Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wrestling As You Like It July 10, 1954 / Gorgeous George Redux

Looking at Doc Lomazow's Magazine History blog today in a continued discussion on early television guide magazines, I am prompted to return to a 1950 magazine I posted in April of this year here. Steve's discussion of Chicago as a pioneering TV city reminded me of the TV listings in that early issue of Wrestling as You Like It I scanned and to realize that a more recent issue I scanned from 1954 no longer included these listings. I guess that the need for TV listings had passed on from wrestling lovers into the general population during this time and that the surge in circulation for TV Forecast might have made the TV listings in WAYLI redundant. I'll have to get some intervening issues to determine exactly when the mag stopped publishing the TV listings.

But on to the man of the hour! Gorgeous George! You plebes are not worthy! My grappling partner McCoy did the edit work on this issue, so thanks to go to him for rasslin whatever paper I send his way.

Scrollable Image

Wrestling As You Like It v06n44 (1954-07-10.Wayli)(Darwination vs McCoy).cbr
Get the scan here.

Here's George on the cover, all pomp and circumstance, leering down at the unwashed masses. Good copy, no doubt, having this taunting goldilocks on the cover probably sold quite a few issues.

Since my initial post on Gorgeous George, I had the good fortune to come across John Capouya's 2008 book Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture. Large claims, but the book does a pretty good job of explaining his giant impact on James Brown, Ali, and Bob Dylan three giants of American culture if there ever were. A very fun read, my one gripe is that it was over too soon. A lot of the best insights come from interviews with his first wife, Betty, who had a large part in the phenomenon. Very cool to see the guy get a bio, a great look into the old days of wrestling. I liked the book so much I sent it off as a gift to my stepdad, but before I sent it, I just had to scan this pic of George getting a do and reading a copy of The Ring. I love pictures of celebs reading magazines, and this is a classic.

Capouya's book includes a nice 16 page photo section that has some cool pics. I think the paperback is coming out soon, a great gift for a particular generation. I encounter and experience all manners of nostalgia as a magazine scanner from a wide variety of people with a wide variety of interests, but I can safely say that the response I've gotten from the small portion of people out there that download the wrestling scans is very energetic indeed. A whole generation of wrestlers have faded from the wrestling spotlight but aren't forgotten by the kids who watched them...

Anyways, on to tonight's scan. Another nice issue of WAYLI gives a snapshots of wrestling happenings in cities across the country when wrestling still meant all sorts of leagues and circuits and flavors in all parts of the nation. This issue even has an expose on wrestling in India which I've heard a story or two of being very popular back in the first half of the century. This mag has a feature onNielsen and Lisowski, a north-south tag team, news of Verne Gagne's title defense in Chicago, and a story of the Dusek brother's retaining the tag title in KC and more. Wrestling As You Like It is always a fun and dignified little read at 16 pages.

Sample. Mildred Burke. I've heard some strange stories about this icon of women's wrestling. I kind of like the tough looking girls in wrestling. There are some modern girl grapplers that are cute and athletic, but it sure seems like a lot of the girls go the way of silicone. I like the girl wrestlers with a natural beauty.

TAP OUT, TAP OUT, just when you can't take anymore - I'll return next time with another vintage wrestling pub sure to interest fans of the golden age of wrestling, sort of a who's who of the wrestling world c. 1950. Though I said I was gonna stay off the themes, I think I'll post a couple more wrestling scans from this period to fill out the stage. I've got some real goodies on the scanner these days in preparation for some posts on early girlie pulps and risque humor mags, so many mags, so little time! ! !

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