Categorized | Opinion

‘Boy, I’ll Tell Ya…’ He’ll Be Missed

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Corey Maclin giving back

Like most children growing up in the Mid-South in the 1980s and 90s, Saturday morning at 11 I was in front of my television ready to watch Rasslin’.
From the days of USWA to Memphis Championship Wrestling, names like Bill “Superstar” Dundee, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant, “The Universal Heartthrob” Austin Idol, “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert and Jerry “The King” Lawler were at one time the most important figures in my life.
Hanging on their every word during an interview, the most important journalist in the world to me was Corey Maclin. Along side Dave Brown after the departure of the legendary Lance Russell, Maclin became a fixture in my life as the new wrestling commentator.
Later Maclin became the brains and heart behind Memphis Championship Wrestling keeping the institution alive for another generation. Maclin also gave back to Memphis, his hometown of the Millington area and the Mid-South as a politician, wrestling promoter, sports broadcaster and philanthropist. That why the hours after the one-car wreck in Mississippi, the death of Maclin spread so quickly and touched thousands. Before there were the Memphis Grizzlies, the professional sport in Memphis was wrestling.
And Maclin kept the blood pumping in Memphis wrestling and was the face of it for a generation. As I walked onto the Tipton-Rosemark Academy campus for Rebel Football Media Day, a man on campus looked lifeless and hurt.
“You heard the news my man? We lost a good man, a great one.”
He was referring to Maclin. And just a quick look at his biography online validates the man’s claim. But he shared stories with me about the personal impact Maclin had on his life growing up around him.
He left me with the impression that Maclin had strong family values and was loyal to his friends. I met Maclin on a couple of occasions, once with wrestling and the other when he was running for Shelby County Clerk.
Both times he was friendly and genuine. Maclin leaves behind family, friends and many grateful fans. The Millington Central High School product used his God-given gifts to reach the masses and improve his surroundings.
EA Harold Park would serve as the launching pad for Maclin to learn in- kind how to serve others with humility and mankind. As his creativity and community involvement grew he became the youngest on air personality to work in radio being hired by KFTH 107.1 FM as a part time disk jockey. While continuing to still learn, develop and grow Maclin later moved to full time radio announcing six nights a week while still attending high school. At 18, Maclin was named the youngest program/news director in the Memphis market hired at WLOK Radio. While working in tandem in radio Maclin was hired as the co-host of Memphis Wrestling with Dave Brown at WMC- TV 5 for 13 years.
Later Maclin became employed with Silver Star News as the advertising director where he sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. The full service agency opereated in Memphis with more than 200 clients to its credit Handling revenue in excess of $10 million dollars.
Maclin was a success and earned a spot as a Memphis beloved figure. On June 24, Memphis Wrestling lost Henry Faggart a.k.a. Jackie Fargo. From the “Fabulous One” to “Mr. Boy I Tell Ya” the city mourns and holds onto those precious memories from Saturday morning and the Mid-South Coliesum a little tighter.
Fargo’s impact lives on in the ring. And there is no doubt Maclin’s influence will be felt there for  years. But with Maclin, several communities have been blessed by his hard work.
Boy I tell ya, Maclin’s memory and legacy will live on like footage of one of his interviews with a wrestling legend.
Thank you Mr. Maclin.

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August 2013
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