Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Racing and Rasslin' on WGHP

"... Junior Johnson runnin' through the woods of Carolina ..."
- Bruce Springsteen, "Cadillac Ranch"

It was great receiving this little ad from newspaper researcher Mark Eastridge recently. It is from the Greensboro Daily News in October 24, 1964 and is an advertisement for Saturday afternoon sports programming on WGHP-8 out of High Point, NC.

The ad was primarily for ABC's "Wide World of Sports" which on that day would feature racing from Charlotte and included some classic names from NASCAR's past including Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson, among others.

The race was the 1964 National 400 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It actually took place the previous Sunday, October 18, but highlights would air on "Wide World of Sports" that following Saturday. Fred Lorenzen, seen in the photo in the ad, won the race. (My all time favorite Junior Johnson came in 39th in his 1964 Ford.)

WGHP was also home to weekly Jim Crockett Promotions wrestling tapings and the ad also mentions that following the Charlotte 400 will be "Championship Wrestling" on channel 8 featuring two tag team matches. The program was hosted by broadcasting hall-of-famer Charlie Harville.

Racing and wrestling! They were the top two professional spectator sports in our area at that time, and it didn't get much better on a fall afternoon than racing, wrestling, and I'm sure a little college football thrown in.

(Racing information from the Racing Reference website at racing-reference.info)