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The Solie Chronicles [Kindle Edition]

Robert Allyn , Pamela Allyn , Scott Teal
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.95


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Book Description

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], 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

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Editorial Reviews


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

Product Details

  • File Size: 994 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Crowbar Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009N0FR9W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental and Historic April 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am so glad that The Solie Chronicles is on Kindle. The book brought me back to my days of youth when times were simple and fun. As I am a bit older these days, quite a bit older in fact, I was able to enjoy the story behind the scenes in the life of Gordon Solie. He is the real deal and what he has left behind will continue to entertain people for generations to come. Thank you for sharing his story with us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A trip down memory lane September 2, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great read about an interesting man who has provided me with many fond memories of watching wrestling in the 60s and 70s.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Subject April 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gordon Solie was the 'Dean of Professional Wrestling Announcers' for many years, who presented it as a straight up sport, and did so in a way that allowed the viewer to easily slip into the suspension of disbelief required to take it that way. As a wrestling fan exposed to Mr, Solie via Georgia Championship Wrestling, I was looking forward to finding out more about the man behind the microphone.

There are plenty of anecdotes about the life and times of Mr. Solie; unfortunately that leads to my gripe about the book, and the lower rating. The book reads like a bunch of folks sitting around reminiscing and telling stories about Mr. Solie - instead of a biography, if feels (to me anyway) like a Gordon Solie Roundtable. Every paragraph could begin with "Remember the time...?" and it would feel about the same way. It's a stylistic gripe, certainly, and for all I know that was the intent of the authors and editors. For me,however, it detracted from the "quality" of the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Professional Wrestling April 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a honest perspective with a time line on the life of Gordon Solie. Too bad Gordon wasn't located out on the west coast or NYC. He would have excelled in any sport he called. If you are a race car fan , Gordon was one of the founding fathers of Florida racing. I wish when the super leagues of wrestling started , they could have found a more prominent place for Gordon. Unlike today's announcers , he gave you a reason to believe. Great Book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Tampa Bay, Racing, And Rasslin' December 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just downloaded this book for Kindle today. Could NOT put it down until I got to the end of it. Great not just if you are a wrestling fan, but if you're also an auto racing fan as well.

The book is also quite a history lesson about local Tampa Bay area media, and the prominent players and stations in it throughout Gordon's career.

The "game" passed Gordon by through no fault of his, really. Amazed that the book kept Bob Roop's accounts of Solie within the book, as he really didn't have anything good to say about Gordon at the end. But in all relationships, there is always the chance of a disagreement threatening any friendship and/or partnership. Can't be too tough on Mr. Solie, we all have our moments of greatness and moments that aren't as great.
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