Friday, January 20, 2012

Peach State Pandemonium [Weekly Podcast]

The Good
At a time when I was regularly listening to ten different podcasts, this was always amongst my favorites. The main host changed a few times early on, before settling on Michael Norris. The regular co-hosts are Jerry Oates and Bobby Simmons. Some of you may be asking, who are these gentlemen? Norris worked as a pro-wrestler back in the day and has an amazing knowledge base. Oates was part of a great team with his brother Ted and worked all over the South and a few other places. Simmons worked in the office for Ann Gunkel and Jim Barnett, he also worked and refereed. Though not the most famous trio, these three have great chemistry and can do shows by themselves if need be with no wasted time. The guests they've had on range from the well-known (in their day) like Dutch Savage, Don & Jackie Fargo and Billy Wicks to the somewhat obscure like Sweet Daddy Banks, El Mongol and Jim Lancaster. The are a number of regulars who call in and provide great stories and insight like Joe Turner & Bill Bowman, former referee Charlie Smith and most notably Dick Steinborn. It is an amazingly informative show that covers history often left unexplored in the podcasting and shoot interviewing world. While the show is "supposed to" focus on Georgia, they certain go all over the place. Jerry Oates worked in practically every Southern territory, had several Japanese tours and a notable run in Portland. Norris grew up on Gulf Coast wrestling and regularly focuses on that often forgotten area. The show regularly features a unique theme such as journeyman wrestlers, famous publications or looking back at those who have passed on. They also get into side tangents about things like wrestling boots, pay-offs and all manner of humorous ribs and road stories. This podcast may seem kind of homespun and folksy, but it is among the most insightful and unique out there. A must-listen for any serious pro-wrestling historian.

The Bad
I suppose there are a number of things about this podcast that could drive some people crazy. It is not of the highest production value quality. There is plenty of retelling of the same stories by the hosts and frequent guests. They talk about plenty of non-wrestling issues from the plight of the Atlanta Falcons to Jerry's adventures as a dog-catcher! I think it takes a while before you really enjoy the show for what it is. If you only listen once or twice, you might find it less than impressive.

The Rating: *****

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