FAQ: The Music

Can you tell me what entrance song was used by [insert wrestler's name here] or which wrestler used [insert song title here] for his entrances?

Yep.  Here's our latest attempt to list all the songs ever associated, in one way or another, with WCCW.  It's been expanded to include some songs we previously overlooked, as well as the album on which each cut first appeared and the year of its release, with a tip of the hat to the All Music Guide for much of this info.  ("Hit version" means there are multiple studio recordings of the tune by the same artist, and that the album listed contains the version that charted and was used in WCCW).  Unfortunately, the list still isn't complete and probably never will be; we have no idea where you can obtain a copy of the entrance music used by Kamala (apparently a field recording consisting mostly of African percussion), nor have we been able to identify all the tunes used as bumpers -- the music played just before a commercial break -- on Championship Sports.  And before anyone asks, the only way to get a high quality copy of the syndicated show's "kettle drum" theme is by purchasing the Heroes of World Class DVD set (if you're looking to create an audio file for your iPod, you're on your own).  

If we've still managed to miss a well-known tune from the era (getting less likely all the time, but still possible!), by all means, shoot us an email and let us know about it.
Another One Bites the Dust
Junkyard Dog The Game, 1980
Also Sprach Zarathustra
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Ric Flair 2001: A Space Odyssey (original soundtrack), 1968
Michael Jackson
Iceman King Parsons [heel] Bad, 1987
Bad to the Bone
George Thorogood and the Destroyers
The Dynamic Duo [entrance & music video] Bad to the Bone, 1982
Badstreet USA
Michael Hayes and the Badstreet Band
The Fabulous Freebirds [entrance & music video] Off the Streets, 1988
Beat It
Michael Jackson
Chris Adams [babyface], Iceman King Parsons [babyface] Thriller, 1982
Body to Body
Miami Sound Machine
Kerry Von Erich [music video] Primitive Love, 1985
Born to Be Wild
Wild Bill Irwin, Dingo Warrior Steppenwolf, 1968
Call Me
Kerry Von Erich American Gigolo (original soundtrack), 1980
Can't Stop Rockin'
ZZ Top
Highlight video [1986] Afterburner, 1985
Kool and the Gang
Iceman King Parsons [babyface], Championship Sports commercial bumper Celebrate!, 1980
Giorgio Moroder
The Midnight Express Midnight Express (original soundtrack), 1978
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Bobby McFerrin
Samoan Swat Team Don't Worry, Be Happy, 1988
Eye of the Tiger
Kerry Von Erich [music video], Chris Adams [babyface], Eric Embry [babyface] Eye of the Tiger, 1982
Fire and Ice
Pat Benatar
David Von Erich Precious Time, 1981
Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')
Spike Huber 40 Hour Week, 1985
Free Bird
Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Fabulous Freebirds Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, 1973
Georgia on My Mind
Willie Nelson
The Fabulous Freebirds Stardust, 1978
Heaven Needed a Champion
Glen Goza
David Von Erich [tribute video]; also performed live at various shows 45 RPM single, 1984
Here I Go Again
Al Perez Whitesnake, 1987 [hit version]
Holding Out for a Hero
Bonnie Tyler
Dingo Warrior Footloose (original soundtrack), 1984
Hurts So Good
John Mellencamp
Lance Von Erich American Fool, 1982
I Am Woman
Helen Reddy
Sunshine [7/4/85] I Am Woman, 1971 [hit version]
I Love Rock 'n' Roll
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
The Fabulous Freebirds I Love Rock 'n' Roll, 1981
I Won't Back Down
Tom Petty
Chris Adams [babyface] Full Moon Fever, 1989
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
ZZ Top
Bruiser Brody [music video] Deguello, 1979
I'm the One Mama Warned You About
Mickey Gilley
Scott Casey Too Good to Stop Now, 1984
It's Summertime (Throbbing Orange Pallbearers)
The Flaming Lips
Heroes of World Class [original single-disc version only] Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, 2002
Van Halen
Kevin Von Erich [music video] 1984, 1984
La Grange
ZZ Top
David Von Erich Tres Hombres, 1973
Life by the Drop
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Heroes of World Class The Sky Is Crying, 1991
Living in America
James Brown
Tony Atlas Rocky IV (original soundtrack), 1985
Long Haired Country Boy
Charlie Daniels Band
Jimmy Jack Funk Fire on the Mountain, 1975
Teena Marie
Championship Sports commercial bumper Starchild, 1984
Lovin' Every Minute of It
Rock & Roll RPM's Lovin' Every Minute of It, 1985
Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
Kevin and Kerry Von Erich [as the "Cosmic Cowboys", 12/25/85] Waylon & Willie, 1978
Metal Health (a.k.a. Bang Your Head)
Quiet Riot
The Missing Link [entrance & music video] Metal Health, 1983
Miami Vice Theme
Jan Hammer
Samoan Swat Team Miami Vice (original TV soundtrack), 1985
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
Willie Nelson
David Von Erich [vignette] Blue Skies, 1981
Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)
Played after Kerry Von Erich defeated Michael Hayes in loser-leaves-Texas cage match, 11/24/83 Steam, 1970 (reissued as Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, 2003)
Old Time Rock & Roll
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Buck Zumhofe Stranger in Town, 1978
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Michael Jackson
PYT Express (Koko Ware/Norvell Austin) Thriller, 1982
Glen Goza
Performed live at various shows 45 RPM single (???), 1984
Run for the Roses
Dan Fogelberg
Kerry Von Erich [music video] The Innocent Age, 1981
Runnin' with the Devil
Van Halen
Jeep Swenson Van Halen, 1978
Sharp Dressed Man
ZZ Top
Jimmy Garvin, Fantastics Eliminator, 1983
She Works Hard for the Money
Donna Summer
Sunshine [music video] She Works Hard for the Money, 1983
Tears for Fears
Highlight video [1985] Songs from the Big Chair, 1985
Smooth Operator
Rick Rude Diamond Life, 1984
Star Wars (Main Title Theme)
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Williams
Opening fanfare for WCCW Star Wars shows Star Wars (original soundtrack), 1977
Still of the Night
John Tatum & Jack Victory Whitesnake, 1987
Ted Nugent
Kevin Von Erich Ted Nugent, 1975
Street Player
Championship Sports opening and closing theme [1983-86] Chicago 13, 1979
Tarzan Boy
Steve Simpson Living in the Background, 1985
Texas (When I Die)
Tanya Tucker
David Von Erich, Kerry Von Erich [5/6/84] T.N.T., 1978 [hit version]
Tom Sawyer
Kerry Von Erich Moving Pictures, 1981
Tuff Enuff
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Lance Von Erich Tuff Enuff, 1986
Two of Us
The Beatles
Terry Gordy & Shaun Simpson [as babyface team, 1988] [music video] Let It Be, 1970
Turn Me Loose
Eric Embry [babyface] Loverboy, 1980
Von Erich Victory
Touch Control
The Von Erichs [used briefly in 1985] Unknown, 1985
Walking on Sunshine
Katrina and the Waves
Jim Cornette [7/4/85] Walking on Sunshine, 1983
We Are Family
Sister Sledge
Iceman King Parsons [babyface] We Are Family, 1979
We Are the Champions
The Dynamic Duo News of the World, 1977
We Will Rock You
Eric Embry (babyface) News of the World, 1977
What You Need
Championship Sports commercial bumper Listen Like Thieves, 1985
You Might Think
The Cars
Highlight video [1984] Heartbeat City, 1984

Why is the entrance music for WCCW wrestlers being deleted from footage released by WWE on DVD and shown on WWE 24/7? 

We realize this practice is upsetting to many World Class fans who want to relive the original viewing experience, and frankly, we aren't wild about it either.  However, the deletion of entrance songs (with the sole exception of Michael Hayes' "Badstreet USA") is the unfortunate reality, as it's far less expensive for WWE to create their own music in-house, or simply not include the wrestlers' entrances, than to pay today's soaring music licensing fees. Fox Video's 2007 release of the popular late-70s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati's first season provides a good illustration of the problem that companies releasing music-heavy DVDs are faced with.  Because the DJ characters were seen playing the hits of the day in literally every episode, virtually all of the music used in the series had to be replaced for home video.  As one blog commenter noted in a discussion of the set:

The average rights to license a song for DVD release by a major rock band (Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac) is upwards of $10,000 per song. [emphasis added] With the amount of songs that WKRP has, that is impossible. At $30 a set, they would never make it back (as only about $7 from each set is seen by the studios).
Our advice?  Just enjoy the matches -- that's what you watched WCCW for in the first place, wasn't it?

Was WCCW the first promotion to use music for its wrestlers' entrances? 

Strictly speaking, no.  The use of entrance music in modern pro wrestling goes all the way back to the original Gorgeous George, who would toss his famed "Georgie pins" into the crowd to the tune of Sir Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1". (WCM readers will also recall this melody from Randy "Macho Man" Savage's '80s and '90s ring entrances, as well as an occasion where many undoubtedly "walked that aisle" themselves: their graduation ceremony.)  Later pioneers of this included Lonnie "Moondog" Mayne (who, as a babyface in D/FW during the mid-'70s, entered the ring to "The Ballad of Moondog Mayne"), the Fabulous Freebirds (who began using Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic rock anthem of the same name in Southern promotions in the late '70s) and Leroy Brown (Jim Croce's "Bad Bad Leroy Brown", of all things). 

The use of popular songs for nearly every top wrestler's ring entrance, however, was indeed a World Class innovation.  This approach was quickly copied by other 1980s promotions and was eventually taken to its logical extreme by WWE, where even midcard workers can now be seen entering to pounding, adrenaline-pumping music and dazzling TitanTron videos.  (Of course, actual hit songs have fallen by the wayside in favor of in-house compositions, due to licensing fees that have spiraled to ridiculous heights in recent years.)  So if your kids get all excited every time one of Vince's guys makes his way to the ring, do 'em a favor and tell 'em about the promotion where this practice (more or less) began.  :)  

What can you tell me about Glen Goza, the singer-songwriter who wrote "Heaven Needed a Champion"?
To be honest, we've been able to find very little info on Goza, who appears to have toiled in obscurity for much of his musical career.  As of now, we know of only a few non-WCCW related songs he wrote, either for himself or others:
  • The late '50s novelty rocker "Goshamody Whatabody", credited to Glen Goza and the Damangos, which is available on a couple of compilations of rare rockabilly singles.
  • Another single probably from the same period, "The Box"/"Incredible Shrinking Man", issued on the Wand label.
  • "Awful Lot to Learn about Truck Drivin'", recorded by country singer Red Simpson in the late '60s.
  • The 1975 single "Were It Not So"/"Oh Daddy Oh", issued on the Macho Music label.
  • "Miles Keogh's Horse", recorded by the late Barry Sadler (formerly Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, best known for his 1966 chart-topper "Ballad of the Green Berets") for his last album, a collection of patriotic tunes entitled Of Thee I Sing

But "Heaven Needed a Champion", Goza's moving eulogy-in-song for David Von Erich, and "Rasslin'", his celebration of pro graps (and, specifically, WCCW) as the sport of the working class, are  undoubtedly his best-known songs. 

In addition, Goza also wrote "My Dad Can Whip Your Dad" for Chris Von Erich; the tune was released as a 45 RPM single around 1984-85 but, to the best of our recollection, was never promoted or even mentioned on any WCCW telecast; copies of the record can occasionally be found on eBay. (But you, esteemed World Class Memories readers, need not search the Web in vain for the original vinyl disc; just click on the video below.)

As confirmed by Dr. Jeff Cunningham at Wrestling Classics, Glen Goza died on May 7, 2000 in Gladewater, TX at the age of 63.

Where can I find the lyrics to "Heaven Needed a Champion"? 

Right here. (No copyright infringement is intended; lyrics will be gladly removed upon request of the rights holder.)
Music and lyrics by Glen Goza

You wore the family name with pride
Boldly you went forward
Did the things a lesser man might not have ever done
A tornado from the Texas plains
You came and changed our lives
And now you're gone

With the Lone Star State emblazoned
On your battle togs proclaiming you
A native son with strength and love and pride
You're the morning star that shined
For one brief moment in eternity
And all too soon God called you to his side 

Heaven needed a champion
That's why he took you
Heaven needed a champion
But God knows we need you too
Now the arena is dark and empty
One single blazing spotlight shining on the ring
Like the eternal light they speak of
That they use to preserve a memory
That light someday will lose its brilliance
And these songs we sing will all be forgotten too
But even then the memory of David Von Erich
Will be fresh and sweet and ever new
(Repeat chorus)