Crowbar Press

 
The Solie Chronicles
The Solie Chronicles
BOOK DETAILS

Paperback: 248 pages

Dimensions: 6x9

Publisher: Crowbar Press

Photos: 85 b&w

Cover: Full color

ISBN: 978-0-9844090-3-7

Item #: cbp07-gs

Price: $19.95


 

 
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The Solie Chronicles


Synopsis  |  Excerpts  |  Chapter Titles  |  Reviews  |  Media Appearances  |  Crowbar Press

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"The Solie Chronicles" is available exclusively from Crowbar Press.
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Excerpt from "The Solie Chronicles"
Copyright © Robert Allyn
One evening, he sat in the comfort of his family room — vodka in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and spoke to his son-in-law, Bob Allyn.   Gordon said McMahon’s company offered him a fair wage to continue on, and there was even a mention of him co-hosting with Gene Okerlund.   He didn’t have a problem with the money offer or with Gene Okerlund, but Gordon said they wanted him to wear a tuxedo, and "he wasn’t going to wear any go—amn tuxedo."

Since the late 1800s, professional wrestling has turned out many high-profile stars: names such as Frank Gotch, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Lou Thesz, Dusty Rhodes and Hulk Hogan. Perhaps one of the most well-known pro-wrestling personalities, however, wasn't even a wrestler. He was a commentator and announcer named Gordon Solie.>

Famous dead-pan style interviews and colorful play-by-play broadcasts of wrestling led to Gordon’s induction into the WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1995), the NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2006), and the WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2008).

"Gordon calling a world championship match was like Al Michaels or Bob Costas calling a Super Bowl or World Series ... just a perfect fit!"
Mike Tenay-broadcaster for TNA Wrestling

Wrestling fans of the 60s, 70s and 80s remember Gordon’s legendary broadcasts on Championship Wrestling from Florida, Championship Wrestling from Georgia, and World Championship Wrestling.

Born Jonard Frank Labiak on January 26, 1929, Gordon began working as a page and errand boy for a Louisiana radio station while he was in the U.S. Air Force. Known to his fellow servicemen as Gordy, he would later legally change his name to Gordon Solie, a name chosen to honor his family history. In 1950, he took a job as an announcer for WEBK in Ybor City, Florida. By starting his own radio sports interview program, Gordon made key contacts in professional wrestling and stock car racing. Subsequently, Gordon Solie set a course and made a major impact on the development of professional wrestling, national auto thrill show tours, stock car racing on Florida’s Suncoast, and ultimately, as the host for the highest-rated show on the largest cable network in America.

The background material for this biography was found in Gordon's personal files and taken from interviews with the people who knew him the best. It is written as a testament to a man who made his mark in many endeavors.

INTERVIEWS with 65 people who knew Gordon the best!
Family and Friends
•Dotty Curtis [wife of wrestling legend Don Curtis]
• Gaye Swenson [Gordon's sister]
• Greg Solie [Gordon's son]
• Jeff Bukantz [member of the U.S. National fencing team]
• Jim Oxley [head mechanic at the Pit Stop]
• Keith Mitchell [WCW staff member]
• Pamela S Allyn [Gordon's daughter]
• Robert Allyn [Gordon's son-in-law]
• Tom McEwen [sports editor and Gordon's friend]

Stock car drivers
• Buzzie Reutimann
• Cush Revette
• Jim Gallagher [stock car race announcer]
• "Little Jack" Arnold
• Pancho Alvarez
• Randy Alvarez [Pancho Alvarez' son]
• Wayne Reutimann
• Will Cagle

Wrestling Journalists
• Alex Marvez [Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com]
• Bill Apter [former editor of Pro Wrestling Illustrated]
• J Michael Kenyon [wrestling historian]
• Mike Mooneyham [wrestling journalist]
• Scott Teal [wrestling historian]

Wrestling Commentators
• Joe Pedicino
• Jim Ross
• Lance Russell
• Mike Tenay

Wrestling Photographers
• Danny Goddard
• Scooter Leslie
   Wrestlers, Managers, Referees and Promoters
•Abdullah the Butcher
• Adrian Street
• Bill Newman
• Bob Armstrong
• Bob Roop
• Bobby Simmons
• Buddy Colt
• C.J. West
• Danny Hodge
• Danny Miller
• David Marquez
• Dick Steinborn
• Dory Funk
• "Downtown Bruno" Lauer
• Dr. Ken Ramey
• Frankie Cain
• Gene Kiniski
• Harley Race
• Howard Brody
• Ivan Koloff
• Jack Brisco
• Jack Welch
• Jerry Prater [director-producer of Championship Wrestling from Florida]
• Jim Cornette
• Jimmy Hart
• Jimmy Snuka
• JJ Dillon
• Joe Turner
• Larry Zbyszko
• Les Thatcher
• Mike Graham
• Rocky Johnson
• Ron Garvin
• Roy Lee Welch
• Skip Gossett
• Stan Hansen
• Steve Keirn

$19.95
Excerpts from The Solie Chronicles

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Loving, Hating, and the FBI
Copyright © Robert Allyn, Pamela S Allyn & Scott Teal
  What Jonard [later known as Gordon] didn’t anticipate was the quickness of the Denver police and the FBI.  An All Points Bulletin, or APB, was issued for Miller’s stolen car.  Outside of Boulder City, near the Boulder Dam, the local police stopped the oversized car with the undersized driver.  Arrested on Grand Theft Auto across state lines, Jonard was handcuffed and placed in the back of the squad car.  Appearing a lot smaller than his 5’8" frame, he was driven back to Denver to face the law and his parents.  Horrified, he envisioned the upcoming scene.  He could almost hear them: "You are a criminal, a juvenile delinquent! How could you have done this to us?"  At that moment, the last people he wanted to speak to were his parents!  There was no way he was going to use his one allowed phone call to speak with his mom and dad.  He needed a buffer, so Jonard decided to phone the pastor of his parent’s church and ask him to call his parents.
After the phone call, Jonard was left to sit in a cell at the Denver Juvenile Detention Center.  He sat — and he sat.

Excerpt from Chapter 3: Cracked by a Potato
Copyright © Robert Allyn, Pamela S Allyn & Scott Teal
  Earning the job on Championship Wrestling from Florida presented another challenge to Gordon. Early in his second stint as host for the show, Gordon had an overseer, a kind of babysitter appointed by the TV station. On one normal taping day at the WTVT studio, fans stretched all the way down the block as they waited in line in the hot Florida sun, and then packed themselves like sardines into the small studio. With the assistance of their "heel" manager, Saul Weingeroff, Kurt and Karl von Brauner won a tag team match. Saul had a habit of cheating by reaching into the ring with his cane and tripping their opponents. The fans screamed their disapproval of his dirty tactics. In response to the jeers emanating from the audience, the so-called "Germans" unfolded an American flag and spread it on the ring mat. The fans got louder and more insulting. Basically telling the fans, "Up yours," the Von Brauners proceeded to desecrate the American flag by jumping up and down on it. The louder the fans got, the more Saul Weingeroff egged on the Von Brauners. The fans in the studio were ready to riot.
After the police restored order, the studio manager made a beeline for WTVT’s office and marched in to see the station manager. "This has gone too far," he wailed to his superior. "The people who come in to watch are rude, crude and profane. They are disgusting. And those wrestlers, they are a disgrace with their anti-American, pro German antics. Something has to be done."
During the negotiations which followed between Luttrall and WTVT officials, it was decided that a station representative named Russ Benedict would be present on the air with Gordon until further notice.

Excerpt from Chapter 4: Wimpy Beats Pancho
Copyright © Robert Allyn, Pamela S Allyn & Scott Teal
  On the local scene, Buzzie Reutimann was establishing a "Chevrolet" take-over at the "Gate," while Pancho Alvarez was trying to change that with a brand new 1959 Pontiac. Cush Revette, who competed against both Buzzie and Pancho, said Gordon made the races at the "Gate" more fun for the drivers and the fans.
"He asked that the drivers unbuckle, get out of their cars, and lean against the front right fenders before we competed in the feature races," stated Revette, "and then Gordon announced our names and made comments about our cars or motors. In my case, Gordon made a big deal because I was seen drinking buttermilk one time. He went on and on about it to the point that I even put a little buttermilk container on the hood of my car before feature races. For a time, I was sponsored by the University Lounge and Restaurant and I invited the fans to meet me there after the races. Because of Gordon, they actually expected to see me there drinking buttermilk, and seemed surprised to see me drinking a beer. It got to the point that the crowd expected some humorous encounter whenever Gordon introduced me at the track.
"One night, Gordon was at the microphone and yelled at me, ‘Hey, Cush, what time is it?’ I yelled back from the track, ‘It’s nookie time. But right now we have to race.’ The crowd loved it."

Excerpt from Chapter 12: The Doll House
Copyright © Robert Allyn, Pamela S Allyn & Scott Teal
  "One of the guys had a question about a photograph, so I left for a moment to speak with him," said Scooter. "Andre was sitting there at the bar, Dusty was standing there, and then I saw Jody Hamilton who, of course, was wearing his (Assassin) mask. There were so many tuxedos there that it looked like a penguin convention. I finished quickly and came back to rejoin Gordon. By then, he was speaking to another man who had his back to me. As I came around Gordon and looked at the man, I just froze. My fiancé asked, ‘Are you okay? You look like you saw a ghost.’ I barely got out the words, ‘Do you know who that is?’
"My fiance answered, ‘No’
"‘That man hit 755 home runs!’ I replied. It was, indeed, Hank Aaron, the legendary home run king of Major League Baseball. That was the only time in my life that I wished I could pull a baseball out of my ass. I could picture the ball with the number '755' written on it with Hank Aaron’s autograph below. I shook his hand as I said, ‘Hi, Mr. Aaron,’ and probably still had a dumbfounded look on my face. As I looked at Hank and Gordon standing there, I noticed that they were about the same height, but it was apparent that Hank had much bigger biceps. To this day, I still have a clear picture in my mind of the time I stood there chatting with Gordon Solie and Hank Aaron."

Excerpt from Chapter 13: "Don't Make Me Raise My Voice"
Copyright © Robert Allyn, Pamela S Allyn & Scott Teal
  Gordon left WCW with a record of good performance, but he did leave an off-the-job situation hanging over his head. While still with WCW, the company changed Gordon’s flights from Delta to Kiwi. He wasn’t happy about the change. Not only did he and Smoky take vacation trips on Gordon’s Delta frequent flyer miles, but a lot of the attendants knew him. He was a regular and they treated him like one. They would make allowances if he occasionally drank too much, and perhaps even chastise him for lighting a cigarette on a plane. "Gordon used to sneak a wet towel into the bathrooms on the airplanes," said Harley Race. "He used to put the damp towel over the smoke detector and sit in the airplane restroom and smoke cigarettes. Gordon was the reason that the airlines added signs about not tampering with their smoke detectors."
When Gordon learned that some WCW staff members were still flying Delta, he was doubly ticked off. Chip on his shoulder and all, Gordon got on a Kiwi flight and began belting down some drinks, and then fired up a cigarette. When a flight attendant began to reprimand him, she got a strong dose of verbal abuse from him. When airline personnel complained to WCW about Gordon’s behavior, someone at WCW filed that away in their memory for use at a future date.

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Chapter titles and contents

Dedication
Acknowledgements
Foreword
A Note from Gordon's Daughter


1  Loving, Hating, and the FBI
Growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota ... Solie family history ... Saved from drowning by a mysterious stranger ... The stepfather ... A trusted companion ... Super heroes ... Saving money for a new bicycle ... Gardens for Victory ... Jonard begins to rebel ... Sneaking out at night ... The word game ... Stealing a car ... Gordon spends a month in jail ... Jonard joins the Air Force ... Breakfast in Hollywood ... Becoming "Gordon Solie" ... Gordon gets married

2  Cigars, Strawberries, Ovals and Rings
Going to work for WEBK ... Searching for sponsors ... Setting his sights on professional wrestling and stock car racing ... Meeting wrestling promoter Cowboy Luttrall ... Announcing at Speedway Park in Tampa ... A thank you letter from Bing Crosby ... Teaming with Milt Spencer on "Sportsreel" ... Gordon becomes a father ... Trouble at home ... Put in his place by Cowboy Luttrall ... Gordon takes on a "nine-to-five" ... $100 legacy ... On tour with Thrillcade ... Southern Wrestling Alliance ... Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch

3  Cracked by a Potato
Hosting the new pro wrestling television show ... Divorce and remarriage ... Working with the "Dean of Florida Sportscasters" ... Helping develop Golden Gate Speedway ... NASCAR comes to Tampa

4  Wimpy Beats Pancho
Thrill-O-Rama ... Anatomy lessons ... Bringing Figure 8 stock car racing to Tampa ... Gordon's solo flight ... Appointed "Automobile Racing Commissioner of Ybor City" ... The NWA world junior heavyweight title changes hands in Tampa ... Danny Hodge goes fishing ... Gordon buys a fire engine ... Negative media coverage ... Turkey hunting ... Candidate for the Florida State House of Representatives ... The FCC's "equal time" policy ... Stock car racers picket Golden Gate Speedway ... The Buffalo Bomber

5  Solie’s Hog
Hog hunting ... Gordon's trademark closing ... Fan mail ... Dr. Ken Ramey and the Masked Medics ... Accolades from former NWA world heavyweight champion Gene Kiniski ... Technical advancements of "Championship Wrestling from Florida" ... Pulling ribs on the boys ... The Great Malenko and the wrestling bear ... Moving to Solie Road ... Working as technical director for the movie, "Jump" ... Outstanding Citizen award ... Mistaking Joe Frazier for "Bob" ... World title match at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg

6  The Abusive Polack
Eddie Graham blasts St. Petersburg Times newspaper hack ... Family matters ... Quickdraw and Monty ... The Pit Stop ... The alcoholic "gene" ... Threatened by Big Bob

7  N.W.A. — No Women Allowed
Debut on Georgia Championship Wrestling ... "Notice of Apparent Liability" from the FCC ... Refrigerator letters

8  You Say Suplex, I Say Suplay
The "fake" question ... Bicycling television tapes ... Super Bowl of Wrestling ... A target for the media ... The explosive growth of pro wrestling

9  The Great Malenko vs. The Mattress
Wrestling is syndicated on the Satellite Program Network ... Criticism of the Last Tangle in Tampa ... Championship Wrestling from Florida in financial trouble ... Competition for Championship Wrestling from Florida ... Gordon's "liquid lunch" ... Amway distributor ... World Championship Wrestling ... A letter from Jim Barnett ... More competition in Tampa ... The Great Malenko splits with Eddie Graham ... NWA Official Rules of Professional Wrestling ... Gordon appears on Equal Challenge

10  Black Saturday
Starrcade '83 ... Roy Shire exposes the wrestling business ... Television ratings ... Vince McMahon takes over Georgia Championship Wrestling ... Irate wrestling fans sound off ... The ABC's of Wrestling by Chuck Shepherd ... Gordon refuses to wear a tuxedo ... Eddie Graham takes his life

11  Without Benefit of Lubricant
Conflict and politics in the wrestling office ... Co-host of Pro Wrestling This Week ... Jim Crockett Promotions takes over the Florida wrestling promotion ... Negotiating with Global Wrestling Alliance ... Gordon gets the axe ... Paul E. Dangerously "fires" Gordon ... The formation of Florida Championship Wrestling, Inc. ... Discord on the homefront ... Dusty Rhodes buys controlling interest in Pro Wrestling Federation ... "Lionel" (Michael Lebron) calls Gordon's local radio show ... Florida Championship Wrestling on the ropes

12  The Doll House
Praise for Gordon from "J.R." Ross ... Gordon returns to WTBS ... "Vodka on the rocks, no vegetables" ... Pancho Alvarez returns to racing ... Relocating to Palm Harbor, Florida ... More family matters ... Cauliflower Alley Club ... Choreographed tumbling ... The mob ... The "900" line ... Chatting with Hank Aaron ... Gordon drafts a resignation letter to WCW ... Controversy over the Hall of Fame

13  "Don’t Make Me Raise My Voice!"
World Superstars of Wrestling ... Gordon learns to e-mail ... Smoky passes away ... Playing video trivia ... Selling air purifiers ... Gordon's health declines ... Gordon's last interview ... Larynx removal ... The electrolarynx ... Hospice ... Reminiscing with his daughter ... The Dean of Professional Wrestling Announcers passes away

Works Cited
Index

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Feedback

Feedback


  I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed "The Solie Chronicles."  The personal detail of Gordon's life as told by his son-in-law is absolutely incredible.
Being only 26 years of age, I was only able to catch the later work of Gordon's career during his time with Turner and the WCW.  However, I've seen thousands of hours of old tapes and caught up with his career after his passing.  To read your book was simply fascinating and it shed new light on many topics I was curious about.
  While reading it, you seemed as if you were living Gordon's life right along with him through his radio days, his meetings with Eddie Graham, his struggles with his family (as I was reading the book, I was really hoping he would eventually make up with his son Jonard), his drinking, his investments, his love of stock-cars, and into his final days.
  I especially enjoyed the incredible details on Gordon's final years.  I had no idea he started an Internet wrestling program and I remember when he was scheduled to call the infamous "Heroes of Wrestling" Pay-Per-View back in 1999 and was unable to make it due to illness.
  Once again, I commend the detail on how Gordon lived life as a retiree, as I find it very similar to a situation my grandfather was in.  Trying to "find his way" on the computer and still meeting with his friends and having a few drinks after being told not to.
  Tears came over me after reading his final statement, as well.
  Keep up the good work (this is the fourth book I've read that you've helped edit and they just keep getting better) and please thank the Allyn family for their incredlible insight into Mr. Solie's life and for sharing it with the world.

Josh Harvoth, Video Director, Region Sports Network

  I met Gordon Solie in the early '70s, shortly after I was introduced to the wrestling business by Ron and Buddy Fuller.  Sadly, I never really got to know Gordon well enough to call him a close friend, but he accepted me as being part of the Florida organization without question.
  The book goes into great detail of Gordon's love of car racing.  I learned some of the behind the scenes activities of car racing, which was interesting to me even though I have never been a racing fan, but it primarily centered on Gordon's becoming the superstar of professional wrestling's announcers.  Many wrestling fans got their education by watching and listening to Gordon.  Some of these fans didn't know a hammerlock from a hemorrhoid, but by the time the show was over, they had had an education in the art of wrestling and didn't even know it.  The man was a superstar.
  A lot of Gordon's personal life is told in great detail, much of which was known only to his family and close friends.  He had his good points and his bad points, as we all do, which makes him human.  He was always a drinker, but I never knew of a time when he couldn't do his job with the professionalism that people expected.  I remember when he died in 2000.  I was in Tennessee working the independant wrestling circuit and we made sure Gordon received the memorial ten-bell salute for the next two weeks.  And to this day, he is spoken of with reverance by today's announcers and color commentators who never had the honor of actually meeting him.  He was, and always will be, a legend in the sport of professional wrestling.  His voice will never be silenced.
  RIP: Gordon.

Mac McMurray, former referee for Southeastern Championship Wrestling

  I just finished reading "The Solie Chronicles."  I decided to read this book because it was written by Mr. Solie's daughter (Pam), her husband Robert, and wrestling author Scott Teal.  I grew up watching NWA wrestling and was blessed to have access to Mr. Solie every Saturday from both the Sunshine and the Peach states.  This book chronicles Mr. Solie's life and includes memories of his involvement in stock car racing and hundreds of wrestling personalities.  It goes deep into the Florida and Georgia wrestling scene and pulls no punches, taking you behind the curtain to show what pro wrestling was really about.  It chronicles the NWA from its heyday to its tragic demise.  It includes stories about Mr. Solie's relationships with men like Eddie Graham, Dusty Rhodes, Jack Brisco, Ole Anderson, Jim Ross, Ted Turner, and many more.  If you are a fan of the "Dean of Wrestling Announcers," or just wish to relive the glory days of the NWA, you will more than enjoy this book.
Brad Hudson

  Brilliant, Professor!  I fell off the chair with tears in my eyes when I read about the deflating chair.  Back to you, Les!!  So Carson-esque!!!!!!!  That is the funniest bit ever and I can see Gordon doing it. He was portrayed well in the book and I think it was about as factual as you could get.  The last few pages were hard to read, because I was on the phone with Gordon when Pam, Bob and the kids arrived.  He said to me, "Gotta go. Pam just arrived," and I said, "Go! I'll talk to you tomorrow night!"  :-(
Dotty Curtis, wife of wrestling legend Don Curtis

  I consider myself a huge Florida wrestling fan, and have been since about 1975.  At the age of ten, I got turned onto wrestling, and from the first show, I began watching Championship Wrestling from Florida every Saturday night at seven o'clock on Channel 44 WTOG and never missed a show.  As a kid, I enjoyed it so much and tried to act like Dusty Rhodes at school.  Those who know me know Ii do a very good Dusty Rhodes voice.  It was just something I loved so much.  Over the years, I loved the way Gordon Solie called the action.  He was the greatest at what he did.  He made matches like Bubba Douglas vs Reggie Parks sound like the match of the year (no disrespect to either man, but it was usually an undercard match).  I remember Coach John Heath filling in for Gordon one week.  No disrespect to Heath, either, but it just wasn't the same without Gordon.  Today, when I bring up the good old days of Florida wrestling, the first name people remember is Gordon Solie.  Oh, how I miss these days, but I'm fortunate to have a huge library of the old shows from those days and enjoy watching them today.
  The Solie Chronicles is a must-read for every person who claims to be an old-school fan of Florida wrestling.  The book features so many great, detailed behind-the-scenes stories.  I can't say enough good things about the book.  I guarantee it will stir up great memories and will give the reader an inside look at the story of how Gordon got his start in wrestling, not to mention stock car racing.  My hat is off to Bob Allyn, Pamela Allyn, and Scott Teal, who put this book together for people just like me.  Having said that, I will close this note just as Gordon would have by saying, "So long from the Sunshine State."
Ron Weiss
Ocala, Florida


  The truth is, wrestling worst enemy has always been wrestlers.  There are so many individuals that step into the ring or have a part in what the fan sees, that have no business there.  I've checked all of the colleges, universities, and online schooling facilities, and even pre-kindergarden, and have yet to find any program to learn this wonderful love affair with the lady I call the ring.  You see, there are too many pimps in this world that will use anything to make a buck.  I would give you the list, but I won't live long enough to complete it.
  You don't have to have a diploma, doctorate, and in my day, you had to have tights and boots, but those are gone, too.  I bet you wonder where I'm going with this.  Here's where.
  Gordon Solie.  My God.  There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said about this man.  The accolades should go on forever.  Simply a class act.  You see, he was able to do what Vince McMahon has done without all the tv time, glitz and glamour, and the unending money flow that Vince uses to create.  Solie could do it with one word, or without a word, just a look.  You always listened to him.  You turned on the television, and sure, you wanted to see Dusty, the Briscos, the Grahams, and the rest, but the first thing you yearned for was to hear Gordon's voice.  This man was not an announcer, color guy.  He was the show.  Without Gordon, there wasn't a show.  This man, regardless of the situation, gave credibility and believability to whatever was being put on the platter.  You see, Vince, Mr. Solie was the first to make chicken soup out of chicken sh–.  There is NO way anyone will come up with the recipe any better, or even close to what he gave to us weekly.
  I myself watched him for many years, and then going to Florida early in my career, when I had no right even to be near the ring.  In fact, I was a part-time referee and job guy.  But I was hungry.  All he ever gave to anyone was respect, support, and a friendly smile.  My problem was, at the time, I did not feel worthy of even a glance.  I think what I'm trying to tell you guys, is, if you didn't know the man, or have any idea what he was about, or contributed, then you are very fortunate, because there are books, and if there was any book to talk about wrestling, this is the one you should read.  Why?  Because its not a hyped , pushed down your throat, and million-dollar marketed extravaganza of BS ... just this man's thoughts.  If I were to tell you of my many regrets and mistakes in my life, one of the biggest would have to be not taking advantage of this great man's friendship, love and knowledge.  Next week, I will tell you a story about this man, and no, it's not the giggles and smiles I used to give him during a production meeting at Georgia Championship wrestling, when I'd given Ole Anderson (my boss) with no power, a fake tv show on Friday, just so he would go nuts all night and be frothing at the mouth when he came to the meeting on Saturday morning at TBS.  Gordon knew the game I was playing with Ole without me ever saying a word to him.  Ole would rant, spit, and rave and Gordon would play it off like a child had spilt his milk in the high chair.  You see, the class of the man was to enjoy the presentation and the game without spoiling it.  Always to enhance whatever had been given.  He was cool before cool ever happened.  If you look up cool in the dictionary, there is Gordon Solie's picture looking back at you.  Simply put, the best that ever was, or will be.  More so than Gorilla and Heenan, 'cause he never stole the show.  THE man.
  Next week, we will give you my funniest, and I regret to say, most painful memory I've ever done to anyone.  And unfortunately, it was Gordon.  Buy the book, or get off my friend list. .;)

Jake "The Snake" Roberts

  Just wanted to let you know that I finished the book last week and enjoyed it very much.  I remember being able to watch CWF on a Philadelphia UHF station.  Unfortunately it would not come on until 11:30 on a weeknight and I was in high school at the time before there were VCR's.  I was only allowed to watch in the summertime.  Then it seemed to disappear for a while and then returned on Saturdays at one in the afternoon - that was so much better.
  A storyline that made a big impression on me was Bob Roop and I think Bob Orton Jr. "badmouthing" Steve Keirn's Dad who was a returning war veteran or prisoner of war and Keirn flying over the announcer table to get at Roop and a "pier six brawl" happening. Afterwards, Keirn was being interviewed and was practically crying over Roop's actions he was so upset.  I remember thinking, wow, he is really angry.  It seems since then I remember reading somewhere (maybe in one of your fine publications) that Keirn banged up his leg or knee and was in a lot of pain which brought on the tears.  What great times back then.
  Anyway, Gordon Solie was so much better than any announcers I watched locally from the WWWF.  When I tell my kids stories from when I grew up most of them are from the shows I was lucky enough to see that were syndicated.  They were just better shows overall.
  Thanks for reading and so long from the keystone state!

Don Overly

  I wanted to comment on the Solie Chronicles book.  I had the pleasure of meeting Bob and Pam at an event and bought the book.  They are definitely two great people.  The book was truly amazing and a wonderful insight into the life and times of the greatest wrestling announcer ever.  It was beautifully written with nothing held back.  A must read for any true wrestling fan.  It is definitely not a canned book that was "ghost written" and then passed off as being wrote by the wrestler.  In other words, if you are looking for a WWE book, then this book is not for you.  This book is for fans of old-school wrestling, not the stuff that is passed off today as sports entertainment.  Thanks again, Bob and Pam, for sharing your knowledge of a great man.  GOD bless.
Barry Jones

  I grew up in Miami, Florida and was a huge CWF fan for many years (I'm 48 years old now).  Jack Brisco was, and still is, one of my heroes.  But who can think about CWF without thinking of the raspy voice of Gordon Solie ...
  "Waaait a minute, waaait a minute ... Dusty Rhodes has just hit the ring.  Dusty Rhodes has just hit the ring and we have pier 6 brawl.  Rhodes and Leduc slugging it out in a pier 6 brawl.  Great day in the morning.  That would have ripped the head off the average man!"
Solie: You seem to have quite a bit of disregard for the rules Mr. Leduc.
Leduc: We don't care bout de rules.  We are citizen of de worl' ... you dink we not learn how to fight dirty in the Lumber Camp?  We don't got no rules, Solie.
Solie: Indeed.
Leduc: So whatcha dink bout dat Solie?  Eh?  Whatch dink?
Solie: Well, I am not impressed Mr. Leduc, and I think Dusty Rhodes will say it much better than I can in the ring.
(Leduc, frustrated, starts to backhand Gordon)
Solie: Hold on right there, Mr. Leduc!  I can assure you that you will rue the day you ever lay a hand on me sir!
  What a great gift he had, and as I think back over all those times in the Miami Beach Convention Center on Wednesday nights, and on TV on Saturdays at noon, I smile.
  And the book was signed, too!  What a bonus!
  Pam (ladies first), Bob and Scott — Thanks for all you've done to preserve this great time in our lives.

Walter Willis

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Media Appearances by the authors

Schedule media appearances

——  AUDIO & PRINT INTERVIEWS  ——

Bill Apter-Gordon Solie Review on YouTube
Chris Scramm, SLAM Wrestling
Mr. Media, Bob Andelman
James Walsh, Wrestling Epicenter
Lance Russell
Casey Carnage-The Carnage Crew
Jobber Joe, Roundtable Wrestling Radio
Jim Varsallone, The Miami Herald
Bob D’Angelo, The Tampa Tribune/Tampa Bay Online
Ron’s World of Classic NWA Wrestling
Matt and Ben-Uncensored Wrestling Radio
Katie B. Davis, The Gainesville Times
John Gray, The Real Side of Wrestling
Mike Trash, Trash Talking Radio
Mike Mooneyham, Charleston Post-Courier
Alex Marvez's weekly look at professional wrestling (Scripps Howard News Service)
Earl Oliver's Solie's Vintage Wrestling
Joey and Audrey Roberts of Georgia Old School Wrestling
Rich Tate and Les Thatcher, Georgia Wrestling History Radio Network
Nick Anthony, Online World of Wrestling Radio
Eric Cohen, About.com: Professional Wrestling

When It Was Real
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