Most serious Elvis fans know he did only one advertisement during his career. It was for one of his favorite food items – donuts. Elvis recorded a radio jingle for Southern Maid Donuts.
Elvis’ association with Southern Maid Donuts started when he began regular appearances on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA, in October 1954.
Elvis frequented The Southern Maid Donut store in town, getting an early foundation for his well-publicized lifetime affinity for donuts.
Southern Maid Donuts began in Dallas, Texas in 1937, and the total of company-owned or licensed stores now exceeds 100. The Southern Maid name came about because the founders wanted a name that encompassed humble southern traditions, memories, and feelings.
The Louisiana Hayride was a perfect venue for marketing their product, and Southern Maid Donuts provided large sponsorship on the show’s radio broadcasts for several years. The radio spots featured a strange little jingle that deserves some explanation.
One of Southern Maid Donuts claims to fame is the sign above their stores with giant red neon letters lighting up the night sky — HOT, HOT, HOT. The stores sell donuts, éclairs, bear claws, apple fritters and other goodies all day long, starting at 6AM. But after 4PM, you can order a box of twelve glazed donuts made especially for you and served to you piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts have no preservatives. They are made to be eaten HOT, not saved for later. If you want hot, light-textured donuts that literally melt in your mouth, these are hard to beat.
So, it follows that their radio jingle was:
You can get them piping hot after 4PM,
you can get them piping hot,
Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot,
you can get them piping hot after 4PM.
A number of Louisiana Hayride performers sang the jingle, including Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton. Elvis’ version aired on November 6, 1954.
To my knowledge, there is no remaining copy of Elvis singing the Southern Maid Donut jingle. I wonder what that would be worth if it ever did surface. A caller on George Klein’s radio show said that he had obtained the commercial in 2009. If so, why hasn’t it been aired by now?
For some reason, the Johnny Cash version of the jingle was preserved, and it can be heard on the CDs, The Best of the Louisiana Hayride, Volume 4, and Johnny Cash: Hayride Anthology.