Know someone who loves Louisiana music history? An expansive new boxed set from Bear Family Records, At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight, chronicles the lifespan of the Louisiana Hayride in a way that it has never been chronicled before. The release of this set has generated a wave of press coverage including articles in Rolling Stone and the New York Times. Spanning 20 (!!!) compact discs and 559 tracks, the set compiles 24 hours of live recordings from the legendary country music showcase that broadcast from Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and other locations, helping to launch the careers of artists like Elvis Presley, George Jones, Johnny Cash and more.
Aside from the joy of hearing high-quality, start-to-finish Louisiana Hayride performances, the fun of this boxed set is in the design, documentation and ephemera that’s included. Thumbing through the 224-page, hardcover book that comes with the boxed set, readers will see hundreds of photos of the Louisiana Hayride – including everything from country stars shilling Southern Maid Donuts to backstage antics at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, recording sessions at KWKH and more. It is a complete delight to spend time with this book.
Also included in the book is an essay on the past, present and future of the Louisiana Hayride written by Maggie and Alton Warwick. Chris Brown, an archivist at Centenary College of Louisiana and co-author of the wonderful Shreveport Songs blog, contributed to At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight, as well.
With a price tag of $230 at the time of this writing, this boxed set doesn’t come cheap. But the incredible amount of content and the beautiful design makes it worth every penny, especially for serious fans or researchers of Louisiana music or Shreveport music history. The boxed set can be purchased here.
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Watch a series of videos on Shreveport Municipal Auditorium produced by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.