Since the late 1800s, professional wrestling has turned out many high-profile stars. But one of the most well-known personalities wasn’t even a wrestler. He was a commentator and announcer named Gordon Solie.
Now author Bob Allyn, with help from co-authors Pamela S. Allyn (Gordon Solie’s Daughter) and Scott Teal, aims to enrich wrestling fans with the life and times of this legendary broadcaster, who died in 2000 at the age of 71.
Published by Crowbar Press, The Solie Chronicles takes fans on a wild ride behind-the-scenes in the world of professional wrestling. All sorts of personalities make their way into Allyn’s book about Solie—everyone from wrestlers like Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes and Hulk Hogan to “The Voice of Florida wrestling,” Shannon Rose.
Famous dead-pan style interviews and colorful play-by-play broadcasts of wrestling led to Solie’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).
It’s been said of Solie’s influence and stature, “Gordon calling a world championship match was like Al Michaels or Bob Costas calling a Super Bowl or World Series … just a perfect fit!” Author Allyn says, “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’s written as a testament to a man who made his mark in many endeavors,” Allyn says.
The bulk of the book’s content is drawn from interviews with 65 people from all walks of life who knew Gordon best: family and friends; stock car drivers; professional wrestlers; referees and promoters; journalists; commentators, broadcasters, and photographers.
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 radio in Ybor City, Florida. By starting his own radio sports interview program, Gordon made key contacts in professional wrestling and stock car racing.
Subsequently, Solie set a course and made a major impact on the development of professional wrestling, along with being closely associated with national auto thrill show tours, stock car racing on Florida’s Suncoast, and ultimately, becoming the host for the highest-rated show on the largest cable network in America.
For more information about Gordon Solie’s biography, visit HERE