Shreveport branded "Southern Soul Capitol" - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport branded "Southern Soul Capitol"

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport has been dubbed the "Southern Soul Capitol" as part of an effort to bring recognition to the culture rich music history of Northwest Louisiana and bring more tourism to the region.

The announcement was made Thursday at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport, where upcoming events were announced that will give the public a chance to experience the Southern Soul flavor of the area.

It's an idea championed by Playaz and Playettes Executive Director Ron Hardy in collaboration with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the Shreveport-Bossier Tourist & Convention Bureau.

Hardy says Shreveport gets it's soul from the music history.  He attributes Stan Lewis with his three record companies back in the '60s for using musicians like Ledbelly to lay the foundation for Shreveport's musical roots. "There are a lot of experts in town that have lived this, that know the story and I'm just trying to put it out there, brand our city and our area," says Hardy. (click here to read his full comments)

In explaining the need to brand the city as the "Southern Soul Capitol" to the Shreveport City Council in late June, Hardy said, "This brand refers to the Southern Soul Culture that has thrived since the beginning of the Black African-Americans experience here in North Louisiana. Through the food, the music, the philosophy and the ideology, the Southern Soul Experience has touched the lives of every Shreveporter, past and present, whether Black, White, Brown, Yellow in some way shape, form or fashion, the culture has touched all of us."

Among the upcoming events is the Southern Soul Labor Day Blues Festival on September 1 from 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. at Festival Plaza. Visitors can expect soul music, artists and food at the event.  The SB Steppers will be there to share the latest Southern Soul Line Dancing moves.  The Shreveport All-Stars, made up of members from various local soul groups, will also be performing at Labor Day weekend at the Soul festival performing as a group and with their individual bands.

Tickets for the Soul Festival are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.

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