Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Mouth of the South

Back in the 60's, Jimmy Hart was a member of the Gentrys, who had one big hit with "Keep On Dancin". This song originally clocked in at just over 1 minute, which was viewed as too short for a hit. A fade, a drum roll and a repeat of the song was added and it became amillion seller, climbing to #4 on the charts.
After the group disbanded, Hart tried to reform the Gentrys with himself as lead singer. This incarnation had a few minor singles, but Hart's real success started when he did some backup singing for Jerry 'the King' Lawler, a professional wrestler.
Once Hart got involved in wrestling, his career blossomed. Hart has done it all in wrestling, including writing hundreds of the entrance themes of the wrestlers. Hart is known for his colorful jackets as well as his megaphone. He is also known as one of the most brilliant and dedicated wrestling personalities.
Hart appeared in Lerner Newspapers' NIE ad series. Upon meeting him for the first time in Tampa (FL) in 2005, I introduced myself, mentioning the NIE ad. Hart grabbed the attention of several wrestlers near us and recited his quote. Then he thanked me for letting him be a part it.
I have met him several times since and he alwways remembers me. This is just the kind of guy he is. At many signing appearances, I have seen him tirelessly pose and sign stuff well beyond his announced time slot. Hart never seems to stop until every last fan is satisfied. He is a credit to wrestling.
Jimmy Hart and me in Kokomo, IN-October 2006.

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