Did You Know About Elvis’ 1955 Caddo Parish Arrest?
The Shreveport - Bossier area is steeped in incredible music history. If you look at the past guests at places like the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and Hirsch Coliseum, it's clear that what happened here had an effect on music worldwide.
In fact, one of the most important figures in rock and roll would never have gained his global fame without wowing crowds here. Of course, I'm talking about the one and only King of Rock and Roll - Elvis Presley. Since a biopic film about his life is set to be released this week, I thought this would be a good time to stroll down musical memory lane to the time when the King got cuffed-and-stuffed by Caddo Parish's finest.
Elvis' connection with Shreveport was with the famous Louisiana Hayride. It was a country music show that started in 1946 that featured live performers broadcasted on KWKH / 1130 am from the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Once the word got out, it was so popular that Shreveport television station KSLA started airing the performances live. During the hayride's run on television (which lasted until 1955), it was second only to the Grand Ole Opry in terms of viewership.
The hayride specialized in wildly talented, but relatively unknown artists at the time. For that reason, lots of super-successful artists got their start on the show. Hank Williams, Slim Whitman, George Jones, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, and so many more owe their fame to the Louisiana Hayride.
Elvis Presley premiered his very first single from Sun Records "That's All Right," on the program on October 16th, 1954. A year later, Presley was so famous that Horace Logan (the show's emcee) had to make the famous announcement "Elvis has left the building" to disperse the crowd after the King's performance. Not even a year after that, Elvis had a much different experience in Shreveport.
On April 3rd, 1955, Elvis was pulled over by Caddo Parish Sheriff's Deputies for speeding. According to official documents from the encounter, Mr. Presley was driving his pink and white, 1954 Cadillac 80 mph in a 60 mph zone. That's when the King was cuffed and taken to the Caddo Parish Jail where he posted a $25 bond and was immediately released.