Did You Know Elvis Was Arrested on This Date… in Shreveport?
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone from Shreveport that doesn't know the 19 year old truck driver from Tupelo, MS got his real start on the Louisiana Hayride. I love this quote from Graceland.com:
If you love Elvis Presley today, you can give thanks, in part, to the Louisiana Hayride.
Elvis Louisiana Hayride History
You might not have known that Elvis performed on the Grand Ol' Opry before he appeared on the Hayride. But the crowd at the Opry in 1954 wasn't very receptive to the gyrating teenager. So Elvis's manager at the time, Sam Phillips, booked Elvis on the Louisiana Hayride, which was then the Opry's biggest competition. So Elvis's first Hayride appearance was on October 16th, 1954.
According to Graceland.com:
Elvis returned to the Hayride on November 6 with his parents, who had to also sign Elvis' contract with the show, since Elvis was just 19. Elvis' pay was $18 per show, and his bandmates, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, would each receive $12 per show. Through the rest of 1954 and 1955, Elvis appeared weekly in Shreveport at the Louisiana Hayride. In October 1955, Elvis' contract was renewed for $200 per show, as Elvis' fame had grown in the year since his initial appearance.
But that contract wouldn't last long. In 1956, Elvis released his debut album, appeared on national television and was touring the country. In late 1956, he began filming his first movie. The weekly trips to Shreveport to perform on the Hayride just didn't fit in with Elvis' busy schedule, so his new manager, Col. Tom Parker, bought Elvis out of his Hayride contract for $10,000 with a promise that Elvis would perform on the Hayride's special charity show on December 15, 1956. Elvis' last regular appearance on the Hayride was March 31, 1956.
Because Elvis performed at the Hayride every week for over a year, he obviously spent a lot of time in the area. And on one of those weekends, he got into a little trouble with the law.
From the Louisiana State Police Facebook page:
On this day in 1955, a #Trooper made a traffic stop on a pink and white ’54 Cadillac. The car was being driven by none other than ELVIS PRESLEY. 20-year-old Presley was stopped on US 171 in Caddo Parish for driving 80 mph in a 60 mph zone.
After producing his Tennessee driver’s license, Presley was taken into custody and carried to the Caddo Parish Jail where he posted a bond of $25 for traveling 20 mph over the speed limit.
One can only imagine he was “All Shook Up” because of this. Maybe this is where he got the idea for “Jailhouse Rock…”
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