Texas Rasslin’ at the Sportatorium — 1959
by Paula Bosse
by Paula Bosse
Ed McLemore and the Sportatorium. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. McLemore owned the Sportatorium (at Cadiz and Industrial) and was a successful promoter of both professional wrestling and up-and-coming hillbilly and rock ‘n’ roll musicians. The wrestlers and the musicians all performed centerstage in the Sportatorium ring (on different nights, but I’m sure McLemore must have at least day-dreamed about having some sort of offbeat tag-team bout featuring all of his clients in the ring at the same time). The Sportatorium was very, very popular, with crowds showing up for both wrestling matches and the legendary Big D Jamboree music shows, as well as boxing matches and a variety of other events.
This 1959 ad mentions a few of the musicians McLemore managed at the time, the biggest of whom was Sonny James (read about Sonny James’ years in Dallas in the Flashback Dallas post “Sonny James: The ‘Shindig Heartbreaker'”). Also listed were Johnny Carroll, the Belew Twins, Rozena Eads, Eddy McDuff, and Bill Dane.
The ad appears to be urging people to head to the Sportatorium because it’s got way more going on than boring old television!
Have you noticed the swing is to “Texas Rasslin”
No Murders!! No Guns!! No Quizzes!!
We do have heroes and villains in terrific fast action!
New Lighting — New Angles — New Dimensions — First Runs & Reruns
Sources & Notes
Ad and bio of Ed McLemore from the 1959 Radio Annual Television Yearbook.
Check out some vintage wrestling footage from the Sportatorium in 1960 here.
Check out vintage footage of the Big D Jamboree here.
More on the Sportatorium can be found in various Flashback Dallas posts here.
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