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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Larry Ryan


Born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1938, Larry was stationed at the Pagwa Air Force Base in Ontario, Canada when he first got into radio before working at a station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In August of 1964, he moved to Shreveport on a Saturday “with a girl from Iowa,” went on air at KEEL that Sunday, and the couple wed in Marshall, Texas the next day, on Monday. He did such a memorable job of advertising “Piping Hot at Four O’Clock” that Bruce Jones wanted him for every Sunday show spot for Southern Maid Donuts.

He and his wife, Susie, were married for forty-nine years and two days. They are charter members of the Shreveport Mardi Gras Krewe of Centaur, established in 1991. During this interview, Larry reminisces about the “absolutely fantastic” sound at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, the Louisiana Hayride, and Frank Page, the broadcaster for KWKH radio. When asked what makes a voice great for radio, he replies, “clarity, clarity…and being able to emote enough so that people understand you.” Ryan’s euphonious voice makes him an unmistakable fixture in the Shreveport community.

Date of interview:
2021-08-17

Interviewer:
Jaime Cantrell

Photographer:
Shannon Palmer

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