Mouth of the South:
The Jimmy Hart Story

by Jimmy Hart

Description: A friend actually sent me this book saying he figured it'd be something up my alley. I personally wasn't ever a huge fan of Jimmy Hart, but let me say his book is something else.

Okay the technical stuff about the autobiography "The Mouth of the South" The Jimmy Hart Story is published by ECW Press; ISBN 1-55022-595-2,6 x 9", 300 pp, paper, 100 b&w photos throughout. With a color set inside the copy I got anyway. It's actually kind of short compared to some of the other releases out there today, but it's cover to cover about the stuff wrestling fans like to know. With a few surprises.
In the foreword section we got some words from Hulk Hogan, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Bret Hart. I'll just say I'm not a huge Hogan fan but his words set up the rest of the book and he says something that you just have to know is true. The early section of the book is devoted to the early life of Jimmy Hart. Which is surprisingly WAY more infesting than it should have been. Jimmy Hart gives an excellent read recalling his time with the 60's rock band The Gentrys and about his early music career which was stuff I didn't know about. When you read it, because you have to, take note about his meeting Elvis Presley and Little Richard. Good stuff right from the Mouth.

The bulk of Hart's recollection of his wrestling career of course covers his well published and known career in Memphis. The names and the memories he shares with us are something that just makes you wish there were cameras there to catch every bit of it. Hart tells it all in a very humble way, which is surprising considering the character we've all came to know Hart to be. His hand in the infamous Kaufman and Lawler conflict is probably the highlight, but also quite a few interesting stories are told about what it was like to be an entertainer in the 'territory days' of professional wrestling.

Then of course he covers the WWF portion of his career. A great backstage story about a conflict between The Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau shed a lil' light into stuff that maybe quite a few of us never had a clue about. So the finish of the book notes how Jimmy became an important part of Hulk Hogan's career in and out of the ring while Jimmy of course says it right out of "The Mouth of the South".

Why read it? Well not only does Hart share some wrestling history with us, he also shares it from a unique point of view that I've not read any where else. Hart stays tasteful and informative, and of course there's enough humor and nostalgia to keep it interesting. I read this book in one setting and that doesn't happen often with biographies. Being an old school wrestling fan it really just made me feel like I fell into an era that I wasn't even born to see. So I'm confident no matter what era of wrestling you're a fan of, there's something in this book for you.

Rating: All in all and 8 out of 10 as far as biographys go. I'd like to have seen another chapter just on the wrestling stories personally and I think that would have made the appeal of the book to the general audience that much stronger. So checks it.

Reviewed by The Burn on February 22, 2005.

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