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87 years ago today, Elvis Presley was born in a small, two-room shotgun shack in Tupelo, Mississippi. As we celebrate the birth of this American icon, we take a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, where, if you didn’t know any better, the city would have you almost believe that the King of Rock and Roll was born there. And perhaps, in a way he was. Nevertheless, here’s the story of how Shreveport has all but adopted Elvis as their own native son.

From “Elvis Who?” to “Elvis has Left the Building”

Not much hullabaloo was made about the 19-year old boy named Elvis when he first arrived in Shreveport on October 16, 1954, In fact, not many really knew who he was when he first performed as part of the Louisiana Hayride program in the city’s Municipal Auditorium that night. When he returned a couple of weeks later for a November 6 performance on the same program, however, he was listed fourth behind the likes of  Slim Whitman, Jim Reeves and J.E. and Maxine Brown. A year later he was  headlining the show.

By December 1956, Elvis had become one of the biggest celebrities in the nation and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker bought out Elvis’ contract for the Louisiana  Hayride show. Still, Elvis agreed to do one more performance — a charity show for the local YMCA — and the youth of Shreveport went wild. This time, however, the larger venue of the 10,000-seat Hirsch Memorial Coliseum had to be provided, and to allow Presley to enter the coliseum from another entrance, police officers had to disguise themselves as Presley to distract the thousands of screaming fans that had shown up to get a glimpse of him. Additionally, it was at this show that the words “Elvis has left the building” would be spoken for the first time.

Of course, Elvis would go on to be a superstar, but he never forgot about the place where it all started and would return to Shreveport to perform many times over the next three decades until his death in 1977.

Elvis Was Here, and Here, and Here

Shreveport has never forgotten the impact that Elvis had on their city. So, while the world is remembering and celebrating the life of Elvis today, we look at some of the places that you can still find him in Shreveport including where he played, slept, ate, and even reportedly got a little practice in before his earlier shows.

The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium

Here at the building where Elvis made his humble start into show business on October 16, 1954,   you’ll find  a bronze statue of the King of Rock and Roll. The building also stands on a street that was aptly renamed  Elvis Presley Avenue. Some also say that Elvis has NOT left the building and that his ghost can sometimes be seen wondering around the venue.

The site of Presley’s last Louisiana Hayride performance on Dec. 15, 1956 where the words “Elvis has left the building” were first uttered.

Local Hotels

Two hotels are still standing that can claim “Elvis slept here.” One is the Siesta Motel (then known as the Al-Ida Hotel) on East Texas Street in nearby Bossier, LA. The other hotel is the Chateau Suite Hotel on Lake Street where Elvis stayed for a performance in June 1975.

Southern Maid

Is this a dollars to donuts story? Elvis is said to have loved the donuts at the Southern Maid on Greenwood Road so much that he did his first and only commercial for them in exchange for a box of donuts.

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Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!