1. Ledbetter Statue – Texas at Marshall Streets

Huddie Ledbetter, aka “Leadbelly,” was born on the Jeter Plantation outside of Mooringsport, Louisiana, in 1885. By the age of twenty-one, he was making his living playing the 12-string guitar throughout Louisiana and Texas, including venues in St. Paul Bottoms, which was later named Ledbetter Heights in his honor (see #10). Due to an unfortunate tendency toward violence, Huddie spent intermittent periods in jail. During one incarceration at Angola prison, Ledbetter met folklorists John and Allen Lomax, visiting southern prisons to collect folksongs for the Library of Congress. After Huddie recounted a tale of parole from Texas Gov. Neff after writing him a song, the Lomaxes recorded the song and delivered it to Louisiana Gov. Allen. One month later, Huddie was again set free. Ledbetter formed a professional relationship with Allen Lomax, who brought him to the attention of a wide audience. He toured the country playing songs like Goodnight Irene and Bourgeois Blues. Ledbetter died in 1949 and is buried at the Shiloh Baptist Church outside of Mooringsport. In 2004, he was inducted into the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Walk of Stars. The statue, dedicated in 1993, is the work of Jesse Pitts, a Shreveport native who attended B. T. Washington High School. To find Huddie Ledbetter’s grave, visit http://www.deltablues.net/lead.html

Region 2