Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kultur presents
Louisiana Hayride: Cradle of the Stars (1984)

"They were kinda like a training ground for Grand Ole Opry. They'd make a star out of 'em, and the Grand Ole Opry would grab 'em."
- Webb Pierce

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 29, 2005

Stars: Hank Williams Jr.
Other Stars: Webb Pierce, Hank Williams, Faron Young, Floyd Cramer, Slim Whitman, Johnny Mathis, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Johnny Horton
Manufacturer: Sony DAC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 00h:57m:46s
Release Date: June 28, 2005
UPC: 032031171299
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B A-C+C- D-

DVD Review

In the years after World War II, what had been known as "hillbilly music" began to evolve into what is now known as country music. One of the key influences was the radio program Louisiana Hayride, out of Shreveport, which created a number of stars with crossover appeal to the popular charts, including Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash, among others. This 1984 documentary from the Louisiana PBS, narrated by Hank Williams Jr., takes a look at the phenomenon that ran from 1948 to the late 1950s and its repercussions on the music industry.

As one would expect, there's plenty of still photography and talking heads recollecting the Hayride, the latter apparently shot in the early 1980s when there were still plenty of people who had appeared on the program around and a large contingent who still remembered and loved the program. There's a pleasing helping of clips from the radio program, and a surprising amount of period film of the singers in live performance, including Hank Williams Sr and Johnny Cash; Elvis is oddly missing from the film footage, possibly as a result of rights issues.

In viewing such a program, one tends to treat its claims of importance with some skepticism. But the actual country stars themselves appear here and credit the Hayride program with launching their careers, so they certainly bear some credence. It helped that radio station KWKH (named for owner W.K. Henderson) had nationwide coverage through its 50,000 watt antenna, and in later years it was formally picked up by CBS and Armed Forces Radio. There's also ample credit given to the house backup bands, who over the years included such future major stars as Faron Young, Floyd Cramer, and Johnny Horton. Some of these band members get their chance to shine in a reunion performance of The Orange Blossom Special.

The story is a fascinating one, especially in how the Hayride gave the stars their starts. For Hank Williams, it was giving a large audience the experience of his yodeling Lovesick Blues, and for Slim Whitman the wild Indian Love Call. Jim Reeves, hired as an announcer, took center stage as a fill-in when Sleepy LeBoeuf didn't show up. Horton's rocket to stardom was fueled by a chance performance on the Hayride of a tune he'd heard on the radio, The Battle of New Orleans. And for one incredible year in the early 1950s, the Hayride featured not only Elvis every Saturday night, but a young Johnny Cash too. While Elvis' meteoric rise was fueled by the weekly appearances on the show, several blame the decline for the show on him: not only did no one want to follow him, but everyone started trying to imitate him too.

While the backstory is interesting, the performances won't be enough to satisfy the fans of this period of country music. At most there are short clips (though there are fairly substantial ones of Williams, Presley, Cash, and Jim Reeves). It's a good documentary that leaves you really wanting more.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The original full-frame television presentation looks fine for being shot primarily on video (the archival film footage often appears slightly better than the more modern interview segments). A few still photos have some aliasing, but overall this looks quite acceptable.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 audio suffers from significant hiss. The period radio broadcasts sound exactly like what they are: 50+ year-old radio broadcasts. The intros crediting Exxon are plagued by massive distortion, but the program itself is fine.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There are no extras. It would have been wonderful to have included audio of a full Louisiana Hayride program to give the modern listener a sense of the show itself, but no doubt rights issues precluded such an extra being included. That's a shame. Chaptering is thorough.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

A look at the crucible that formed much of modern country music and gave a start to many of country's biggest stars. The transfer's acceptable for what it is, but there are no extras.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store