A Look Back at Elvis’ Rich Shreveport History
With the upcoming release of the new Elvis movie, simply titled, "Elvis", set to open this Friday, there's been a lot of renewed interest in the King of Rock and Roll. You probably already know a lot of Elvis' professional history has deep roots right here in Shreveport. But there are many interesting facts relating to Elvis and our area you might not be aware of.
Elvis Got His Big Break in Shreveport
Elvis got his start on the Louisiana Hayride. Elvis was only 19 years old when he made his first appearance on the Hayride on October 16, 1954. He was introduced by KWKH's legendary long-time announcer Frank Page. (Frank can be seen on stage with Elvis on the far right of the picture below holding his copy)
Did You Know That The Building Elvis Left Was in Shreveport?
The famous phrase "Elvis has left the building" was uttered by Hayride announcer Horace Logan to a throng of screaming fans after an Elvis Hayride performance on December 15, 1956. Another fun and interesting fact: A lot of people think the building Elvis 'left' was Municipal Auditorium. It was not. It was actually Hirsch Coliseum.
Elvis had signed a contract to make a certain number of appearances on the Hayride, and by 1956 he had already become a huge star, and didn't really need the Hayride anymore. But he still came back to perform at the Hayride, honoring his contract.
Did Know Elvis' ONLY Commerical Was for Southern Maid?
Elvis only ever endorsed one product during his celebrated career. It was on the Louisiana Hayride broadcast from November 6th, 1954. He actually sang a little 'jingle' about Southern Maid Donuts.
You can get 'em piping hot after four pm... you can get 'em piping hot... Southern Maid Donuts hits the spot... you can get 'em piping hot after 4 pm....
Unfortunately, no known recording exists of this priceless little ditty. In 2009 someone claimed to have gotten a copy of the commercial through a 'production company' and offered to release it, IF he got to meet Lisa Marie, Elvis' daughter. To date, there is still no recording that's been released.
Elvis Actually Got Arrested During His Time in Shreveport
Elvis was arrested by the Louisiana State Police on April 3rd, 1955. It really isn't as lascivious as it sounds. Elvis was driving his 1954 pink & white Cadillac 80 mph in a 60 mph zone down highway 171. He was taken into custody, where he posted a $25 bond for traveling 20 mph over the speed limit.
More Elvis Connections to Shreveport
We all know that Shreveport's own James Burton was a member of his band. But, did you know that James turned down Elvis original offer to join him? Or that Elvis hand picked James to put together the 'Taking Care of Business' band? Pretty awesome, right? Their connection goes back to James' days in the Louisiana Hayride band.
Elvis on the Big Screen
I'm really looking forward to seeing this latest version of Elvis' life and career, starring Tom Hanks as Col. Tom Parker, and newcomer Austin Butler as Elvis. The description says it starts with his childhood in Tupelo, MS, to conquering Las Vegas... I'm very interested to see how they treat his beginnings at the Louisiana Hayride.