318 Remembers Karl Hasten
Following his music, following his heart
On Dec. 19, 2022, talented songwriter and devoted community member Karl Edward Hasten left this world for his next adventure at the age of 73. Karl had been involved in the Shreveport-Bossier music and arts communities since 1998. In the following years, he worked with the Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport Symphony, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, local magazines, community centers and many independent creative music and film side projects.
All great journeys start somewhere, and Karl’s began in De Queen, Ark, on Feb. 20, 1949. He was the only child of J.C. and Hortense Hasten. Shortly after that, the family moved to Blanchard, La, where Karl lived out his teenage years. He graduated from Fair Park High School. In high school, Karl secretly harbored a dream of becoming a songwriter after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” flowing through his father’s car speakers. After graduation, he worked in marketing in Shreveport-Bossier and Dallas, but his heart yearned for the country music capital – Nashville, Tenn.
Many Ark-La-Tex natives have made their mark in Nashville, such as Hank Williams Jr., Buddy Holly, Kix Brooks and Kenny Beard – to name a few. It was in Nashville that Karl secured a position as a staff writer for Ten Ten Music Group. He worked with many talented songwriters and had several songs published and recorded. Karl loved words and had a gift for creating meaningful lyrics. He spent many late nights with fellow lyricists penning songs that bled passion from the pages.
In 1997 Karl met Bossier City native Patti Dennis, who traveled to Nashville each month pitching her country songs to publishers. They co-wrote “The Locks Have All Been Changed,” “Angels Working Overtime” and “Pieces of Love.” In 1998 Karl found his true calling in life as a father when his only child, P.J. Hasten, was born. It was Karl’s lifelong dedication to music that led him to Nashville, but it was his extraordinary dedication as a father that led him back to Bossier City, where Patti and P.J. lived. Karl showered P.J. with love and admiration every day since she was born, but he did not let his newfound fatherhood stop him from continuing to work in music. He continued to make frequent trips to his beloved Nashville, all while integrating himself into the Shreveport- Bossier music and arts scene.
Karl worked briefly with the Shreveport Symphony and was thrilled to segue into being executive director of the historic Municipal Auditorium for a time. He frequented and sang the praises of Studio 1508’s House Concert Series inside Fairfield Studios and worked on studio recordings with local artists at Tipitina’s Music Co-Op. Besides being a music enthusiast, Karl was a connoisseur of fine cuisine. He wrote on food and entertainment for Shreveport’s own (318) Forum magazine, where his love of conversation and an uncanny memory for faces and names made him a man of the people. He also worked as marketing manager for the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, a local treasure that hosts the biennial Glitz and Gritz event that Karl loved. In between his local work, Karl managed many young aspiring artists and used his vast Nashville connections to set their feet on the path to success.
Karl was also known for his sense of humor, positive attitude, extensive trivia knowledge and never-ending love for his daughter. He will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved him.