Saturday, March 17, 2012

"A Little Bit Country" junk...


Hey y'all!  Hugs, kisses, yada yada yada...

Editorial note:  I told y'all I was too busy to do much of anything, but while The Mrs. was cleaning out the Living Room to get ready for the new (somewhat ghetto) sofa and loveseat a few days ago, she came across a book I had bought many years ago.  She handed it to me, and I put it in my office, and I picked it up this morning at roughly 0530 HRS, and had me a time looking back at it again.  So, y'all get this loooooooong, boooooooring post.  Don't bother to thank me).

Several years ago...let me check...okay, it was in 2004, legendary Country Music DJ & once host of "The Louisiana Hayride," Frank Page, decided to release his memories of Elvis' days on The Louisiana Hayride.

Now, The Hayride never quite made it like The Opry.  I guess you could say that it was like "AAA" for the guys/gals that were hoping to make it to the "Majors in Nashville" back in the 1950s.

But, The Hayride did become known as "The Cradle Of The Stars."

Anyway, I heard that Frank had finally got his thoughts together, along with about a bazillion pitchers he had on file.  And, he and Joey Kent had put together a collection of it all...and that they were going to do a big book-signing at The Southern Maid Donut shop on Hearne Avenue (that was Elvis' favorite donuts in history).  And, you can trust me on this one...I grew up eating Southern Maid donuts (only available here in NW Louisiana), and THERE ARE NO DONUTS ON THE PLANET AS GOOD AS "SOUTHERN MAID DONUTS!"  I swear, if you've never had one, I can not describe 'em to you.

I think that they are about four million calories apiece, and if you can stop with two, you're from another planet.  Seriously...this Krispy Kreme Krap that everybody raves about tastes like Sadie's dookie compared to Southern Maid.  

(Crud...looking at the current Southern Maid Donut computer page, it seems that some outfit in Texas has took 'em over).


Anyway...Frank decided to do his book-signing deal there, and I went over and got me a copy.  Actually, I bought three of 'em.  One for me.  One for Mom & Dad, and one for Aunt Shirley (seein' as Aunt Shirley...(the Mrs.' Aunt) was a HUGE Elvis fan back in the 50's).  Frank signed them all, and me and him had a good visit about old times.  He remembered my beloved Granddaddy really good (seeing as Granddaddy advertised his appliance and furniture biz often on KWKH), and vaguely remembered my Daddy (but he was really honest, and said he only "remembered the name.")  Frank is an honest man.

Just sayin'...

I told him a story about an exkreemly funny phone conversation I heard him do when I was probably about 25 years old.  The grand man laughed out loud when I told him how it all went down.  

It had to do with a 28 year old woman who called in to his morning radio show on KWKH.  She had had 12 children in 11 years, and wanted to ask Frank if she should "write a book."

Frank said, "Ma'am...I think you should READ a book!"

Frank laughed like a hyena when I told him that, and said that he really didn't remember it.  But he said, "I should probably write that one down for the archives."

Such a Southern Gentleman.

Anyway, I decided to fire up the scanner, and show y'all some pitchers from the book.

Don't bother to thank me.

This here is an ad introducing the up and coming star that was probably mimeographed, and nailed to light posts, or maybe put in The Shreveport Times.  I'm not sure.

Good to know that he had a dis-
stinctive and unusual style!
  Just sayin'...

This here is a photo of Elvis and his crew on The Hayride.  I was thinking that without "Lucky Strike" cigarettes sponsoring The Hayride, Elvis might not have hit the big time.

 HA!  That's gotta be a young James Burton on lead guitar.  Gotta be. (He's a local boy, so I know it's him).

So, where I'm going with this is with one of the pitchers Frank put in his book.  I had forgotten about it, but saw it this morning while I waiting on the bees wax to do it's thing, so I could get started on my own biz.

I'm pretty sure I've told y'all that my beloved Daddy's best boyhood/life-long friend was David Houston.  We called him "Uncle David," even though we were of no relation.  He and Daddy did everything together as kids, and remained close until David died at the age of...well...crap!...the Wiki page IS NOT RIGHT!  Uncle David was NOT 57 years old when he died!  He was older than that!!!

I just know it!

He and Daddy were both born in 1935.  I KNOW that Uncle David died in the first full year that me and my fambly lived in Colorado.  Counting fingers and toes, and back subtracting...Phil was born in 1991...and he was two years old when we went up there...and, Daddy is 77 now, and Uncle David died the first full year that I lived in Colorado.  

Never mind.  The Wickedpedia is right.  It was that year.

Crud... (But, The Wickedpedia is RIGHT about the "multiple issues" deal.  A bunch of that junk is WRONG!  I know, a BUNCH of that is wrong.) 

Anyway,  Uncle David became a minor country music star.  He had a few big hits, and brought Barbara Mandrell in to his team, and a few others that got to be MUCH bigger stars than him.  

And, when I saw this in Frank's book, it made me snort.

Elvis Presley, Johnny Horton, George Jones, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, and Uncle David...for the admission price of 60 cents for adults, and 30 cents for chirrens...

Heck, I'd have paid the 60 cents just to see Hoot and Curley!


  1. Thanks, Jimbo. Really, THANKS!

    Looking back at that stuff really put me in mind of so much stuff about my Daddy & David. All the stories...

    And, it brought to mind my very favorite TEACHER of all time, Miss Charlotte Jaynes (who taught me, and my Daddy at Bossier High). Lord...the stories she told me about Daddy & David (actually, my baby brother was named after David Lee Houston)!

    They were like peas and carrots.

    Man, I gotta write down some of that stuff that Miss Jaynes told me about those two!

  2. I'd never heard of the Hayride, so that was very interesting, although I was quite the country fan at one time. Definitely write the stories about your dad and David.

  3. I remember listening to the Hayride on the radio when I was a kid living in East Texas. I had a friend who was lucky enough to see Elvis perform there after he became popular. What a big deal that was to all of us country hicks. That may have been his last performance there.

  4. You'd have spent 60 cents? I'd have gone whole-hog and spent the dollar!

  5. Yeah, what Buck said!

    Hoot and Curley? I heared of them! Just not sure regardin' what...

  6. Andy, great post. And that name "Cradle of the stars" just about sums it up. I remember hearing about the old "Hayride" in the '50s and '60s but never actually heard it on the radio. Did the station (KWKH) that broadcast it have one of those huge transmitters like WSM in Nashville? I distinctly remember hearing Houston's "Almost Persuaded" in the mid-sixties when I was back in grad school in Nashville. It was a very popular song and was played on all the country stations at the time. And as for that fantastic playbill, I'm with Buck, if I'd a had a dollar I would have paid for the good seats. What a line up!

  7. Dan, KWKH had one powerful reach in those days. I've heard tales from folks from Illinois to New Mexico about listening to The Hayride in those days. Of course, there weren't as many stations, and a lot of them had to power down at dark (maybe they still do...not sure).

    Yeah, Almost Persuaded was a mega-hit for David. I've got a really funny story about he and Daddy after the song came out. I'll e-mail it at ya'.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?