Rock music fans in and around Shreveport-Bossier received a surprise this week when it was announced that Jack White would be making a stop at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium on June 2, 2014, during his first headlining U.S. tour since 2012. White, who is an American roots music fan in addition to being a prolific singer, songwriter and producer, seems like someone who’d have a deeper appreciation of the historic significance of Shreveport Municipal Auditorium than most. He also seems like the kind of guy who’d know, for example, that folk and blues icon Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter hailed from Caddo Parish. In other words, he seems like the kind of cat who, along with fans who share his tastes, would appreciate Shreveport-Bossier.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re Jack White (unlikely) or a White fan who’s coming to town for the June 2 concert (slightly less unlikely, since there’s no Dallas stop on this tour), here are a few places in Shreveport-Bossier that I think you’d appreciate.
1. Lead Belly’s Grave
This one’s a no-brainer. 12-string blues legend Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s grave is one of those spots that traveling music aficionados love to visit. Robert Plant, Allen Ginsberg, and touring rock bands like Pavement and Caustic Resin have visited Lead Belly’s rural grave site in Mooringsport. The singer of such songs as “Good Night Irene,” “Midnight Special” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is buried in a well-kept grave behind Shiloh Baptist Church at the following street address:
Shiloh Baptist Church
10395 Blanchard-Latex Rd.
Mooringsport, LA 71060
2. Day Old Blues Records
Jack White owns a record label and recording studio, Third Man Records, that seems to be philosophically committed to the preservation of the vinyl record as a listening format for modern music audiences. If there’s anyone I know in Shreveport-Bossier who feels as strongly about this as Jack White, it’s James “Rex” Gilcrease, who owns Day Old Blues Records, a fun vinyl record shop at 437 Kings Highway in Shreveport. James’ well-curated collection includes tons of regional blues, classic rock, garage, funk and more – along with new releases on vinyl.
3. Southern Maid Donuts on Hearne Avenue
Where the heck else can you get a delicious donut and a lesson in country music history at once? The 3505 Hearne Avenue location of Southern Maid Donuts in Shreveport is one of a kind, from the shop’s incredible vintage neon signs to the collection of framed photos of Louisiana Hayride performers like Red Sovine and Kitty Wells. Among the many country legends who were said to have loved the donuts from this shop are Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, both of whom recorded endorsements for Southern Maid. Johnny Cash’s version of the Southern Maid Donuts endorsement can still be heard online, but Elvis’ version appears to be harder to track down.
Tickets for Jack White’s June 2 performance at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 11 and may be purchased via Ticketmaster.