There are moments when a star is born, and on February 12, 1985 Jimmy Hart debuted in the WWF at a television taping in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Known for always having a megaphone and his nasally high voice, Hart quickly carved out a comfortable niche as “The Mouth of the South” and one of the best managers in professional wrestling history.
Born to be on the mic
Jimmy Hart is a man of many talents, one of which happens to be as a musician. In 1965, he was part of the rock group The Gentrys where they had a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 called “Keep on Dancing.”
He broke into wrestling thanks to Jerry “The King” Lawler, who he had attended Memphis Treadwell High School together. Their careers would continue side by side though Memphis Wrestling as Hart eventually build a stable of future WWE talents and Hall of Famers and became a legitimate commodity in the wrestling world.
A fun story during this time involves Lawler giving him the nickname “The Wimp,” and a spoof of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” called “Wimpbusters,” featuring a singing Lawler (who knew, right?)
Hart got his start in the WWF thanks to his friend Hillbilly Jim talking to Vince McMahon. It didn’t take Hart long to take off as a manager between his eye for talent and his megaphone that he used to give instructions and annoy ring announcers like Gorilla Monsoon and Vince McMahon. Of course, heel announcers like Jesse “The Body” Ventura loved him. It was also an effective weapon, which helped many of his clients win their matches, much to the chagrin of the face announcers.
Some of his most notable clients were Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (during his Intercontinental Championship run), Brutus Beefcake (pre-barber), The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Bret Hart — no relation), The Honky Tonk Man, Money Inc. (“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Irwin R. Schyster), The Mountie, Adrian Adonis, Dino Bravo, and Hulk Hogan.
Contribution to wrestling soundtracks
Jimmy Hart also brought his musical talent to the WWF following his debut by composing entrance music for The Honky Tonk Man, Jimmy Snuka, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannety), The Hart Foundation, Crush, The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, Ted Dibiase, Sting, and nWo Wolfpac.
He also added the themes for SummerSlam ’88 (which was reused for early Royal Rumble events), and WrestleMania 6 (which was also used for 7, 8, 9, 10. His most popular (arguably) one is Shawn Michaels’ “Sexy Boy” theme.
What’s really cool is many of these themes have stood the test of time and bring us to our feet when we hear them at live events.
Like many other performers, there’s no doubt Jimmy Hart would’ve made a name for himself in other promotions, but he may not have had the reach or diversity he’s enjoyed with the WWE and later WCW.
What would professional wrestling history be without the music we’ve come to know, love, and expect? It’s like the NFL without NFL Films; it just doesn’t feel right. And it’s all thanks to Jimmy Hart making his WWF Debut in 1985.
SUBSCRIBE NOW: Get TheOvertimer’s Hottest Stories, Breaking News and Special Features in your email, CLICK HERE!