Elvis, Hank, and Me: Making Musical History on the Louisiana Hayride

Horace Logan, Author, Bill Slogan, Author, Bill Sloan, Joint Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-18573-2
Country music fans will love this chatty, behind-the-scenes chronicle of one of country's most popular postwar radio programs, Louisiana Hayride, from the man who made it happen. On the air from 1948 to the late 1950s, the Hayride, headquartered in Shreveport, helped make country music popular beyond the South--thanks to syndication on the CBS Radio Network--and helped build the careers of some of the genre's biggest stars. Everyone from Kitty Wells and Hank Williams to Johnny Cash, Slim Whitman and Webb Pierce took a ride on the Hayride before heading out to wider acclaim. Logan even gave Elvis his first serious gig only weeks after the future King had bombed at the Grand Ole Opry. No wonder the show was known as ""The Cradle to the Stars."" (This personal coup also explains Logan's complaints, albeit fairly good-natured, about the Opry.) A personable guy who made many of his deals based on a handshake, Logan, writing here with former Country Rambler editor Sloan, brings anecdotal insight into the meteoric but brief stardom of Hank Williams, Elvis's beginnings and the sad tale of Johnny ""The Singing Fisherman"" Horton, among others. The book reads like the best country music songs, filled with just the right combination of sorrow and swing. 16 pages of b&w photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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