- Tracey E.W. Laird
American radio barn dance program. The Louisiana Hayride featured performances by influential country and rockabilly musicians between 1948 and 1960. Broadcast live from Shreveport station KWKH, only the Grand Ole Opry claims more renown among its peers. Early cast members included established stars like the Bailes Brothers, and Johnnie and Jack and the Tennessee Mountain Boys, featuring Kitty Wells. Beginning with Hank Williams, who launched his first major hit “Lovesick Blues” on the Hayride in 1948, a long list of performers followed: Red Sovine, Slim Whitman, Leon Payne, Webb Pierce, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, Jimmie C. Newman, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, Floyd Cramer, the Browns, Faron Young, Bob Luman, David Houston, and others.
In 1954, the Hayride gave a break to a performer recently rejected by the Opry. Elvis Presley debuted on 16 October 1954, and joined the cast for a year-and-a-half stint. Guitarist James Burton and producer Jerry Kennedy were among native Shreveporters nurtured on the ...