Winston Hall is a musician who moved to Shreveport in 2007. Originally from Gatesville, Texas, Hall had been living in Nashville and made the move to Shreveport to work in the movie industry. He was aware of Shreveport-Bossier’s incredible musical heritage but saw little evidence of it here. And now, he has decided to do something about it.
Hall is a man on a mission to get Shreveport-Bossier City’s profound musical heritage on the map.
“There’s a distinct gap between the level of the history and how it’s being honored and promoted around the world,” said Hall. "So, my goal is to change that, little by little.”
The Louisiana Hayride launched in 1948. In the 1950’s, Shreveport-Bossier was the place for musicians to pursue their careers and try to become the next big star.
“I think at the time in the subsequent decades, the Shreveport-Bossier community missed the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot,” Hall said.
And all those musicians who flocked to our area left to pursue their musical dreams elsewhere.
Among the many musical facts - Hank Williams bought a house on Modica Street in Bossier City. Huddie “Lead-Belly” Ledbetter, one of the greatest and most influential blues and folk musicians of all time, grew up and performed in Shreveport. Legendary guitarist James Burton still resides here. Then of course, there was Elvis Presley.
“Elvis was in Shreveport-Bossier every Saturday for at least a year and a half,” Hall said.
Other than the statues in downtown Shreveport of Lead Belly and at Municipal Auditorium of James Burton and Elvis Presley, we don’t have much honoring that history.
There’s nowhere to go where people can just learn the simple story of our music history,” said Hall.
So Hall has made it his mission to educate others by speaking at civic group meetings, church gatherings, wherever he can to spread the word.
“There’s a distinct connection between civic pride and the knowledge of the music history here,” Hall said.
Along with education, Hall would like to see our cities’ leaders work together to build the infrastructure necessary to accommodate visitors who love and appreciate music history, which will, in turn, boost the local economy.
“If a tour bus comes here, they should be able to have 5-6-8-9 different music history-related stops. Well, guess what? If they have that many stops, they will spend the night, they will spend money, they’ll eat dinner, and they’ll go home and speak positively about our city,” he explained.
Hall says that Shreveport-Bossier should be listed right alongside Memphis, Nashville and other music-centered cities. And he plans to continue his work to ensure our rich musical heritage is not forgotten.