Albert Anderson, Jr.

Al Anderson was born in 1941 in Shreveport to Nettie and Albert Anderson, Sr. and is the oldest of four, having two brothers and one sister. When he graduated from Byrd High School in 1959, he did different jobs, including making artificial legs then he bought a steel guitar from his cousin Bob Brewster, who played for Barbara Mandrell and Moe Bandy. Growing up, his family greatly enjoyed music, listening to country music stars including Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams and attending the Louisiana Hayride. He did get to see Elvis one time while he was performing at the Hayride which was very exciting since all of the girls swooned over him. (His mother did not approve of rock and roll, or the blues, and made him shut the door when he played them at the house.) He began playing in high school with Jerry French, naming themselves, Jerry French and the Rhythm Lads. Later, he and Chuck Fulco had a band and decided to also open a booking agency. They soon became the largest agency within 500 miles of Shreveport, booking musicians all over the country including the military base circuit. At one time, Al owned the Stage Door Lounge where he learned to play the keyboard and actually played at most of the clubs in town, although Diamond Head was his favorite because of the acoustics. He and Chuck Fulco took over the Toby Gunn Agency, a booking agency, and moved it to Centenary Square, across from George's Grill. Al's band, The Rutabagas, was the only band that was hired to sit in when the Bill Bush band went on vacation and in Monroe, they would play for Billy Ledbetter when he was performing in Vegas. Al thinks that Shreveport-Bossier never got as big as Nashville or Austin because of the corruption, Vice Squad and Mafia but also because of narrow-minded people. The music industry was at its best in the `60s and `70s until around `72 and then it started going downhill. He also thinks that the boats helped bring big national musicians to our area which made it difficult for the local musicians to find work. He met his current wife, Wanda, around 1973 at the Moulin Rouge, and they married in 1976. He and Wanda have three children and three grandchildren.