By Tracey E. W. Laird
On a Saturday evening in 1948, Hank Williams stepped onto the degree of the Louisiana Hayride and sang "Lovesick Blues." as much as that time, Williams's yodeling variety were pigeon-holed as hillbilly song, slicing him off from the mainstream of renowned tune. Taking an opportunity in this untried artist, the Hayride--a radio "barn dance" or state track type convey just like the Grand Ole Opry--not purely introduced Williams's profession, yet went directly to release the careers of famous performers corresponding to Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Johnny funds, and slender Whitman.Broadcast from Shreveport, Louisiana, the neighborhood station KWKH's 50,000-watt sign reached listeners in over 28 states and lured them to packed performances of the Hayride's street convey. by way of tracing the dynamic heritage of the Hayride and its sponsoring station, ethnomusicologist Tracey Laird unearths the severe position that this a part of northwestern Louisiana performed within the improvement of either kingdom tune and rock and roll. Delving into the previous of this crimson River urban, she probes the colourful old, cultural, and social backdrop for its dynamic musical scene. Sitting among the outdated South and the West, this one-time frontier city supplied an amazing environment for the cross-fertilization of musical kinds. The scene was once formed by way of the region's effortless mobility, the presence of a criminal "red-light" district from 1903-17, and musical interchanges among blacks and whites, who lived in shut proximity and in approximately equivalent numbers. The zone nurtured such different skills as Huddie Ledbetter, the "king of the twelve-string guitar," and Jimmie Davis, the 2 time period "singing governor" of Louisiana who penned "You Are My Sunshine."Against the backdrop of the colourful background of Shreveport, the original contribution of this radio barn dance is published. Radio formed musical tastes, and the Hayride's frontier-spirit manufacturers took hazards with artists whose reputations can have been shaky or whose types didn't smartly healthy musical different types (both Hank Williams and Elvis Presley have been rejected by means of the Opry prior to they got here to Shreveport). The Hayride additionally served as a coaching flooring for a new release of studio sidemen and manufacturers who suggested renowned track for many years after the Hayride's ultimate broadcast. whereas just a couple of years separated the Hayride appearances of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley--who made his nationwide radio debut at the express in 1954--those years encompassed seismic shifts within the tastes, perceptions, and self-consciousness of yankee formative years. even though the Hayride is frequently overshadowed via the Grand Ole Opry in nation song scholarship, Laird balances the list and divulges how this outstanding express either documented and contributed to a strong transformation in American renowned tune.
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Additional resources for Louisiana Hayride: Radio and Roots Music along the Red River
Noel Memorial Library Archives, LSU in Shreveport. Traders from all directions — from Grand Ecore, Louisiana, to southern Arkansas — quickly made the new steamboat port their main terminus. This made Shreveport an increasingly important crossroads for the music and culture the traders brought with them, not only via the newly open waterway but across land as well. Many settlers arrived from the East via the well-traveled Texas Trail. This historic route led from Georgia to Louisiana, through Cane and Bennett’s bluff (a trading post established as early as 1 July 1832 near the future site of Shreveport), and through Greenwood, Louisiana, into Texas.
49 At the close of the nineteenth century, the frontier atmosphere on Shreveport’s riverfront conceded to the civil stability of its churches, just as the steamboat bowed to the indefatigable chug of the steam engine. Churches became increasingly inﬂuential as the permanent population grew. With a shady boom past behind and steeples ahead, Shreveport faced the twentieth century as an economically tenuous, though ever more civil, nexus for culture. The Character of a Region 23 This page intentionally left blank 2 ķĸ Shreveport Music before Modern Media I don’t know where the hell it came from — but I know it’s claimed by people in the blues and people playing hillbilly.
5 The presence of the Banjo on the Red River coincided with the age of minstrelsy. ”6 Performances on the Banjo followed the structure typical of most minstrel shows: The troupe formed a semi-circle with Tambo and Bones at either end, exchanging lively repartee that always got the better of the straight man in the middle. Performers interspersed the comedy with musical interludes on the banjo or ﬁddle, and with a song repertoire that balanced schmaltziness with light-hearted humor; they occasionally added skits, often poking fun at recent politics.
Louisiana Hayride: Radio and Roots Music along the Red River by Tracey E. W. Laird