Friday, July 11, 2014

ZEKE CLEMENTS - Louisiana (MGM, 1949)

ZEKE CLEMENTS - Louisiana (MGM, 1949)

From the fall of 1948 until the fall of 1950, Zeke Clements called Shreveport home. During this time, he hosted radio shows (music as well as news programs), performed on the Louisiana Hayride, and  recorded this song about his “home sweet home” Louisiana.

The song “Louisiana” begins by mentioning the Red River, the river that runs through Shreveport. Then, the lyrics list things more closely associated with places about 200 miles south of Clements’s North Louisiana home. Granted, Shreveport does have gumbo, bayous, Cajuns, and Mardi Gras...just in limited quantities.

Clements arrived in Shreveport an established musician. He performed on the Grand Ole Opry during the 1930s and 1940s. He had already appeared on over twenty records.  His songwriting yielded considerable successes, most notably “Smoke on the Water” in 1944.  Perhaps his most unique job, though, involved yodeling as Bashful in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937.

During Clements’s Shreveport days, he hosted a KWKH radio program titled Hayride Hit Parade. According to one newspaper article, the program featured "top hillbilly tunes selected from best seller lists, polls, and jukebox favorites" ("'Hayride Hit Parade' To Feature Hillbilly Hits," Shreveport Times [Shreveport, LA], December 5, 1948.).  Thanks to his radio program sponsorships, Clements also advertised vegetable shortening and farm animal feed.

Here are a few of our favorite Zeke Clements items from his Shreveport days.

Zeke Clements--new to Shreveport radio.  Daily...Monday through Friday. 
Shreveport Times
(Shreveport, LA), September 7, 1948.

Zeke Clements spins hillbilly hit records. 
Shreveport Times
(Shreveport, LA), December 20, 1948.

Zeke Clements advertises animal feed bath towels. 
Shreveport Times
(Shreveport, LA), September 13, 1949.

Zeke Clements, wing tip boots, and Scoco vegetable shortening (circa 1949).
Source: Louisiana State University in Shreveport Archives and Special Collections.

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