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MP3 Audio Clips
Billy Powell Promotional Spot Sample
from the Early 80s
1974 Inserted Spot
Actual 30 sec. inserted spot for a
Greenville show by Billy Powell. Billy is promoting an 11/4/74 card in
Greenville featuring a fence match between former partners Swede Hanson
and Rip Hawk. Notice how Powell puts a great local touch to his promos,
reminding people of the turn-away crowd at the last show and to get
their tickets early for the show on Monday night. Powell sold lots of
tickets over the years for Jim Crockett Promotions.
(Audio Clip courtesy Kent Smith.
Newspaper clipping from Mark Eastridge)
Promoter Paul Winkhaus
Winkhaus was the promoter in Greenville and
surrounding area for Jim Crockett Sr. in the 1950s and 1960s.
Billy Powel with Dick Shannon in the ring
in Greenville SC, 1973.
BILLY POWELL PAGE IN THE POTPOURRI SECTION
The main venue promoted by Greenville
television was the
Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
Visit this special section on that great
WFBC (now WYFF) was home to wrestling TV tapings from roughly 1958
through1962. The shows were generally taped on Tuesday or Wednesday
night and aired on WFBC the following Saturday. Bill Krieger was the
first host, followed by Bob Poole. Billy Powell did color
and continued doing local Greenville promos for the next 25 years.
Bill Krieger was sports director for WFBC at the time promoter Jim
Crockett (Sr.) asked him to host the new TV tapings at the local
studio. No photos of the ring set up in the studio are known to exist,
but both Krieger and Billy Powell report that it was a very small studio
with two small bleachers on two sides of the ring, accommodating roughly
"Wally Dusek would bring the ring each week and set it up," Krieger told
the Gateway. "Some of the big names at that time that I remember
wrestling at channel 4 were George Becker, Mike Piadousis, Gorgeous
George, Ivan the Terrible, and others. Jim Crockett would come by
regularly as we got started, but wouldn't stay for the whole taping."
"Bill Malendoski was the director for the studio wrestling show," Billy
Powell told the Gateway. "The small studio also hosted cooking shows and
the weather broadcast, which was in a different studio than the news
Billy Powell, who was an institution for wrestling fans on WFBC TV and
radio, was also the long time ring announcer for Jim Crockett Promotions
at the weekly Monday night cards at the
Memorial Auditorium and also was ring announcer at the old Textile Hall
which was home to many Greenville cards. Powell also did two 1-minute
local promotional spots during "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling"
from 1975-1985 that were in addition to the two 2:20 promotional spots that were taped
each week in Raleigh. The Raleigh-produced spots featured the wrestlers,
but the two WFBC spots simply featured Billy Powell's friendly,
welcoming voice on top of a very old-school wrestling graphic (seen
above left.) Billy
would remind fans of what happened last Monday night at the Auditorium
and would invite you down for this coming week's event.
For fans in the Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville market, Billy Powell's
voice was as much a part of the experience as the voices of TV hosts Bob
Caudle and David Crockett. His was the voice that those fans trusted the
most. When his local promos were discontinued in the mid-80s, wrestling
on WFBC lost that personal touch that Powell gave it. Several years later
they tore down the Memorial Auditorium and "local" wrestling was gone
forever in Greenville. -Dick
Special thanks to Billy Powell and Bill Kreiger for speaking with the
Gateway for this feature. Thanks also to Don Holbrook, Carroll Hall,
Kent Smith, Greg Price, Mark Eastridge and
Steve Bomar (Business Manager at WYFF) for their assistance with this
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The station went on the air on December 31,
1953, as WFBC-TV, South Carolina's fifth television station. It was
owned by the Peace family, publishers of the Greenville News and
Greenville Piedmont, along with WFBC-AM-FM. For its first two years of
operation, its studios were located on Paris Mountain before moving to
its current location on 505 Rutherford Street in 1955. Norvin Duncan was
the station's first news anchor, moving from the radio side.
During the 1960s, personalities from channel
4 included Dave Partridge and Jim Phillips, better known as the radio
voice of the Clemson Tigers (who died in 2003). Locally televised color
programming also began in February 1967. In 1968, the Peace family media
holdings were reorganized as Multimedia, Inc., with WFBC-AM-FM-TV as the
In the mid 1970s the famous Arrow 4 logo
was introduced and was used in one form or another for many years.
Later, in 1979, the famous 'Your Friend Four' slogan was
In 1983, Pulitzer Publishing bought WFBC-TV
from Multimedia and changed the call letters to WYFF-TV (We're Your
Friend Four). The station's logo also changed in 1983.
NewsCenter 4 became simply known as News 4
in the 1990s. The "arrow 4" logo was dropped by 1991.
In 1999 Hearst-Argyle bought Pulitzer's entire television division,
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