Friday, February 13, 2015

One Saturday in 1969

Take a look at these wrestling TV listings for Saturday, November 1, 1969. They are from the "Carolina-Tennessee Edition" of TV Guide magazine.

Of particular note is the odd circumstance of a one-hour wrestling show airing on WLOS-13 out of Asheville being split into two 30-minute segments over this Saturday afternoon.

In 1969, Asheville aired the wrestling program that was taped at WGHP TV studios in High Point, North Carolina. It was one of the three locations at that time doing weekly TV tapings for Jim Crockett Promotions out of Charlotte. The show aired live in the High Point/Greensboro market, and then on a one week delay in Asheville.

On this particular week, because of a college football game airing that afternoon, the one-hour tape was spilt into two 30-minutes segments, the first at 1:30 in the afternoon, the second one later that day at 7:00 PM.

TV Guide, Carolina-Tennessee Edition

WBTV Ch. 3 Charlotte (CBS)
5:00 PM      Wrestling (from the studio: Sailor Art Thomas and Abe Jacobs vs. Ole and    Gene Anderson; Johnny Weaver vs. El Lobo; Oni Wiki Wiki vs. Tom Bradley)

WFBC Ch. 4 Greenville, SC (NBC)
1:00 PM      Wrestling (from Raleigh)

WLOS Ch. 13 Asheville, NC (ABC)
1:30 PM     Wrestling (from High Point, NC)
2:00 PM     College Football Pre-Game Show
7:00 PM     Wrestling continues
7:30 PM     Dating Game

WCTU (WCNC) Ch. 36 Charlotte (Ind.)
8:30 PM     Championship Wrestling From Florida

Some other notes:
  • The show airing on WBTV-3 was called Championship Wrestling and was the weekly show taped at WBTV studios in Charlotte. TV guide often listed the scheduled matches for the Charlotte show, this week featuring my all-time favorite tag team, the Anderson Brothers.
  • The show airing on WFBC-4 was called All-Star Wrestling and was the show taped at WRAL studios in Raleigh, NC that would late become Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in 1973.
  • WCTU-36 in Charlotte aired Championship Wrestling from Florida. The Florida show aired on several stations in the Mid-Atlantic area at that time, and the two territories would occasionally share talent. The Mid-Atlantic show also aired in select markets in Florida.

Original TV Guide information posted on the Radio Insight board.

"Hello everybody, this is Billy Powell..."

Billy Powell

"Hello everybody, this is Billy Powell, and I want to invite you to join us this Monday night at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium..."

This was the greeting from the familiar voice of Billy Powell we heard every Saturday during a local break on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling when it aired on WFBC-TV channel 4 from Greenville, SC.

Billy Powell was a well known radio voice in Greenville, perhaps most well known as the voice of the Bi-Lo supermarket promotional spots that aired on WFBC radio for years.

But wrestling fans knew him best as the ring announcer for nearly three decades (1962-1985) at the GMA wrestling shows every monday night promoted by Jim Crockett Promotions out of Charlotte. In addition he did two 1-minute promotional spots for those same shows that aired during Mid-Atlantic Wrestling where he would promote the upcoming event. As a result, wrestling fans across the upstate of South Carolina, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee all knew Billy's voice, even if they never attended a show in Greenville.

* * * * *
For more information on Billy Powell and his association with professional wrestling in Greenville, visit the following pages:

Studio Wrestling: WFBC-4 Greenville
The Billy Powell Page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wrestling & Basketball Memories

When recently scouring the web for mentions of broadcaster Charlie Harville as he related to pro-wrestling, I came across this post on the website that mentioned Harville in reference to his days as an ACC college basketball announcer. I loved reading this because it also makes reference to my favorite college basketball announce team of all time: Jim Thacker, Billy Packer, and Bones McKinney.

Article excerpt:
I was raised on ACC basketball with Jim Thacker and Billy Packer. I remember the black and white days of CD Chesley and Charlie Harville. I remember shooting baskets with my Burke County buddies during halftime and between games dreaming of the day when we might star for the Wolfpack, Tar Heels, Deacons or Devils.

From "A View to Hugh" Website - see link below.

Thacker, Packer, and McKinney were magic together on the C.D. Chesley syndicated sports network in the 1970s. And I have great memories of those basketball games coming on after Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, especially the wars between Norm Sloan's N.C. State Wolfpack and Lefty Driesell's Maryland Terrapins.

And little did I know that it was Charlie Harville who may have been responsible for Bones McKinney getting his big break in broadcasting, as it was Harville who recommended McKinney for the role to Mr. Chesley. From : "Player, Preacher, Coach, Commentator" on the website A View to Hugh:

... soon after the ’65-’66 basketball season started, (McKinney) got a call from ACC TV producer Castleman D. Chesley.  It seems that Bones’ good friend Charlie Harville had recommended him as a possible broadcaster with the ACC network.

Another Harville reference here: ACC Hoops Tonight (

N.C. State never, and I mean NEVER loses when Jim Thacker, Billy Packer and Bones McKinney are mentioned in the same paragraph. We will be watching on our local WFMY TV 2 station and thinking back to the days of Thacker, Packer, McKinney, Woody Durham, Charlie Harville and Lonesome Lee Kinard...

Another nice post regarding televised ACC basketball memories, this from the Shelby Star:
Along Route 74: Growing Up in ACC Country Was a Big Deal

(Updated On 2/13/2015)

Studio Wrestling from Birmingham, AL

The following information is from a post on the website BHAM Wiki.

Live Studio Wrestling was a locally-produced wrestling program televised on Saturday nights at 10:30 PM between the late 1950s and 1962 on WAPI-TV, Channel 13.

Seating was very limited and tickets were free. The promoters were Nick Gulas and Roy Welch in association with local businessman Joe Denaburg. Sterling Brewer was the announcer. The purpose of televised wrestling was to promote Monday Night wrestling at Municipal Auditorium. When Gulas, Welch, and Denaburg ceased promoting Monday night wrestling cards, there was no need for televised wrestling on Saturday nights.

In the fall of 1962, Channel 13 aired Route 66 in the time slot that was formerly occupied by wrestling. It is a possibility that Channel 13 chose to air Route 66 and wrestling was pushed off the schedule.

In 1965, wrestling returned to Boutwell (Municipal) Auditorium TV on Monday Nights and WBMG-Channel 42 began airing Live Studio Wrestling on Saturday Nights at 10 PM. The promoters were again Gulas, Welch, and Denaberg. Sterling Brewer returned as the announcer.