Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

After a post last week with no photos, here’s one from 2012 that is loaded with them.

 

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 performing at the Louisiana Hayride

 

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.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net
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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Editor’s note: A reader named Paul Soums commented on the original post from 2012.

“Indeed there is a old copy of Elvis Presley commercial from Southern Maid Doughnuts. Mr. Scott Tubbs did obtain the reel to reel audio along with video of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash singing together. I met with Scott Tubbs when I heard about this and saw it with my two eyes. I asked Scott why he hadn’t turned this over to EPE. He explained he did speak with Jim Sikes and George Kline after the court battle but no one got back with him. He would not sell it because it’s truly a piece of rock ‘n’ roll history and it is priceless. I must admit it was strange to hear Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley singing together.”

2 responses to “Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

  1. I recall there were a rumor the radio ad would appear on 2012’s A BOY FROM TUPELO boxed set (FTD), but unfortunately it proved not to be the case. Sony’s revised 2017 edition also did not include it. I just did a quick check of the 2012 edition of the book and didn’t see reference to Southern Maid in the November 6, 1954 entry. One of the drawbacks to this huge book is there is no index. When I have an opportunity to revisit the book in more depth, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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