Stan Lewis

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Stanley Joseph "Stan" Lewis

(Louisiana record promoter)

Born July 5, 1927
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died July 14, 2018 (aged 91)
Shreveport, Louisiana

Resting place: Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport

Political Party Republican[1]
Spouse Pauline Tagliavore Lewis (divorced, died 2007)

Leonard Joseph Lewis
Susan Marie Lewis Garriga

Religion Roman Catholic

Stanley Joseph Lewis, known as Stan "The Record Man" Lewis (July 5, 1927 – July 14, 2018), was the owner of a small record shop which he established in 1948 in his native Shreveport, Louisiana and two record labels, Jewel and Cobra. He was also active in the promotion of the early career of Elvis Presley, a performer at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport..

The record shop was located downtown at 728 Texas Avenue at the intersection with Common Street across from the large First United Methodist Church. He became regionally know for his work in the music industry and was considered a "local legend" in Shreveport. With Dale Hawkins (1936-2010), he co-authored the popular song "Susie Q", based on Lewis' daughter, Susan Marie Lewis Garriga (born September 15, 1955).[2] The modest store grew into a record empire with six retail outlets, a national mail-order and distributor service, and multiple record labels.[3]

In the 1950s, Lewis sponsored radio programs which offered blues and gospel records by mail-order. Lewis' programs cultivated loyal teenage customers, including Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan. In addition to selling records, Stan's Record Shop also sold tickets to such as the Louisiana Hayride. Elvis Presley regularly visited and purchased records at the shop. Lewis also developed a long-lasting friendship with Leonard Chess of Chicago, Illinois. Chess released records by Shreveport musicians, including "Susie Q". In 1964, Lewis began releasing 45s on his own label, Jewel. Soon thereafter, he founded the Paula and Ronn labels. Over the next two decades, his labels issued more than one thousand releases, including Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes the Place of You", John Fred and His Playboy Band's "Judy In Disguise" and Joe Stampley and The Uniques, with "All These Things. [3]

Other record stores purchased merchandise from Lewis, who became a distributor of some six hundred independent record labels: Atlantic, Chess, Modern, Specialty, and Imperial. He started a mail-order operation, advertising on WLAC-AM in Nashville, Tennessee, whose powerful signal could be heard at night in much of the country. The roster included Ike & Tina Turner, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, and Memphis Slim. Jewel also recorded for African-American singers Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, Redd Foxx, and B. B. King. In the late 1960s, Lewis purchased from Eli Toscano the Cobra Records label, which offered Harold Burrage and Magic Slim.[4]

By 1973, Billboard magazine reported that Stan's Record Shop had become he largest freight user, largest telephone user, and greatest customer of the U.S. Postal Service in the region. Lewis had more than two hundred employees. During 1972, he sold more than 2.5 million singles and 470,000 albums. Offbeat magazine presented Lewis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2009 he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in Ferriday in Concordia Parish. From 2014 to 2016, the Shreveport Arts Council honored him with three annual Stan "The Record Man" Lewis music festivals.[3]

In the 1990s, Lewis worked with southern soul singers Carl Sims and Vickie Baker. Because of the difficulty of operating a competitive independent record label in a major-label dominated industry, Lewis offered Jewel Records for sale while retaining control of his music publishing companies and the Susie-Q and Gospel Jubilee labels, which recorded Doug Kershaw and Ace Cannon. In 1999, purchased from Lewis the recording rights of the Jewel label. Lewis in his later years was a consultant for an Internet music business located in Redwood, California.[4] KEEL Radio said that Lewis "did it all. Shreveport's rich musical history probably wouldn't be what it is without Stan and his work."[2]

A son of Frank Leonard Lewis (1904-1979) and the former Lucille Scalia (1907-2003),[5] he died in Shreveport nine days after his 91st birthday. Lewis was divorced from the former Pauline Tagliavore (1927-2007), a daughter of Alfonso Tagliavore (1889-1952) and the former Rosalie Carbone (1907-1989). Both were Roman Catholics. In addition to daughter Susan, the couple had a son, Leonard Joseph "Lenny" Lewis (born July 4, 1951). The Lewises are interred separately at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport; Mrs. Lewis rests beside her mother.[6][3]


  1. Stanley Lewis. Retrieved on July 16, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matt Parker (July 16, 2018). Local Legend Stan "The Record Man" Lewis Has Died. KEEL AM radio.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Stanley J. Lewis. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on July 17, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Stanley Joseph "Stan" Lewis. Retrieved on July 16, 2018.
  5. Frank Leonard Lewis. Retrieved on July 17, 2018.
  6. Pauline Tagliavore Lewis. Retrieved on July 17, 2018.