Tag Archives: Louisiana Hayride

Elvis and National Donut Day

National Donut day

By now you have probably heard that Friday, June 1 has been proclaimed National Donut Day.  To join in the celebration, I would like to repeat an ElvisBlog post from 2012 with a little updating.

 

Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

 

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.

Hot Hot Hot Southern Made 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 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, especially jelly donuts.

Box of Southern Made 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.

Southern Made Sign on Stage at Hayride

 

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.

 

Hot Donuts at Southern Made

 

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.

Neon Sign at Southern Made

 

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?

In a comment to the original post, reader Kelly said:

“The caller’s name is Scott Tubbs from Shreveport. He used to work for Forost Dairy, a local milk company back in 1997. At that time, Mr. Tubbs did not know the importance of the jingle. He did in fact obtain the tape from a ex-employee of Sothern Maid, but she was later fired for selling it to him as it did not belong to her. As I understand it a court battle for it pursued . Mr. Tubbs was invited to join George Kline on his radio show when he was visiting his TWO sets of twins who live in Crodova, TN.”

 

Johnny Cash -- Southern Maid Jingle

 

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. In another comment to the original post, according to reader Mark,

“Unfortunately’ the recorded Johnny Cash ”Southern Maid Donuts” commercial on the Louisiana Hayride is just Johnny ”talking” about the donuts — no jingle is sung!”

 

Donut Worry, Be Happy

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© 2018  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.

 

George Jones and Elvis

I was saddened to learn that country music icon George Jones died yesterday at age 81.  Although I am not a huge country fan, over the years I’ve heard plenty of George Jones songs, and it’s easy to appreciate his great talent.  So, I hoped there had been some sort of connection between Elvis and George Jones, because I really wanted to write an ElvisBlog article about him.  Guess what – there were several connections.

George Jones as a youngster and during his days on the Louisiana Hayride

George Jones as a youngster and during his days on the Louisiana Hayride

 

Jones was born in 1931, and by his twelfth birthday, he was playing his guitar and singing for tips on the streets of Beaumont, Texas.  Although he and Elvis got their starts at almost exactly the same time, Jones was three years older due to serving a stint in Korea with the marines.

Elvis began recording at Sun Records in 1954, the same year Jones signed with Starday Records.  By the end of the year, Elvis had regional success with the Rock-a-Billy songs “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”  Jones had less success with his first two honky-tonk releases “No Money in This Deal,” and “You’re in My Heart.”

In November 1954, Elvis signed a contract with the Louisiana Hayride to perform every Saturday night for a year.  In addition, the Hayride took performers out on tour to cities not too distant from Shreveport. Louisiana.  In August 1955, Elvis was on the bill of one of these shows in Conroe, Texas.  George Jones drove over from Beaumont and managed to get in to see Horace Logan, the director of the Hayride.  Logan later described Jones as kind of skinny, with a crew cut, and looking like a teenager (he was actually 24).  Jones sang his latest Starday release “Why Baby Why,” and impressed Logan so much he was allowed to open the show as an unannounced act.

 George Jones 8

After the Conroe show, Logan signed George Jones to a contract, and he became a regular Hayride performer, sometimes appearing on the bill with Elvis.

Elvis and George Jones on Louisiana Hayride show

 

Then “Why Baby Why” quickly became a national country hit for George Jones, and his career took off.   He became the headliner at the Louisiana Hayride.  Notice the playbill below with Jones at the top and Elvis as a special guest.

George Jones  Headlines 1955 show

 

Jones has been quoted saying this about that show, “I still have a copy of one of those posters – well Elvis made it really, really big, but I had one up on him for that one night.”  However, as the hits piled up for Elvis and his fame exploded, he leapfrogged back ahead of Jones as the headliner.

 

One of the most interesting things I found on the internet was a song Jones wrote and recorded titled, “The King is Gone (So Are You).”   As best I can find out, it is autobiographical.  Here’s the scenario.  George Jones was an alcoholic for most of his career, and he had four divorces.  After one of those divorces, Jones was alone in his home, and the ex-wife had cleared out everything – all the furniture and all the china and glassware.  Among the few things she didn’t take was a small table, an Elvis Jim Beam whiskey decanter, and a jar of Flintstones jelly beans..

One of the Jim Beam Elvis decanter collection.  Note tax stamp seal on Elvis’ head.

One of the Jim Beam Elvis decanter collection. Note tax stamp seal on Elvis’ head.

Jones dumped out the jellybeans and used the jar as a glass to drink the Jim Beam, all of it.  As he got good and drunk, he had imaginary conversations with Elvis and Fred Flintstone.  Soon after that, he wrote this song.

Elvis has left the Building (So Have You)

The kicker to this story is that Hanna-Barbera Productions sued George Jones for unauthorized use of their trademarked Yabba Dabba Doo.  Poor Jones couldn’t catch a break.

 

Let’s end with one last story about George Jones.  It has nothing to do with Elvis, but it is classic George Jones lore.

One of the best known stories of Jones’ drinking days happened when he was married to his second wife, Shirley Ann Corley.  She tried to make it physically impossible for him to travel to Beaumont, located eight miles away, and buy liquor.  Because Jones would not walk that far, she would hide the keys to each of their cars before she left the house.  On night, Jones was upset at not being able to find any car keys, but he happened to look out the window.  The light that shone over their property spotlighted their large riding lawn mower.  He is quoted saying, “There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat.  A key glistening in the ignition.  I imagined the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour.  It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.”

 

George Jones

Good bye, George Jones.  You were a classic.

 

©  2013    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.

Elvis Has Left the Building

The other day as I surfed the internet, I discovered that Frank Zappa once recorded a song titled “Elvis Has Just Left the Building.”  What a bizarre combination – Zappa and Elvis.  So I Googled it to see if I could find the lyrics, or even better, the paper jacket for the 45 record if it had been released as a single.

My search found the lyrics (nothing special) but no picture sleeve, because it was not a single, but an album cut from Broadway the Hard Way, a live Zappa album from his 1988 world tour.  However, my search did bring up numerous links to things connected to the classic phrase, “Elvis Has Left the Building.”  Here is a brief history of this iconic five-word phrase and some of the more interesting ways it has been used.

“Elvis has left the building” originated at the Louisiana Hayride on December 15, 1956.

Elvis on stage at the Louisiana Hayride, Decmber 15, 1956

Between October 1954 and April 1956, Elvis performed forty-nine times on the Louisiana Hayride.  He was contractually obliged to make more appearances there throughout 1956, but his soaring popularity put Elvis in much so demand nationally that Col. Parker worked out a way for Elvis to skip those shows.  Parker cut a deal to pay the Louisiana Hayride $10,000, roughly $400 for each missed appearance.  Plus, Elvis would do one last grand performance on December 15, 1956.

To accommodate the expected large crowd for this event, the venue was switched from the usual Shreveport Municipal Auditorium to the much bigger Hirsch Youth Center at the Louisiana Fairgrounds.  Ten thousand kids jammed the Youth Building and screamed at the top of their lungs for the duration of the King’s 45-minute show.  After Elvis had given his final encore and left the stage, the crowd headed for the exits, even though many other acts were still waiting to perform.  Hayride founder and producer Horace Lee Logan took the microphone and made a plea to the audience just after Elvis walked off stage.

“Please, young people . . . Elvis has left the building. He has gotten in his car and driven away. . . . Please take your seats.”

Apparently, the fans’ screaming had made it useless to try and record the show, so there is some disagreement about what Logan actually said that night.  Here is another version from Wikipedia.

“Alright, alright, Elvis has left the building. I’ve told you absolutely straight up to this point, you know that he has left the building; he left the stage and went out the back with the policeman and he is now gone from the building.”

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Elvis and Al Dvorin

The man usually associated with the phrase is Al Dvorin.   He first met Elvis in 1955 and worked with him for 22 years, helping to organize his tours and personal appearances. It was in the early 1970s that Col. Parker asked Dvorin to inform fans after a concert that Elvis would not be coming back for an encore. Dvorin took the stage and made his now legendary announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight.”

“Elvis has left the building” continued as a staple at Elvis concerts and has become part of the Elvis legend.  It has lived on long past his death.  Now the catchphrase has universal meaning that is clear to all:  the show’s over, the curtain has fallen, the sun has set, that’s all she wrote, the fat lady has sung, our work here is done, end of story.

Now for some of the stuff this famous phrase has inspired.

 

This crudely drawn cartoon was inspired by the phrase’s origin, but the artist felt it necessary to ridicule the announcer’s Southern accent and Elvis’ hair.

 

This is much better.  Elvis’ friend and the leader of the back-up group The Stamps released a tribute album after Elvis passed away.

 

Of course, EPE never misses a chance for a marketing opportunity and came up with this keychain for $9.

 

This 4” x 3” belt buckle appears on a Australian website, so it may have been made without any licensing from EPE (or copyright payment to Al Wertheimer for his photographic image).

 

 

This is one of several T-shirts bearing the phrase “Elvis has left the building.”

 

This is a tribute album that I wasn’t aware off.   I’d like to get a copy.  Check out this tracklist:

 

This is the artwork for an article in the Westbourne Academy on-line newsletter.  “Elvis has left the building” was selected as their English Idiom of the Month.  I wish they had selected a better picture.

 

This is a play that has appeared in local theaters around the country.  We looked at it in an ElvisBlog article two months ago.

 

This is a pretty clever movie from 2004 starring Kim Basinger and John Corbett.  ElvisBlog covered it six years ago.

 

This is from the opening credits of the movie.  The pink lipstick is part of the storyline because Kim Basinger is a cosmetic saleslady who wears pink clothing and drives a pink Caddy convertible.

 

We could go on and on with examples of how “Elvis has left the building” has been used, but we’ll end here.  This phrase makes the perfect title for a picture of Elvis and a collage of newspaper headlines from the day he died.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Elvis and Southern Maid Donuts

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 
Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.