Fans of Elvis Presley are trying to raise $80,000 to have a statue of the rock 'n roll icon created in time for the 50th anniversary of the Presley's first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride.
Friends of the Municipal Auditorium and a fan club known as Elvis Angels plan to ask the Downtown Development Authority next week for money, said Johnny Wessler, past president of the auditorium group.
Artist Eric Kaposta of Houston, who formerly lived in Shreveport, said he can have the statue ready in time for the Oct. 16 anniversary if backers can come up with $20,000, Wessler said. He said Kaposta has already created a bust of Presley. The bust bore such an accurate resemblance to the singer that Elvis Presley Enterprises, which handles Presley's image, agreed to sanction the project for Friends of the Municipal, Wessler said.
"The statue will be on a tremendously large granite base that will tell a story and include lyrics from his songs," Wessler said.
Presley was among a cadre of stars - including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and George Jones - who appeared early in the careers on the Hayride, a stage show broadcast weekly from the Municipal Auditorium from 1948 until 1960.