Author: lizdda

The Most Jive Place In All of Shreveport

One of Shreveport’s most treasured buildings, the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, has been home to a number of famous performances over the years. But none as notable as the “Louisiana Hayride.” It’s been nearly 70 years since the “Hayride” made its debut, bringing to life the sounds of the South on the radio and, years later, television.   The Cradle of the Stars The 1940s/50s was a golden era for country and blues music in the South, and the “Hayride” was a major influence for many budding musicians. Every Saturday night, the  public crammed the aisles of the Municipal Auditorium...

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The Ardis Johnson Building

  In the early 1900s, commerce in Shreveport was focused around downtown. The city center developed rapidly and the buildings that sprang up housed any number of important (and maybe not so) businesses. The Ardis Building—then Ardis-Johnson Building, and today the Johnson Building—was Shreveport’s third major office building and one of the largest skyscrapers dotting the city skyline. Throughout its lifetime it was home to many different businesses including attorney, dentists, and real estate brokers. A beauty salon and cafe were long-term residents of the ground floor until 1998, when Kelly’s Po Boy became the sole tenant of the...

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The Drugstore That Launched The Entertainment Industry

At the corner of Milam and Louisiana streets sits a gem of a building whose roots once ran deep throughout the city. To see it today, you’d never believe that Saenger Drug was a hugely successful and influential pharmacy—as well as home to a popular soda fountain. But did you know the fate of the Strand Theatre and maybe the entirety of the entertainment industry in northern Louisiana is also tied to this humble little drugstore?Shreveport may have never ended up quite the same without the help of two Virginia natives. What the Public Wants The Saenger brothers can...

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Morris Dickson: The Little Apothecary That Could

From a small town apothecary to one of the most successful drug wholesalers, the Morris Dickson pharmaceutical building on Travis St. is one of the most iconic to grace the downtown cityscape. Founded in 1841, this historic building practically grew up with Shreveport and is one of the city’s first established businesses that is still operating today. These days, Morris Dickson is the oldest family-owned pharmaceutical distributor in the country. It all started out with humble beginnings and a dream, but with a little ingenuity and perseverance, the company turned its meager prospects into a lifetime legacy. A Fortuitous...

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The Blues and Folk Legend of the South

The Blues and Folk Legend of the South Take a walk down Texas Street and you’ll come face to face with a bronze statue of Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and his famous 12-string guitar Stella. No one is more emblematic of the early southern folk music movement than this singer, songwriter and prolific guitarist. Most known for hits such as “Goodnight, Irene,” “The Midnight Special” and “Cotton Fields,” Ledbetter’s music laid the groundwork for the folk genre that influenced generations of musicians after his untimely death. A Hometown Start This folk-blues legend hailed from Mooringsport and spent his early...

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