Thursday, March 11, 2021

Got To Have Lovin': New Theme Music and Set Debut for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (1979)

There were lots of great music themes over the years for Jim Crockett Promotions TV shows, but likely the most remembered is the 1979-1986 theme for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. 

The music was an edit from a 1978 European disco hit titled "Got to Have Loving" by French writer/arranger Don Ray (real name Raymond Donnez.) It was the only single from Ray's solo album "The Garden of Love." 

The new theme debuted on the February 10, 1979 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (taped February 7 at WRAL studios in Raleigh.) It played across the same familiar "four square" opening that had debuted back in 1977. 

Here is the opening as it played out each week in your living room:

The complete Don Ray track can be found on YouTube (along with the complete album, too.)

That February show also debuted the familiar set that would be used on the Mid-Atlantic tapings through the remaining years at WRAL and then moved and used in modified formation at the smaller WPCQ studio in Charlotte. It was discarded all together when production moved out to the arenas in July 1983.

The set included a new standing-desk for hosts Bob Caudle and David Crockett, with a gorgeous textured background that included the new moniker "Mid-Atlantic Championship Sports" in raised block letters and a map that included two more states (West Virginia, Georgia) than the previous map and logo used on the 1974-1979 set.

Another big change going forward that began with this show was that introductions for matches would no longer be conducted from inside the ring, but instead by Bob Caudle as he would turn in front of a blue-screen NWA logo. That blue screen allowed a chroma key effect to be used, showing the wrestlers in the ring during their introduction. This set up would be used for the duration of the studio shows, and I've always thought it was a big mistake to make that change. The fans in the studio audience never reacted to Caudle's introductions like they had done over the years for Joe Murnick (or the Murnick boys) because Bob couldn't be easily heard by the fans. Most of the time it made for very flat reactions to the introductions.

Sadly, Don Ray's classic disco theme was removed from the episodes of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that air on the WWE Network and replaced with a more generic sounding production cut.

But the winds of change were blowing with new music, a new set, and a new method for ring introductions, making the taping on February 7, 1979 one for the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling television history books.

Related links:
Wide World Wrestling Theme Music (1975-1978)
World Wide Wrestling Theme Music (1986-1988)

Three Seconds: Mystery Wrestlers on the Mid-Atlantic Open (1977-1883)

Originally published 3/1/21 on the Studio Wrestling website. Research by Dick Bourne. Some information taken from David Chappell's Mid-Atlantic Gateway Almanac.