Horace Logan announced:
"Is there anyone from Mississippi? Anyone from Arkansas? Let's
hear it from the folks from Oklahoma. Now who's from Louisiana. Now how
many of y'all from the great state of Texas?"
The Hayride band struck up
its theme, "Raise a Ruckus Tonight," as the crowd joined-in.
"Come along, everybody come along, while the moon is shining
bright, We're going to have a wonderful time, at the Louisiana Hayride
Presley's white buck shoes as worn in
the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock and on stage at the
Louisiana Hayride will sit alongside The Beatles
Story’s collection of Beatles memorabilia to
symbolise the influence Elvis had on the group.
Loaned by the estate of Elvis Presley, this is the
first time that the shoes have been displayed to
the public outside of Graceland
Emcee Frank Page
introduced Elvis who was standing against a painted backdrop. The call
letters of the station, KWKH, and a Louisiana Hayride banner stretched
across the scene. Elvis wearing a pink jacket, black shirt and colorful
tie, white pants and two-tone shoes. Scotty Moore and Bill Black were
in western shirts.
Frank Page: "Just a
few weeks ago a young man from Memphis, Tennessee, recorded a song on
the Sun label and, in just a matter of weeks, that record has
sky-rocketed right up the charts. It's really doing well all over the
country. He is only nineteen years old. He has a new, distinctive
style. Elvis Presley. Let's give him a nice hand.
"How are you this
"Just fine. How're you, sir?" replied Elvis
"Are you all geared up with your band" Page
"I'm all geared up" Elvis
"Let's hear your songs?" Page
"Uh, well, I'd just like to say how happy we are to be down here.
It's a real honor for us to get a chance to appear on the Louisiana
Hayride. We're gonna do a song for ya... " Elvis
"You got anything else to say?" Page
"I'm ready -.We're gonna do a song for ya we got out on Sun
Records. It goes something like this."
Elvis sang That's Alright
Mama. Whether it was Elvis's stage fright or the originality of his act
before a new audience, his performance was flat much like his Grand Ole
Opry debut a few weeks previous. Elvis huddled with Sam Phillips
during intermission. Sam exhorted Elvis to be himself, do his own kind
of show; all he could do was fail and that would happen anyway if he
The second show was
different. It was a young crowd hungry for excitement. A huge cheer
went up from the first bars of That's Alright Mama. It wasn't country
music, it was rock n' roll and the audience loved it. On their feet,
clapping and dancing, the crowd rode the thunderous beat. They didn't
want Elvis to stop. Gyrating like a dervish, Elvis burned That's
Alright Mama and Blue Moon of Kentucky. The Hayride had birthed its
6 November 1954, Elvis signed a contract to appear on the Louisiana
Hayride every Saturday night for a year. Gladys and Vernon Presley came
to Shreveport to witness the contract because Elvis was underage. He
was nineteen years old.
Municipal Memorial Auditorium
Elvis was paid $18.00 per
performance, Scotty Moore and Bill Black $12.00 each. The Hayride
became the foundation of Elvis's early rise to stardom.
Elvis would travel nearly
half million miles over the next year, often before audiences that
would have heard him first time. During 1955, if it was a Saturday
night, Elvis was in Shreveport at the Louisiana Hayride
October 16, 1954, Elvis
appeared for the first time on the Louisiana Hayride, a
live Saturday night country music radio show originating in
Shreveport, Louisiana, broadcast over KWKH Radio. His first
performance that night didn't go that well. The audience was
filled with older folks who just didn't understand what all
that young energy was about
The second performance of that same night was much better.
That audience was made of young folks from Barksdale Air Force
Base, which is just across the Red River from Shreveport in
Bossier City. On the strength of that second performance Elvis
was offered a one year contract with the Louisiana Hayride.
And because the Louisiana Hayride had a booking agency
connected with it, that meant Elvis could get paying gigs on
the remaining nights of the week. That amazing fact allowed
Elvis to immediately quit his day job in Memphis. This was
truly the birth of Elvis's career. This was also truly the
birth of rock and roll.