Memphis music historian Ron Hall created a whole audience for the over-the-top Memphis garage rock scene of the ‘60s & early ‘70s with his two books: Playing for a Piece of the Door: A History of Garage & Frat Bands, 1960-1975 and The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook as well as two compendium CD’s. The compilation CD’s gathered unbelievably rare lost 45 gems from many of the bands featured in the books. Not only did the books break all garage rock book sales records, they also revitalized the historic Memphis garage rock scene and helped many of the bands re-form 35 or 40 years later!
Now Hall has turned his attention to the also-amazing Memphis wrassling world — pre-cable, bleached hair, and steroids–with a new book Sputnik, Masked Men, & Midgets: The Early Days of Memphis Wrestling to be published by Shangri-La Projects in September, 2009. Memphis wrassling WAS the roots and forerunner of the WWF and the WWE. Many of the giants of the corporate cable wrestling world first wrestled in Memphis–including Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Hart, Lance “Banana Nose” Russell, and many others. But before Lawler, in Memphis, there was Sputnik Monroe, Jackie Fargo, Don and Al Greene, Tojo Yamamoto, and Plowboy Frazier. Why do you think Andy Kaufman put his multi-million dollar career as a comedian and actor on hold? To come be a part of the greatest wrassling territory in the U.S., of course (and to wrestle Memphis women as well!)
Hall’s book captures the insanity of the ring and the outrageous costumes and get-ups of the wildest and most original wrestling era. The book contains over 400 images of wrestlers, programs, advertisements, and other Memphis wrassling ephemera. Any professional wrestling fan must own this book!
If that is not enough, the King of Memphis, Jerry “The King” Lawler adds his thoughts about early Memphis wrestling in the book’s introduction! But, wait, there’s more…
Additionally, Hall’s book includes some of the most amazing early 1950s never-before-published live action Memphis wrestling photos from the Robert Dye, Sr. collection.
And, like all crazy releases from Shangri-la Projects, this book comes with still even more: a cd of rare recorded gems from Sputnik Monroe, Handsome Jimmy Valiant, & Len Rossi–among others!!!!
This book is a must-have for any & all wrestling fans. Read more about it at Ron Hall’s Early Memphis Wrestling Blog.
Available September, 2009! Order yours now & it will ship before your neighbors get it!