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Elvis, Hank, and Me: Making Musical History on the Louisiana Hayride Hardcover – June, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Country music fans will love this chatty, behind-the-scenes chronicle of one of country's most popular postwar radio programs, Louisiana Hayride, from the man who made it happen. On the air from 1948 to the late 1950s, the Hayride, headquartered in Shreveport, helped make country music popular beyond the SouthAthanks to syndication on the CBS Radio NetworkAand helped build the careers of some of the genre's biggest stars. Everyone from Kitty Wells and Hank Williams to Johnny Cash, Slim Whitman and Webb Pierce took a ride on the Hayride before heading out to wider acclaim. Logan even gave Elvis his first serious gig only weeks after the future King had bombed at the Grand Ole Opry. No wonder the show was known as "The Cradle to the Stars." (This personal coup also explains Logan's complaints, albeit fairly good-natured, about the Opry.) A personable guy who made many of his deals based on a handshake, Logan, writing here with former Country Rambler editor Sloan, brings anecdotal insight into the meteoric but brief stardom of Hank Williams, Elvis's beginnings and the sad tale of Johnny "The Singing Fisherman" Horton, among others. The book reads like the best country music songs, filled with just the right combination of sorrow and swing. 16 pages of b&w photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

From Hank Williams to Slim Whitman to Johnny Cash to the one and only Elvis, this recollection of country music greats is a real foot-stompin treat. For nearly ten years, beginning in 1948, Horace ``Hoss'' Logan produced the Louisiana Hayride, a live, weekly country music show broadcast nationally on the CBS radio network. Logan did it all, auditioning the various performers, putting together the program, even emceeing. While talent is rarely ``discovered'' by just one person, he and the Hayride were responsible for giving numerous major country stars their first big break. This was the shows edge, its competitive niche, as it labored in the shadow of that great granddaddy of country music, the Nashville-based Grand Ole Opry: ``Never once in its long, glorious career has the Opry ever created a single star or launched a single career that I know of. The Hayride, on the other hand, created dozens of stars and launched hundreds of careers.'' The Opry of the 1950s was a hidebound, though highly successful organization. Nontraditional instruments, such as electric guitars, were verboten, and only ``classical'' country music was acceptable. No wonder that they brusquely rejected the young Elvis Presley. But like so many others, he found a welcoming home on the Hayride. After just a year of appearances, he was on the way to genre-shattering stardom. Ably assisted by Sloan, a former editor of Country Rambler magazine, Logan has put together an appealing and revealing andsince this is country musicsometimes sorrowing collection of anecdotes. He seems to have known just about everyone who was anyone. Soon after Logan left the Hayride to pursue other radio opportunities, the show collapsed, but in terms of how it has shaped country music, its legacy remains vibrant and vital, though perhaps underappreciated. Serious country-music fans will love it. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312185731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312185732
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Horace Logan was the emcee and program director for the famed "Louisiana Hayride," a nationally broadcast weekly radio show that for the better part of the 1950s was the main competitor of the "Grand Ole Opry." Known as "the cradle of the stars," the Hayride had a reputation for developing hot new talent, and has long been an object of fascination for me since it was here that Webb Pierce got his start. As the main creative director of the Hayride, Logan's path intersected those of many top-flight hick musicians, including Webb, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Jim Reeves and a slew of others whose careers took off when they became regulars on the show. This book concentrates the bulk of its effort towards two oft-mythologized stars whose lives are amply documented elsewhere - Hank Williams and Elvis Presley -- and while it's cool to get insights from a person who helped start both their careers, in a sense the book feels like a missed opportunity, since Logan must have had plenty more to say about the "early" days when country music made the transition from rinky-dink local operations into a major industry with a nationwide scope. He broke into the business at the tail end of a period when all the action was on local radio stations, and helped usher in the era when things became increasingly professionalized and big-league. While the book is very readable, it's unfortunate that Logan and his ghost-writer, Bill Sloan, didn't see fit to explore "the old days" a little bit more, and bring out more of the flavor of what the hick music business was like back when.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best book I've found on how many of the music greats including Elvis got started on the Louisiana Hayride. This is full of great stories, well written, and a terrific piece of music history. The
Hayride show helped many stars get their first national exposure.
Horace Logan, the author, worked the show and knows these stories well. He is now deceased, and I'm so glad he took the time to share his tales. It's a wonderful book for any music buff interested in knowing how vital the Hayride was to the growth of popular music.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a country music disc jockey for almost a half-century as well as a song-writer and columnist, I found Horace Logan's "Elvis, Hank and Me" a genuine "refresher", a work of true art that not only informs but captures the attention of the reader by revealing the raw facts pertaining to the entertainment industry and the rough and rowdy trails many of the super-stars blazed in order to make the marquees of big-time show business. Horace mentions in this book the fact we toiled together for awhile at a radio station in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. He always had a most-interesting story to tell on the air. Now, many of those true, interesting and oft-times sad tales have been put into print for true enjoyment. -Bill Mack (Grammy winning songwriter of LeAnn Rimes', "BLUE"; Radio's "Midnight Cowboy", heard nightly on the "Bill Mack Trucking Network", and host on "Country Crossroads", syndicated nationally each week on radio & television.)
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