Famed radio show revived on stage

Legendary songs from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and other unforgettable singers who appeared on the Louisiana Hayride will be performed next week in a live stage show in Red Deer.

Patrick Ryley appears as Hank Williams

Patrick Ryley appears as Hank Williams

Legendary songs from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and other unforgettable singers who appeared on the Louisiana Hayride will be performed next week in a live stage show in Red Deer.

Presley, Cash, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline all appeared on the KWKH radio show that aired live from 1948 to 1960 from the municipal auditorium in Shreveport, La.

More than 30 songs popularized by these stellar singers — and others — will be delivered by a live band from the Okanagan during the Music of the Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song Concert on Wednesday at the Memorial Centre.

During its heyday, the radio program referred to as “Cradle of the Stars” also helped launch the careers of country stars Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Roger Miller, Faron Young and Ernest Tubb.

It was broadcast nationwide in the U.S. and heard overseas on Armed Forces Radio.

The stage show written and produced by host Lori Risling features the vocals of Hank Williams doppelganger Patrick Ryley, and Patsy Cline look-alike Andrea Anderson, as well as William Brookfield on double keyboard, guitar, banjo and vocals, Gil Risling on electric, acoustic and bass guitar and vocals, and Mike Melnichuk on stand-up double bass, electric guitar and vocals.

The show will recreate pivotal moments in musical history, including Presley’s frustration at being a rejected 19-year-old singer.

Audience members will also learn what bad advice Cash gave to Orbison and find out why the latter always wore dark glasses.

“You will love the songs. You will love the stories,” said Risling.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert are $25, plus service charges, from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

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