Saturday, January 9, 2010

Elvis has left the building - for the first time

"Elvis has left the building."
It’s a catch phrase. Will Smith used it in Independence Day when he escaped from the alien mother ship.
Kim Basinger made a move titled Elvis has Left the Building.
Al Dvorin, a concert announcer who traveled with Elvis throughout the performer's career, made the phrase famous when his voice was captured on many recordings of Elvis' performances.
But where did it originate? The answer might surprise you.
At a Louisiana Hayride benefit for the Shreveport YMCA at the Fairgrounds on December 15, 1956, announcer & KWKH DJ Frank Page told the young people in the audience “Elvis has left the building”.
For those younger readers not familiar with it, the Hayride featured performances by a string of legendary artists such as Hank Williams (who first appeared in August of 1948), Johnny Cash, The Wilburn Brothers, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Nat Stuckey, Maggie Lewis, Claude King, Merle Kilgore, David Houston, Maddox Brothers and Rose and even the King himself, Elvis Presley.
During it's heydey the Hayride was broadcast nationwide and, for a time, was even heard overseas on Armed Forces Radio.

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  1. I didn't know where the phrase came from. Thanks. My mom was a teen in the 50's and still has her Elvis scrap book. She told us about a time when Elvis came to town and had a flat on the car when he got ready to leave. It was raining and she says there were boys fighting for the chance to change his tire in the rain. Funny.

  2. A friend of mine, long since gone was a newsman for a local radio station here in Alexandria.In 54 or 53, I do not remember Elvis did a gig here in Alex. My friend lent him his sports jacket. (He treasured that jacke till he died.
    Elvis told him he would not be coming back to Alexandria...about 50-75 showed up for the show he did.)
    I remember I almost took Nat Stuckeys job at KWKH when he left. But I had just bought a home here in Alexandria and turned it down.(looking back, maybe I did the right thing.) good mmemories..

  3. Darrell, my sister was a teenager in the 50's and a big Elvis Fan.
    Alex, Nat Stuckey outgrew KWKH. I still listen to 'Sweet Thang" every now and then.


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