Louisiana Hayride: Radio and Roots Music...
On a Saturday night in 1948, Hank Williams entered the stage of the Louisiana Hayride and sang "Lovesick Blues." By this time, Williams' yodel style had been classified as Hillbilly music, cutting him off from the mainstream of pop music. The Hayride – a radio "barn dance" or country variety show like the Grand Ole Opry – took the opportunity to kick off Williams' career, kicking off the careers of well-known artists such as Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells and Johnny Cash and Slim Whitman.
The 50,000-watt signal from local broadcaster KWKH was broadcast from Shreveport, Louisiana, reaching listeners in over 28 states and enticing them to gripping performances of Hayride's roadshow. Ethnomusicologist Tracey Laird shows the crucial role that this part of northwestern Louisiana played in the development of country music and rock'n'roll on the dynamic history of Hayride and its sponsoring station. She delves into the past of this city on the Red River and explores the vibrant historical, cultural and social backdrop to her dynamic music scene. This former border town between the old south and the west provided an ideal framework for the cross-fertilization of musical styles. The scene was marked by the easy mobility of the region, the existence of a legal "red-light district" from 1903-17 and the musical exchange between blacks and whites who lived in close proximity and in almost equal numbers. The region promoted such diverse talents as Huddie Ledbetter, the "king of the twelve-stringed guitar," and Jimmie Davis, the two-time "singing governor" of Louisiana, who wrote "You Are My Sunshine."
Against the background of the colorful history of Shreveport, the unique contribution of this radio dance is revealed. Radio dominated the taste of music, and Hayride's frontier spirit producers took risks with artists whose reputation was shaky or whose style did not fit into the music categories (both Hank Williams and Elvis Presley were rejected by the Opry before moving on) Shreveport came). The Hayride also served as a training ground for a generation of studio sidemen and producers who, after the final broadcast of the Hayride, for decades controlled pop music. While the Hayride performances of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, who made his national radio debut in 1954, were separated by only a few years, these years have seen seismic changes in the tastes, perceptions, and self-confidence of American youth. Although the Hayride is often overshadowed in the country music science by the Grand Ole Opry, Laird balances the record and reveals how this remarkable show both documented and contributed to a powerful transformation of American pop music.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Laird, Tracey E. W. (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 224 Pages - 11/11/2004 (Publication Date) - Oxford...
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