) at the Progressive Men's Club on Cross Lake. We saw The Uniques (All These Things) there, too. Both bands recorded under the Paula Records label, which was owned by Stan "The Man" Lewis ("The biggest little record shop in the South"), who's record shop was on the corner of Texas Street and Common, just across from the First Methodist Church at the head of Texas Street. Stan recorded many local groups under his three labels, Paula, Jewel, and Ronn.

We saw James Brown perform at the Municipal Auditorium. As the curtains closed while he sang his last song, they turned on a strobe spotlight as he danced. One of the most awesome things I've ever seen in my life. We saw Vanilla Fudge there, also.

I didn't go to any Hayride performances. We didn't have a lot of money back then. The Drive-In picture shows were usually a dollar a car load, and we couldn't afford it, although we did go, but not a lot. I was in school with Johnny Horton's daughter, Jeri, and even dropped by her house one night to visit, my senior year in High School. Johnny was killed in 1960.