Happy Birthday to Hank Williams, Star of the Louisiana Hayride
Hank Williams Sr. is arguably the most important figure in country music. Known as the "Hillbilly Shakespeare", Hiram King Williams was born September 17th 1923. And even though he only lived until the age of 29, his legacy is still felt in music and culture today. He influenced the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. His songs are covered by modern artists today. And he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriter Hall of Fame and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
But, for us here in Shreveport, maybe Hank's most important contribution is to the Louisiana Hayride. Williams was one of the first stars to appear on the show on August 7th 1948. The show had only been on the air a few months when Hank moved to Shreveport to become a full time performer.
The reason Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium is the legendary building it is has a lot to do with Hank Williams. Williams was apart of the Shreveport community, the Louisiana Hayride and KWKH before the Grand Ole Opry came calling. He made the Hayride and Shreveport a must stop location for up and coming stars.
So, on what would have been Williams 95th birthday, lets not just remember his music and cultural impact but all his legacy has done for our little city. He not only changed country music forever, but he helped transform the Municipal Auditorium from a small concert venue to a must stop destination for all kinds of musical acts and music enthusiasts for the last 7 decades.