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The Ark-La-Tex (also known as Arklatex, ArkLaTex, or more inclusively Arklatexoma) is a U.S. socio-economic region where Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma intersect. The region contains portions of Northwest Louisiana, Northeast Texas, South Arkansas, and the Little Dixie area of Oklahoma.
The region is centered on the Shreveport/Bossier metropolitan area in Northwest Louisiana. Other important cities in the region include Marshall in Northeast Texas, Natchitoches, Louisiana, and both Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas. Most of the region is located in the Piney Woods, an ecoregion of dense forest of mixed deciduous and conifer flora. The forests are periodically punctuated by sloughs and bayous that are linked to larger bodies of water such as Caddo Lake or the Red River. Although it is not an official US metropolitan area it has a total population of 1,043,570. Its largest city is Shreveport, Louisiana with Tyler, Texas in second, Longview, Texas in third, and Texarkana, Texas/Texarkana, Arkansas in fourth.
The area covers roughly 46,500 square miles as it is about 240 miles North to South (Mena, Arkansas in the north to Lufkin, Texas in the south) and about 194 miles East to West (El Dorado Arkansas in the East to Sulphur Springs, Texas to the West).
According to one source, the name "Ark-La-Tex" was first promoted for the region by a Shreveport Chamber of Commerce campaign in 1932-33.
The culture of the Ark-La-Tex region, and especially its music, shows a mixture of influences from the related, but distinct, cultures of its surrounding states. The music of the area is marked by country and blues sounds typical of the music of the Southern United States, the Western music of Texas, and the well-documented music of New Orleans and Acadiana in Louisiana. The area had a significant role in the development of country and rock and roll music beginning in the 1940s. On March 1, 1948, Shreveport radio station KWKH launched a country music variety show called the Ark-La-Tex Jubilee, followed a month later by the long-running and influential Louisiana Hayride program. Hayride director Horace Logan and regular performer Webb Pierce started a music publishing company called Ark-La-Tex Music.
KTRE - Lufkin (ABC affiliate)
KTAL - Shreveport (NBC affiliate)
KMSS - Shreveport (FOX affiliate)
KSLA - Shreveport (CBS affiliate)
KTBS - Shreveport (ABC affiliate)
KTVE - El Dorado (NBC affiliate)
In Louisiana: Benton, Bernice, Blanchard, Bossier City, Greenwood, Hosston, Mansfield, Many, Minden, Mooringsport, Natchitoches, Plain Dealing, Pleasant Hill, Ruston, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Shreveport, Springhill, Vivian, and Zwolle
In Texas: Atlanta, Athens, Bonham, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Daingerfield, De Kalb, Gilmer, Hallsville, Henderson, Hooks, Jacksonville, Jefferson, Kilgore, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Nacogdoches, Naples, New Boston, New London, Omaha, Paris, Pittsburg, Scottsville, Sulphur Springs, Tatum, Texarkana, Tyler, and Waskom.
|Shreveport, Louisiana||1836||117.8 sq mi||200,975|
|Tyler, Texas||1847||54.376 sq mi||96,900|
|Longview, Texas||1871||54.8 sq mi||80,455|
|Bossier City, Louisiana||1883||41.6 sq mi||62,745|
|Texarkana, Texas||1873||27.7 sq mi||37,103|
|Lufkin, Texas||1882||33.7 sq mi||35,067|
|Texarkana, Arkansas||1880||42.65 sq mi||29,919|
- Gay N. Martin, Louisiana: A Guide to Unique Places (Globe Pequot, 2006), ISBN 978-0762742028, p. 3. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Bonnye E. Stuart, Louisiana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff (Globe Pequot, 2012), ISBN 978-0762769773, pp. 5-7. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- See generally Kip Lornell and Tracey E. W. Laird, eds., Shreveport Sounds in Black and White (University Press of Mississippi, 2008), ISBN 978-1934110423, and in particular the introductory section entitled "The 'Ark-La-Tex' and Music Research" at pp. xii-xvii. Excerpts available at Google Books; other excerpts also available at Amazon.com here.
- Tracey E. W. Laird, Louisiana Hayride : Radio and Roots Music along the Red River: Radio and Roots Music along the Red River (Oxford University Press, 2004), ISBN 978-0195347180, p. 6. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- "Webb Pierce" in Michael Erlewine, ed., All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music ( Hal Leonard Corporation, 1997), ISBN 978-0879304751, p. 364. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- "KWKH Maps Big Build-Up on Hillbillies", Billboard, August 30, 1952, p. 19.
- "Brian Blade Finds A 'Landmark' In His Shreveport Roots", Weekend Edition, April 27, 2014.("... my depiction musically of this region where we live, you know, where Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas meet here at the northwestern corner of Louisiana. I guess in terms of the structure of the song - these sort of three different moods - it unfolds in this very small way - these seeds. Then all of a sudden, you cross a line and the landscape changes immediately.")