The Louisiana Hayride Radio Show Debuted 75 Years Ago This Month
The Louisiana Hayride certainly wasn't the first show of its kind when it was first broadcast on April 3rd, 1948. In fact, there were several "Barn Dance" shows across the country. But there was something different about the Louisiana Hayride.
By the time the Hayride came on the air in 1948, the Grand Ol Opry had already been on the air for 23 years. The Opry was founded as one of those "Barn Dance" shows on November 28th, 1925 on WSM. But there came to be quite a difference between the Opry and the Hayride.
By the time the Hayride hit the air on KWKH, the Opry featured already established stars of the day. Nothing wrong with that at all... but the Hayride became the place to see and hear new, up and coming talent.
There were also other notable differences between the Hayride and the Opry. The Opry didn't allow drums or electric guitars to be used. Whereas the Louisiana Hayride took chances on more progressive music styles and new artists. And it was that willingness to take a chance on new artists that led to history being made.
Artists that appeared on the Hayride may have been "up & coming" and not as well known at the time, but many went on to become huge stars. In addition to Elvis, artists like Johnny Cash, George Jones, Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Kitty Wells, Grandpa Jones, and Minnie Pearl were all relative unknowns before becoming famous after their appearances on the stage of the historic Municipal Auditorium.