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On This Day in 1954 Elvis First Visited KWKH’s Louisiana Hayride

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Before Elvis ever “left the building”, he had to show up first. Which he did on this day (October 16th) back in 1954.

The legendary Louisiana Hayride ran on KWKH in Shreveport for decades, discovering  and spreading the music of artists like Willie Nelson, Slim Whitman, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and a ton more.

According to legend, the contract Elvis signed with the Hayride when he was 19-years-old paid him $18 per show. That contract lasted from 1954-1955. Then in October of 1955, his contract was renewed for $200 a show.

His $200 a show contract only lasted until 1956, when legendary Elvis manager, Colonel Tom Parker bought out the Hayride contract for $10,000 and “one last show”. Elvis had his last regular Hayride show in March of 1956, with his final big show happening in December of that year.

Could you imagine if Elvis wouldn’t have been on The Hayride? Or if Colonel Tom Parker wouldn’t have come to an agreement to buyout his deal? All of the things that could have derailed his career…all around Shreveport.


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