8.57am, Sunday 28th October, Pines Road, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Morning folks, and it’s going to be a lovely day in Louisiana. It’s crisp though, and this cold snap after a long hot nasty humid run last week across Texas may very well have something to do with this massive ‘perfect storm tropical meets cold front super cell’ Hurricane Sandy sitting 300 miles east of New York city. They’re calling it Frankenstorm because it looks like it’s going to make landfall around Halloween – 31st October. It’s already lashing the Carolinas with rain, and according to the experts, it’s a storm completely unique and they’re not sure how bad it’s all going to get on the East Coast – from New Jersey right up to New England. And there’s supposed to be big rain and snow around the back or west side of the thing, so we look like picking up the cool mild next week or so instead of the hot humid normal Fall or Autumn here, and further south right down to New Orleans. Seeing as that’s the way I’m heading – its all looking good for now.
Now on the agenda for today? Another stop on the Elvis Presley fan pilgrimage – the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport. Why? Because on this stage back in 1948, a weekly talent ‘showcase’ was started, called The Louisiana Hayride – playing to a full house live audience, and being broadcast out nationally and to Armed Forces Radio. This show eventually became known as ‘the cradle of the stars’ as so many marquee performers started their careers on the Hayride – Hank Williams, Johnny Cash………and in 1954……Elvis Presley. You could see Elvis every Saturday night there for a while, right here in Shreveport, on the Louisiana Hayride……and he got $18 a show! So at 1pm, there’s a tour of the Municipal Auditorium, and I’ll be on it. So Tupelo, Mississippi and Elvis’s shotgun shack childhood home…..done. Memphis, Tennessee and Graceland, Sun Studio, Beale Street and Dysons Hamburgers……Done. Las Vegas, Nevada and the main showroom of those 70s jumpsuit years……done – I couldnt see Elvis, but I saw Gladys Knight and The Pips in 1998 on that stage before they remodeled it all. Now….Shreveport Louisiana to pretty much the start of the Elvis live on stage phenomenon – where he started all that shiver and shake stuff that got parents and the clergy so twangy! It’s going to be a good day!