How ironic. Millions celebrated Elvis Presley's birthday January 8 this year (he would have been 78) and late Wednesday, Jan. 9, the man who first introduced a young Elvis to the world on the stage of the Louisiana Hayride, Frank Page, died at age 87 of complications from pneumonia.
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, inducted into the Louisiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, as well as the Shreveport Walk of Stars and so many other awards, Frank Page was a legendary radio icon.
And now, Frank has left the building, along with Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Merle Kilgore, Johnny Horton, and so many other Nashville greats living in Hillbilly Heaven. Frank knew them all... They knew him, and loved him, too.
Better known to all as "Mr. KWKH", Frank Page was the man who first introduced a very young 19-year-old Elvis Presley to the world on the Louisiana Hayride, broadcast live from the Municipal Auditorium on 50,000 watt KWKH in Shreveport, Saturday, Oct. 16, 1954.
And the rest is history. There's so much more to Frank's story, much too long for this brief tribute. I had known Frank for over 30 years, and worked with him for some 25 years until his retirement from KWKH.
I loved Frank like a father. I called him Dad, and he called me Son. I guess he adopted me in a manner of speaking. Like so many others, I admired him for his very humble, and gentle ways. He would always say "...Tom's my unpaid publicist." He was too kind.
I will miss you "Father Frank." But I know right now, you're having a big time at God's Radio Station, chewing the fat with the folks from Great Empire Broadcasting: like Ole Mike Oatman, Mike Lynch, Marty Sullivan, Ray Forcier, Barney Cannon...and not forget Tillman Franks and Johnny Horton, too.
I always remember you'd always say: "I hope you live forever, but if you don't, I hope the last voice you hear will be mine."
What you didn't know, is that your voice and legacy will live on forever. Good night, and may God Bless you, Frank.