The country style of the 1950s returns with the Louisiana Hayride. The historical country music program will be staged Sept. 20 at the Port Theatre. (Photo submitted)

Old-style country stopping at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre this month

The Louisiana Hayride Show comes to the Port Theatre on Sept. 20

The Louisiana Hayride Show, now in its eighth year of touring Western Canada, comes to the Port Theatre on Sept. 20, taking you back in time to relive the days of old-fashioned country and rockabilly music.

This production recreates a historical country music program from years ago called The Louisiana Hayride, bringing back the tunes of the many legendary artists who performed on its stage.

The artists represented in this recreation come to life in colourful costume: Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn, and Willie Nelson.

Louisiana Hayride music was a staple in so many people’s lives back then, with stars like Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves among those crooning country tunes, but it’s music you just don’t hear anymore, and people who do remember love the chance to meander down memory lane.

However, younger music fans are also enjoying this show, organizers say, hearing the music their parents and grandparents listened to over the radio.

And, to add even more variety, the production now includes tributes to Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson. Another audience favorite is Loretta Lynn.

Show creators, Lori and Gil Risling, have been touring this successful production across Western Canada and shows have been selling out with people returning for a second night.

“The music in this show will bring back memories from a bygone era. This is music that resonates with audience members,” said Gil Risling.

Interspersed throughout the show will be little bits of trivia about the artists the group portrays. That, Lori Risling says, “has long been an audience favourite. They love hearing the history. A lot of it is quite surprising to them.”

Gil plays electric and acoustic guitar, as well as performing as Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Roy Orbison.

The Rislings say the cast and crew of The Louisiana Hayride “is dedicated to bringing authentic music to you. The songs you hear will be true to the originals. You will be transported back to a time when music was meaningful, words were understood and the sound was pleasant. You will love the stories, you will love the songs.”

The show is Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre. Tickets cost $45 and are available at www.porttheatre.com or by calling 250-754-8550.

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