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The Cradle of the Stars

A REVOLUTION ON THE RADIO DIAL was launched in Shreveport, Louisiana with the Saturday night broadcasts of The Louisiana Hayride. The Hayride broke the rules and took programmatic risks by putting on young rockabilly stars, introducing Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins to a large audience. Its colorful emcee Horace Logan appeared on stage decked out in a black cowboy outfit complete with a pair of six shooters. Its hook-up on the CBS Radio Network enabled it to reach listeners coast-to-coast, and its first star was the hillbilly Shakespeare, Hank Williams. We’ll tell the story of the rise and fall of this influential radio program. It made so many artists famous it was dubbed, “the cradle of the stars.”

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Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley performs on The Louisiana Hayride, with guitarist Winfield “Scotty” Moore and bass player Bill Black. The live Saturday night radio show helped launch his career. (LSU-Shreveport Archives, Noel Memorial Library)