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 sort have been pigeon-holed as hillbilly song, slicing him off from the mainstream of well known song. Taking an opportunity in this untried artist, the Hayride--a radio "barn dance" or state tune sort exhibit just like the Grand Ole Opry--not merely introduced Williams's occupation, yet went directly to release the careers of famous performers comparable 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 highway convey. via tracing the dynamic background 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 nation track and rock and roll. Delving into the earlier of this purple River urban, she probes the colourful old, cultural, and social backdrop for its dynamic musical scene. Sitting among the previous South and the West, this one-time frontier city supplied a great surroundings for the cross-fertilization of musical kinds. The scene used to be formed through the region's effortless mobility, the presence of a felony "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 historical past of Shreveport, the original contribution of this radio barn dance is published. Radio formed musical tastes, and the Hayride's frontier-spirit manufacturers took dangers with artists whose reputations can have been shaky or whose kinds didn't well healthy musical different types (both Hank Williams and Elvis Presley have been rejected by way of the Opry prior to they got here to Shreveport). The Hayride additionally served as a coaching floor for a iteration of studio sidemen and manufacturers who instructed renowned song 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 convey in 1954--those years encompassed seismic shifts within the tastes, perceptions, and self-consciousness of yankee formative years. although the Hayride is usually overshadowed by way of the Grand Ole Opry in kingdom tune scholarship, Laird balances the list and divulges how this outstanding exhibit either documented and contributed to a strong transformation in American renowned music.
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