Monday, January 11, 2016

Cornette: Tuesday Night at the Gardens

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Following in the footsteps of earlier books "Rags, Paper & Pins" and "The Midnight Express Scrapbook," the Louisville Slugger Jim Cornette hits another home run with "Tuesday Night at the Gardens: Pro Wrestling in Louisville."
Cornette and Mark James' new book (which actually came out early fall of 2015) examines the history of pro wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky, during perhaps the hottest period there 1970-1975. The famed Louisville Gardens hosted wrestling on Tuesday nights.

In typical fashion like Cornette's earlier collections of memorabilia and history, this one is loaded, too. Over 500 photos, newspaper articles, and programs grace the pages of this massive 275-page collection, all tied together by the wit and wisdom (and historical reflection) of the one and only James E. Cornette.

I'm a huge fan of the territory era in professional wrestling and welcome most every opportunity to learn more about the territories I'm less familiar with. The Memphis territory is one of those. Over the years, my friend Dave Millican has schooled me on the great history there, and I've enjoyed seeking out old footage and TV tapes. Now Cornette completes that education with his books. Cornette's earlier "Rags, Paper, and Pins" is a terrific collection of photographs and memorabilia from the Memphis territory broadly, where-as "Tuesday Night at the Gardens" looks at one city in that territory in about as complete a way as one wrestling city could ever be covered.

Cornette not only educates you on the historical events in Louisville that led to the boom period of 1970-1975 he covers in great detail in the book, he delivers all the details of the broader, extremely complicated, evolution of the promotional wars in that whole area involving the Gulas and Jarrett families and all the rest. It's a fascinating read.

Being a big fan of old wrestling venues, I also particularly enjoyed the entire chapter devoted to the building itself - the historic Louisville Gardens.

Co-author Mark James puts it all together in a beautiful, well organized, thoughtful, and complete look at a wrestling city as has ever been put together.

Full details on "Tuesday Night at the Gardens" are available at Cornette's website at Order directly from Jim and receive a free 2-hour DVD of rare, historic footage from the Louisville Gardens from 1970-1975. The book is also available on