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|Subject: Horace Lee Logan, founded the Louisiana Hayride|
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Date Posted: October 17, 2002 5:22:27 EDT
Horace Lee Logan, who started the country music radio program "Louisiana Hayride" and first said what became the catchphrase "Elvis has left the building," died here on Sunday. He was 86 and lived in Seadrift, Tex., on San Antonio Bay.
Mr. Logan began in radio when he was 16, after winning a contest to become an announcer on KWKH-AM in Shreveport, La., his wife, Linda, said.
He began producing the "Hayride," a country music show on KWKH performed before a live audience in Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium, in 1948. It survived only two years after Mr. Logan's departure in 1958.
In his 10 years with the show he introduced a number of country music's top names to the nation. Elvis Presley was among the performers who got their first big break on the "Hayride," as well as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
When Presley made his debut in 1954, Mr. Logan wrote in his 1998 memoir, "Elvis, Hank and Me," he wanted to say something reassuring to the nervous young man but did not have time. Instead, he grabbed the microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, you've never heard of this young man before," he said, "but one day you'll be able to tell your children and grandchildren you heard musical history made tonight." Two years later, trying to quiet a frenzied "Hayride" audience after another Presley performance, Mr. Logan announced, "Elvis has left the building."
"With his voice of authority," said Merle Kilgore, a friend who was there that night, "all of those kids shut up and believed him. Of course Elvis really had left the building."
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