God welcomed Louise Alley to her Heavenly Home with a new talk show, and a signal stronger and more powerful than any here on earth. (That’s what I like to believe, anyway.)
Louise Frances Koury Alley is reported to have passed peacefully in her sleep, early Friday morning, October 9th, 2015.
Affectionately known by many as “Shreveport’s First Lady of Radio,” she entertained thousands on “Louise Alley’s Open House,” and later, “My Home Town” talk shows that began on KWKH, then KBCL, KFLO, onto to KEEL, finally on KOKA, and KYLA, all in a career that spanned nearly 60 years.
Since learning news of her death, hundreds of condolence messages have been pouring in from friends, advertisers, listeners, and fans.
About four years ago, in 2011, General Manager of The Radio Group, Cary Camp wrote:
“Dear Louise, I only wish to inspire (sic) to the things you have achieved, and that speaks from the bottom of my heart! You are a truly an amazing friend, teacher, “You’re the heart and soul of our team, and we appreciate all your hard work and commitment.”
“Your friends at the Radio Group say ‘God Bless you for always being there and cheering and guiding us in advertising.’
As one of her longtime advertisers, the late Bobby L. Greene would write, “You’re the Best! Be grateful to people who make them happy. I am grateful to you.” Louise was also very proud of key sponsors like Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant, Café Pierremont, and the list goes on.
Because of Louise’s love and loyalty to sponsors and listeners, the Publisher of Southern Hospitality Magazine, Debbie Dillard awarded her their “Bright and Shining Star Award.”
This petite 5’1”, dark-haired bundle of energy, known as “Miss Louise” was always on top of her game. She could sell anything, including Sweet Acidophilus, Jersey Gold Milk, even women’s lingerie, from Coleur. Her trademark smile was as big as Texas, with a personality to boot.
That’s why, soon after her first thirty minute talk show on KWKH was such a success, it ultimately grew to over four hours, becoming a daily show that covered a myriad of topics. Louise interviewed countless celebrities, political figures and everyday people both on the national stage and in Shreveport-Bossier, the hometown community that she dearly loved.
That career spanned over six decades in the broadcast and advertising business, then. leaving radio only after her health began to fail in 2012.
As Jane Bokun would write, “Louise became a Shreveport mainstay during the 80s, but she began her career as an air traffic controller in Shreveport’s Downtown Airport when it was the city’s terminal for commercial airliners.”
Saddened on learning the passing of Louise, one of her best friends, Gay Horton said, “She loved her advertisers, and she loved Delta Airlines, having worked for them some 30 years.”
“I grew up in Shreveport, this is my home,” Alley said in an earlier article. Her show included interviews, recipes, music and a small flea market. Jane Bokun wrote. This is was what Alley always wanted to do, she said.
She met her husband Ben Alley at Barksdale Air Force Base. Together, they had two children: Raymond and Camille. Alley always loved to cook and try out new recipes. She also was known as an avid antique hunter and loved to collect jewelry.
Louise Alley also enjoyed high fashion and narrating style shows. “I find such personal enjoyment in dressing well,” Alley said.
When she was called on to help, she gave her all, wrote Bokun. Her favorite quote was “God loves a fighter for a good cause.”
Editor’s Note: I will always remember Miss Louise for her love of life, family, friends and advertisers (not to mention we shared a similar birth month: hers was March 2nd, mine, March 8th) plus the common love we both had for Big Band music, and a really great radio host, the late Buddy Flowers.
FYI: Louise Alley always ended her broadcasts with this Irish Blessing: “May the road rise to meet you; may the wind be always at your back; and until we meet again, may the good Lord always hold you in the palm of his hand.”
Amen Louise. Amen. With love, Tom Pace
P.S. Louise Alley is survived by her husband, Major USAF, ret, Bennie R. Alley, children Camille and husband Dr. Jeff Weeks, Raymond and wife Ellen Paylor Alley. Brother and Sister-in-law George and Thama Koury of Bend, Oregon. Grandchildren: Emily Alley, Caroline Ourso; Sarah Lowder, and Katie Weeks. Great grandchildren: John Ourso, Mary Ellen, Molly, and Charlie Lowder.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.