Did Stan Lewis Change Music History?
Stan "The Record Man" Lewis is a local icon. Lewis opened Stan's Music Shop in 1948. That empire eventually expanded to six retail stores, a nationwide mail-order and distributor service, and multiple record labels.
Lewis recorded, distributed and had a hand in some of the most iconic songs and artists in music history. He released albums by John Lee Hooker. He "helped" write and inspired the classic song 'Suzy-Q". His list of accomplishments are nothing short of amazing.
But, I truly believe that Stan Lewis changed the musical landscape of America forever. And not just because of all the things I listed above, but because of his direct contact and influence over some of the most important and influential artists in American History.
It is well documented that Lewis sold albums to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly...just to name a few. And its not like he caught these guys when they were old men, they were young and impressionable. And Lewis exposed all these guys to songs and artists they may have never come in contact with. Anyone with any sort of connection with the music world, especially artists, will tell you that one song can change your perspective. It can change your way of thinking. It can change your idea of what music can or should be. It can change everything.
So, the fact that Stan talked and sold music to a young Elvis, a young Bob Dylan, a young Buddy Holly...he literally could have given them the little extra inspiration and influence they needed to define their sound.
Lewis is described by many music historians as one of the major players in bringing "black music" into the white mainstream. If he could change the way people as a whole consumed music, is it really so far fetched to believe that his direct interaction with some of the greatest artist of our time (who also, historically speaking, soaked in musical information like a sponge) could have changed the course of their musical careers?
I think not.