Thursday, April 18, 2019

The "Red Cover"

This is the cover of a photo album sold at the wrestling events in 1974, one of two distinct issues that year with this theme. Known to collectors as "the Red Cover", there was also a second photo album released that year (known as "the Blue Cover").

The album featured about 16 pages of black and white promotional photos of the wrestlers of that era including Johnny Valentine, Rip Hawk, Swede Hansen, Johnny Weaver, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, and many others. Even a very young Ric Flair, his first year in the territory.

One of the distinguishing features of this issue that makes it special to collectors is the designation on the cover "Produced by Ringley and Crockett." John Ringley, then married to Frances Crockett, had been pegged to run the company following the death of Jim Crockett Sr. in 1973. Up until that point, the company Ringley & Crockett, Inc. had handled all the non-wrestling related promotions of Jim Sr.'s empire including concerts, Globetrotters basketball, fishing tournaments, etc. It appeared that perhaps now that company name would absorb the wrestling related business as well, or maybe not. Perhaps it was just going to undertake the publishing of the photo albums, magazines, and programs.

Regardless, it wasn't long after this particular album was published that John Ringley and Frances Crockett divorced, and the wrestling business was known from that point forward solely as Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc.