Louisiana Hayride was a country music show (first in radio, then TV) that from 1948 to 1960 helped launch careers of some country and western music performers (including  Hank Williams).

Elvis Presley performed on the radio version of the program in 1954 and made his first television appearance on Louisiana Hayride in March 1955.

Ecstatic at 14 with my first Elvis 45

I stood between my

big brother’s speakers

and turned the volume up

to absorb the voice

and ride the rhythm

surging through my body.

My Mom disapproved of Elvis,

Marlon Brando with his motorcycle

and the no cause rebel James Dean.

Their cocky masculinity, she said

could influence her son,

and spin him around

until he goes off

in the wrong direction.

Years later when I was away at school

Mom tossed my hot rod club jacket

along with my Elvis LP

Mark Scott Smith

This is the song I listened to over and over, standing between my big brother’s towering speakers.