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Louisiana Hayride: Radio & Roots Music Along the Red River - Tracey E. W. Laird

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Louisiana Hayride: Radio & Roots Music A

Louisiana Hayride: Radio & Roots Music Along the Red River

The Bottom Line

The Louisiana Hayride was a springboard for many of country's greatest stars, a place for them to go when the Grand Old Opry deemed them too wild or too rowdy. The Hayride showed dozens of artists in the roots field, from Hank Williams to Elvis Presley. Broadcast live on Saturday nights over KWKH from 1948 to 1960, the Louisiana Hayride was the often overlooked stepchild of the Opry, but in many ways far more vital. This book is a marvelous look into its history.
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  • Excellently researched material.
  • Well-written, in a clear, concise manner.
  • Extremely comprehensive, with detailed footnotes and bibliography.


  • Very skimpy on photos, a must for books on entertainment.


  • In-depth and detailed study of the development of roots music in north west Louisiana.
  • Historically rich, filled with anecdotes and quotes.
  • Provides a much-needed insight into an often overlooked chapter of Roots music history.

Guide Review - Louisiana Hayride: Radio & Roots Music Along the Red River - Tracey E. W. Laird

Author Tracey E. W. Laird picks up a great subject and she handles it with impressive aplomb in this meticulously researched historical work, "Louisiana Hayride: Radio & Roots Music Along the Red River." Included in the narrative is not only an overview of the music itself, but also how it got there, where the town of Shreveport came from and where it was going.

With historically rich details and a clear, precise writing style, Ms. Laird takes us back to a that post- war time when a new brand of music was emerging from the diverse blend of black and white, modern technology and Deep South sensibilities, tradition and change that existed in that time and place. It was on the Hayride we saw the rise of honky-tonk and rockabilly, where Elvis Presley, who did not impress Opry audiences, burst out as a superstar (and met Colonel Tom Parker). It's a stage which hosted Johnny Cash and the Carters and George Jones and Rose Maddox and Johnny Horton and... well, you get the idea.

Filled with detail, Ms. Laird's book is a cracking good read, a must for anyone who has an interest in the development of American roots music, and a clear insight into a period of American history often forgotten, but a deeply important part of roots music culture.

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