Posted on October 14, 2002
Don Walker, Staff Writer of the Shreveport Times
Former Louisiana Hayride
producer and main emcee Horace Logan - the man who coined the phrase "Elvis
has left the building" - died Sunday in Southwest Texas.
Memorial services are scheduled Tuesday, 1 p.m., at the First Methodist Church in Seadrift, Texas. Logan, 86, had been in poor health for the past several months, friends said Sunday. He was hospitalized in Victoria, Texas, at the time of his death.
It was Logan who introduced radio listeners to the Louisiana Hayride when the country show hit the airwaves in its first broadcast in 1948. The Hayride boosted the careers of 25 artists - including Elvis Presley - into national prominence.
Logan began in radio when he was 16, after winning a contest to become an announcer on KWKH-AM. In 1998, he authored Elvis, Hank & Me, a memoir of his decade (1948-1958) as the original producer of the legendary Hayride, a country music show performed before a live KWKH audience in Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium.
In 1956, as he tried to quiet a frenzied Hayride audience after another Presley performance, Logan announced, "Elvis has left the building."
"He was in charge of booking artists on the Hayride. I give him lots of credit for making the Hayride what it was," said Tillman Franks, a veteran Shreveport musician and songwriter who was a close friend of Logan's. Franks became producer of the Hayride when Logan retired.
Logan was a colorful personality and Hayride emcee who "came out all dressed in black like a cowboy with a black hat and actually wore pistols," said Maggie Warwick, Shreveport singer and songwriter. Logan booked her on the Hayride after she and her sister won a talent show in Texas. Her first appearance on the Hayride was in 1957.
"It's something. Another one of our legends is gone and it's just really a sad day in all of our lives," Warwick said Sunday.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials in Logan's name to be sent to the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, P.O. Box 90, Yoakum, Texas, 77995.
There has been several reports in the press about the death of Horace Logan, in none of them Hank Williams or Jim Reeves have been mentioned. To many the name Horace Logan is coupled to Elvis Presley because that is where Elvis's popularity started.
Horace Logan wrote a wonderful book, mentioned above, with chapters on Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Elvis Presley, Johnny Horton and Johnny Cash. I'll recommend it to all country music fans.
Horace greets Jim Reeves as he lands at Barksdale Air force Base after a tour in Europe. (photo by Langston McEachern, from the book 'Elvis. Hank, and Me')