Monday, April 25, 2016

Frank Deal: The Opening Voice of WGHP Championship Wrestling (1973)

This is an ad from a 1975 TV Guide magazine for WGHP's "Eyewitness News" featuring weatherman Frank Deal. Frank's voice is the voice you heard over the theme music for WGHP's Championship Wrestling show in the early 1970s.

Charlie Harville was the host of "Championship Wrestling", but it was Frank's voice over the opening theme of the show. 

Deal was the channel-8 weatherman from 1969 to 1996. He also hosted his own "Superstar" classic movie show in primetime. 

Thanks to Carroll Hall at "All Star Championship Wrestling" blog for this image and information on Frank Deal. It's further proof we go to any lengths to document the smallest details of TV wrestling at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and Studio Wrestling!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Man Behind the Mike: Jim Carlisle (Georgia)

Jim Carlisle, WRBL-TV, Columbus GA
Wrestling Revue Magazine, August 1972
(Includes rare audio clip below.)

Born, June 19, 1939, announcer Jim Carlisle of WRBL-TV, Channel 3, Columbus, Georgia, graduated from Jordan Vocational High School in Columbus in 1957. He's married to the former Miss Betty Ann Stokes of Columbus. They have one son — Derek Scott — born December 28, 1968.

Jim has been in the radio and television industry since December 2, 1955, having started while still in high school. He has worked at stations in Chattanooga, Tenn., Montgomery, Ala., Mobile, Ala., LaGrange, Georgia, and, of course, Columbus. Has now been with WRBL-TV, Channel 3, since September of 1965. Jim is very versatile on TV, having done just about every type of program that there is.

Jim Carlisle interviews Dick Steinborn
During the late 1960's, he did a very popular show for the younger set, called "Blast-Off with V-Man," a space-man type show. After V-Man appeared in a downtown Christmas parade one year, the Columbus newspapers came out with an article saying that V-Man drew more applause from the children, and seemed to be more popular with the children, than even Santa Claus himself.

Jim calls the action on TV Wrestling every Saturday afternoon at 4:00 on WRBL-TV.

He is also the ring announcer at the wrestling matches at the Columbus Auditorium every Wednesday night.

He also writes a column, "At Ringside With Jim Carlisle," for the official wrestling program which is sold every Wednesday night at the auditorium. He gives background information on the various wrestlers who see action in the Columbus ring.

All his wrestling activities are in association with promoter Fred Ward of Columbus.

Jim Carlisle in the ring
at the Columbus Municipal Auditorium

Jim's favorite past time and hobby is fishing. He goes just about every chance he gets. A member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Jim is a Past Governor of the Columbus, Georgia, Moose Lodge No. 1166. He is also a member of the Legion of the Moose.

Jim says that he enjoys his association with wrestling, and is glad the opportunity came his way a couple of years ago. His Saturday afternoon wrestling telecasts have proven to be extremely popular with the area fans.

Several of the wrestlers have told Jim that he is one of the best that they had ever heard at calling the action on TV. And, considering the fact that they had heard wrestling announcers all across the country, Jim considers this to be a great compliment.

* * * * *
Editors's note: Jim Carlisle was also the host of "Macon Championship Wrestling" that aired on channel 9 in Macon, GA in the 1970s.

Here is an audio clip of a promo for a card in Macon in 1977 featuring the voice of Jim Carlisle.

The music bed underneath is the opening live instrumental fanfare on Neil Diamond's iconic live LP "Hot August Night."

Thanks to Carroll Hall for forwarding this article to us at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hart and Ringley on a "Championship Wrestling" Special

"Playboy" Gary Hart and JCP's John Ringley (1972)
In 1972, John Ringley hosted a special episode of "Championship Wrestling" that aired on WBTV-3 in Charlotte that focused on Rip "The Profile" Hawk. Ringley and Hawk's manager, "Playboy" Gary Hart were situated on a set in the WBTV studio. They reviewed 16mm film footage shot at the Charlotte Coliseum and Greensboro Coliseum featuring Hawk against various opponents including Jack Brisco in a battle over the Eastern Heavyweight Championship.

Matches included:
  • Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen vs. Johnny Weaver and Argentina Apollo
  • Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen vs. Johnny Weaver and Art Nelson (Greensboro)
  • Rip Hawk vs. Jack Brisco (Hawk wins Eastern title) (Charlotte)
  • Rip Hawk vs. Art Nelson (taped fists match) (Greensboro)

We recently had a conversation with Mr. Ringley about booking changes back during this very time period. That article can be found on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway by clicking this link.