Louie was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on April 6, 1941, and got his first guitar for his ninth birthday, a $13.00 Stella. While other young boys were out having a good time playing ball or fishing, Louie had his ear pinned to the radio for hours a day with his guitar in hand teaching himself to play. He lived and breathed music and by the age of twelve was so good he was in the country band 'Shelby Cooper & the Dixie Mountaineers', was featured every Saturday night on a Grand Ole Opry style show called the Barn Yard Frolics in Little Rock, which was broadcast live throughout the South on KRLA Radio and which featured performers like Johnnie Cash. Not only did young Jr. Shelton (as he was known) back up most of the artists on the show, he was given the opportunity to perform all of the hot guitar instrumentals he learned from listening to the recordings of Chet Atkins, Jimmy Bryant, Hank Garland and others. Best of all, Louie was able to graduate musically by purchasing himself a brand new 51 Telecaster.
At the age of twelve, Louie was becoming famous within the country music scene as a guitar virtuoso. He and the Dixie Mountaineers became one of the most sought after live gig bands throughout the South. Not only were they doing a radio show five days a week on KCLA, they performed every Wednesday night on K.A T.V., which was broadcast live on one of the first television stations in the area.