Jimmy Hart Says Everybody In Wrestling Wanted To Make Music, Reflects on WrestleMania 3

Jimmy Hart

WWE Hall of Fame performer Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart was a recent keynote speaker at a business function emceed by former Philadelphia Radio personality and VOC Nation founder Bruce Wirt. Hart discussed his start in wrestling, his experience working WrestleMania 3 and more.  Here are some highlights, transcription credit of VOC Nation:

On getting into wrestling and working with Andy Kaufman: 

Hart: “One day when I got off one of our tours – after about a six year tour with the Gentrys – a guy by the name of Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler [reached out to me.]”

“We kind of hooked up together, and I helped him on a wrestling album, and we became really, really good friends back then.  We had a great run, we did all the stuff with the late, great Andy Kaufman – I managed Andy Kaufman for a couple of years when he was in Memphis…it was such a great thrill for me to be with Andy back in the day because who knew where this was going to take any of us back in the day.  But finally Jerry Lawler and Andy wind up on David Letterman’s show, and that’s where you had the slap heard around the world back then.  It hit breaking news all over the world.” 

On making it to the WWE: 

Hart: “I was [in Memphis] for about six years and all of the sudden, I got a phone call from New York City.  A guy named Howard Finkel, who was a great wrestling emcee up there, commentator, [and] ring announcer.  [He was] looking at some tapes one day, and he saw these tapes of a guy named Jimmy Hart down in Memphis, TN.  So he [sent] it to Vince [McMahon]; Vince saw the tapes, and he brought me into New York.  When I went to New York, I was on the very first WrestleMania… WrestleMania 3 was great, but WrestleMania 1 was the most important one because if that had not been successful, I would not be sitting here talking to you guys now.”

On working with David Wolff on the early wrestling albums: 

Hart: “It’s so funny about the wrestling business and the music business.  It seemed like everybody in wrestling wanted to be in music [and]  everybody in music wanted to be in wrestling.  When I first went to New York to appear on the first WrestleMania, I got a chance to meet a guy named Dave Wolff.  Dave Wolff was the manager of Cyndi Lauper back then.  So Dave Wolff was going to cut a wrestling album…we wrote a few songs for our first wrestling album, and that led to a second wrestling album, and we kind of got into the clique of the rock and wrestling situation that was happening in New York back at that time.  It’s kind of funny how (my) career started in music, went to wrestling, and wound up back in music and wrestling again.”

On WrestleMania 3: 

Hart: “I was really thrilled about it because I had three matches on that card.  I had the match with the Honky Tonk Man against Jake Roberts, and in Jake’s corner there was Alice Cooper… then we had the Hart Foundation with Danny Davis [as] the referee against the British Bulldogs and Tito Santana, and then last but not least, we had Adrian Adonis against Rowdy Roddy Piper in a hair versus career match.  And so I had three big matches on that [show.]  I was a nervous wreck just trying to remember everything I was going to do…I changed jackets on every match, too, and two of them were back to back, so I was kind of like Houdini on that.  But to have 93,000 plus people outdoors (with) no social media back then…it was an undertaking that Vince had a dream for and it came through.”

A link to the episode is available here, and it is also accessible below.

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