Elvis Presley 1956/12/15
Taken on:
Elvis, The King On The Road
Elvis, The King On The Road (by Robert Gordon)
Louisiana Hayride
The nearest competition to the Grand Ole Opry was a broadcast out of Shreveport, Louisiana, the Louisiana Hayride. They were less stringent in their music classifications, a little more open-minded and willing to take a chance They not only wanted Elvis on their show, they wanted him as a regular.

Elvis had released his second single, "Good Rockin' Tonight", the week before his Opry appearance, doubling his known repertoire. He was still nervous, still used "That's Allright" to kick off his Hayride appearance, and was received only fair on the first show; the second show that night, he got the response he needed. Every bit as important as the applause was the demand the broadcast would create for his live show.

Those performers who could not roll with Elvis and the changing tide had to begin concentrating on gigs beyond the Hayride's reach. They became regulars on the weekly Hayride, driving the eight or so hours from Memphis in Scotty's Chevrolet. As leader, Elvis was paid eighteen dollars per appearance, with Bill and Scotty each receiving twelve.

Merle Kilgore, a fellow Louisiana Hayride musician: "I think he scared them a little. He was really on the toes of his feet singing. I think they thought he was going to jump off the stage. But when he came back out, he destroyed them - by now they knew he wasn't going to jump off the stage and beat them, and they absolutely exploded".'

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