About The Artist
Elizabeth Louise Shields would become well known in Nashville music circles as a piano player and music teacher. References to her use Louise Shields as her name. Her parents were Pembroke and Leila Shields. Her father's occupation was listed as printer and one U. S. Census report indicated he had his own shop on Pope Street. Louise appears to have never married.
Her name crops up frequently in research as a person playing at events such as weddings.
Her name appears in radio logs in the Nashville newspapers quite frequently. While she did appear on WSM, research has not shown that she was on the Opry. But on several Saturday nights, she was on a WDAD broadcast that aired during the Opry show along with some Opry acts.
She was a music teacher. She had her own music studio that she shared with Mrs. Herman Myatt who taught voice in 1928 at a new Music and Arts Building on 169 Seventh Avenue North in Nashville, a location just a couple of blocks from the Ryman Auditorium.
As past research has shown, music teachers of that era would often host recitals for their students to perform. On the afternoon of December 26, 1924, her students gave a recital at her home on Pope Avenue. Her home was said to be filled with holiday decorations. The account stated, "Each number was rendered with unusual skill of technique and interpretation and reflected the conscientious work of the teacher." On Monday evening June 22, 1925, several of her students gave a recital at her home on Pope Avenue. The news account stated essentially the same note research found from the 1924 recital mentioned above.
She regularly appeared on radio station WDAD, usually a two hour program accompanying other artists. In one instance she acocmpanied Elmo Phillips, tenor; Mrs. Herman Myatt, soprano and Lynn Pearl in a sacred concert. She also appeared with other familiar names in Nashville of that era. One show she accompanied Mrs. Herman Myatt, soprano; Mrs Eva Thompson Jones, contralto along with an orchestra.
Another recurring appearance on WDAD was a sometimes sponsored program that included Dr. Humphrey Bate's orchestra; Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, contralto; Kimo (Elmo?) Phillips, tenor; along with Louise as pianist. This was a Saturday night show that began around 7:30pm.
A Tuesday night program in March 1926 sponsored by Devil Grip Manufacturing Company of Hopkinsville, KY. She accompanied the Blue Grass Serenaders; Miss Virginia Rich; Eugene Bugg; and, Elmo Phillips.
On Friday night, she appeared, playing piano, on a special program of the H. G. Hill Company with John Payne, piaon; Uncle Jimmy Thompson, fiddle; and, Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, contralto.
On a Saturday in May 1926, WDAD appears to have put on its own version of the Opry with some of the familiar names. Uncle Carter Greer; Dr. Humphrey Bates; DeFord Bailey on French harp; Mrs. Herman Myatt, soprano; Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, contralto and Louise on the piano.
The Modern Bakery Company was a sponsor for a time on WDAD. A Friday in May 1926 included Dr. Humphrey Bate; Uncle Carter Greer; Mrs. Herman Myatt; Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones; and, Louise Shields in a two and a half hour broadcast.
On September 1, 1926, WSM aired a 90 minute concert that included Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, contralto, Mrs. Herman Myatt, soprano and Miss Louise Shields, accompanist on piano.
In the late summer of 1926, radio station WDAD underwent reconstruction and was off the air for a time. It went back on the air on Monday, September 6, 1926 from a new studio and new equipment. It was built during the summer of 1926 at the new store of Dad's Auto Accessories and Radio Company. A special program was aired that Monday night from 7pm to 11pm. Among those participating in that broadcast were Louise Shields on piano, Blue Grass Serenaders from Gallatin, Mrs. Herman Myatt, contralto, Mrs. Eva Thompson Jones, contralto, Mrs. Lovell Smith, pianistand others.
She passed away in 1990 at the age of 93. Her obituary made no mention of her past musical career. She had never married. One sister, Frances, survived her.
Credits & Sources
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