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Louisiana Hayride

From Academic Kids

The Louisiana Hayride, was a radio broadcast from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States that during its heyday from 1948 to 1960 spawned the careers of the some of the greatest names in American music.

The show's creators took the name from the 1943 book with that title by Harnett Kane that was made into a Broadway show, also called "Louisiana Hayride." Within a year of its debut, the program was so popular that a regional 25-station network was set up to broadcast portions of the show.

Beginning with the successful first show on April 3, 1948, for more than a decade the Louisiana Hayride ranked second only to the Grand Ole Opry in terms of importance. While both showcased established stars, the Louisiana Hayride was where talented, but virtual unknowns, were also given exposure to a large audience. Over the years, country music greats such as Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Jimmie Davis, Slim Whitman, Floyd Cramer, Sonny James, Hank Snow, Faron Young, Johnny Horton Jim Reeves, Claude King, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Tex Ritter, and Lefty Frizzell, amongst many others performed on the Louisiana Hayride.

By mid 1954, a special 30-minute portion of the Louisiana Hayride was being broadcast every Saturday on the AFN Pacific channel of the United States American Forces Radio Network. In October of that year, a teenager from Memphis, Tennessee named Elvis Presley appeared on the program. Presley's performance of his newly released song from Sun Records called "That's All Right Mama" brought down the house. The immediate and enormous demand for more of Presley's new kind of Rockabilly music actually resulted in a sharp decline in the popularity of the Louisiana Hayride that until that point had been strictly a country music venue.

Within a few years, Rock and roll dominated the music scene and on August 27, 1960, the Louisiana Hayride put on its final performance.

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