Shreveport Mudbugs Hockey Honors Musical History of The Hirsch
Hockey is back in Shreveport this weekend, as the Shreveport Mudbugs host the Odessa Jackalopes for games on Friday and Saturday night. Any Shreveport Mudbugs hockey game is a blast for the whole family, but this weekend's promotional plans will make it even sweeter than normal.
This weekend, the Mudbugs are celebrating the musical history of Shreveport. More specifically, the musical history of their home arena, Shreveport's Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.
The Hirsch Coliseum is packed with music history. After all, it IS the building that Elvis left. Yes, the Hirsch, not Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium. Which is where many people think the famous words were said. So here's that quick story...
Elvis got his first "big break" in Shreveport, becoming a regular on KWKH's Louisiana Hayride. The nationally recognized radio show was broadcast live from the Municipal, where Elvis performed numerous times.
However, when Elvis' fame grew too large to contain in Shreveport, he needed to move on in his career. But he was contractually obligated to the Hayride. So a deal was struck between the Elvis camp and the Hayride. A deal that involved one final, gigantic Elvis show for the Hayride that was too big for the Municipal. So it was moved to the Hirsch.
His last appearance at a special Hayride show at Hirsch Coliseum in 1956 is where the phrase "Elvis has left the building" was first uttered. KWKH's Horace Logan made the statement in an attempt to get the ruckus crowd to calm down. It went on to become a defining statement for Elvis' career.
Another fun fact, the only commercial Elvis ever recorded in his life was for Southern Maid donuts in 1954. According to legend, he recorded the commercial in exchange for a box of donuts.
Elvis would return to the Hirsch in the 1970s to pay tribute to his personal history...
But beyond Elvis, the Hirsch has hosted multiple historical moments for bands like Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, and more.
The Van Halen story? The Hirsch hosted the first ever Van Halen concert with Sammy Hagar as their lead singer. What about Pantera? Their scheduled 1995 concert led to a small scale riot when the city's new "chair ordinance" became a security risk hours before the show.