ELVIS, HANK AND ME by Horace Logan


Making Musical History on the Louisiana Hayride
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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 show’s 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 and’since this is country music’sometimes 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)

Pub Date: July 10th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18573-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1998


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