The “Queen of Soul’s” roots run deep in the City of Shreveport. “Stan the Record Man Lewis” had a vault filled with recordings from countless artists. Many of these songs had been left unheard, for decades.
“She wasn’t a one hit wonder she was a many hit wonder.”
Lenny Lewis was one of the first to understand Aretha Franklin’s impact on the record industry. In the 60’s and 70’s he worked inside his father Stan “The Record Man” Lewis’ iconic record store in Downtown Shreveport.
“On my fingers 10 artists that when something new come out they rushed to buy it. I mean rushed to buy it. We were packed.”
His father, Stan owned the official recording company for Aretha Franklin’s father, Rev. CL Franklin.
Garland Jones says, “Exclusively Rev. Franklin would record every Sunday and would then send it to Shreveport to Mr. Lewis. In return Mr. Lewis could cut them a check, advance royalties and that’s how it was done.”
Many of these recordings included a much younger Aretha
“On some of the projects Aretha would be playing the piano, singing and of course there’s one album that featured her.”
The Lewis family and Jones recently discovered unreleased music from Rev. Franklin and Aretha, music that’s never been heard by the public.
Lewis says, “She was good. It’s not like she grew into it. She had it from the start.”
Jones believes the death of Franklin leaves a void in the music industry.
“I mean we loss one of the last greats, as far as music that lasts, timeless music. I’m just sad because there’s no artist that’s replacing these legendary artists.”