loader from loading.io

Ep 33: Ray Rodgers

About Nashville Podcast

Release Date: 10/26/2016

Ep 37: Tyler Mahan Coe  show art Ep 37: Tyler Mahan Coe

About Nashville Podcast

Tyler Mahan Coe is the son of country music legend David Allan Coe.  Tyler hosts an incredibly entertaining and addictive podcast that's shaking up Music Row called, “Cocaine & Rhinestones".  We talked about him playing guitar in his father’s band, country music history, and his new podcast. The conversation heartfelt, candid, and raw in places; especially when we discussed his father. He tells a story involving Johnny Cash and his father that's almost too painful to hear.   

info_outline
Ep: 36: Top 18 in 2018 That Are Not Mainstream  show art Ep: 36: Top 18 in 2018 That Are Not Mainstream

About Nashville Podcast

The top 18 country music acts in 2018 you need to hear if you haven't already who are not mainstream.

info_outline
Trailer show art Trailer

About Nashville Podcast

Previously, on About Nashville with Chris Hardwick, Tom Segura, Steve-O, Ray Scott, Jesse Case and Tommy Emmanuel.

info_outline
Ep 35: The Day After CMA's show art Ep 35: The Day After CMA's

About Nashville Podcast

CMA AWARDS/MOVIE REMAKES/THE WALKING DEAD Mike and Holly talk about the CMA awards, current movie remakes, the results of the presidential election, and then Mike makes another bold prediction about what's about to happen in 'The Walking Dead' television series.

info_outline
Ep 34: Leon Everette show art Ep 34: Leon Everette

About Nashville Podcast

RCA RECORDING ARTIST/ACTOR/ENTREPRENEUR Leon Everette was a successful RCA country music recording artist when he walked away from the music business while still on the top on the charts. His music career peaked between 1977 and 1985. He recorded eight studio albums, including five for the RCA Nashville label. He charted several singles during this time. He reached the top 10 of the country music charts with the singles "Over", "Giving Up Easy", "Hurricane", "Midnight Rodeo", "Just Give Me What You Think Is Fair", "Soul Searchin'", "My Lady Loves Me (Just as I Am)" and "I Could'a Had...

info_outline
Ep 33: Ray Rodgers show art Ep 33: Ray Rodgers

About Nashville Podcast

GOLDEN GLOVES/SILVER GLOVES/CUTMAN Ray Rodgers, who was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Conway, was inducted into the Silver Gloves Hall of Fame in 2001, the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. The late Billy Bock, a 1996 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee who was a well-known amateur boxer and later was among the pioneers of high school baseball in the state, told the Arkansas Democrat in 1990: “If it weren’t for Ray Rodgers, there would not be boxing left in Little Rock.” Silver Gloves is for amateur fighters ages 10-15. Golden...

info_outline
Ep 32: Jimmy Adams (Part 2) show art Ep 32: Jimmy Adams (Part 2)

About Nashville Podcast

DON KING BUSINESS PARTNER/FORMER BOXING MANAGER Episode 32 of About Nashville with Mike Rodgers Today is part 2 of 2 with our guest, Jimmy Adams who is a business partner of Don King and former boxing manager of Ernie Shavers, Bert Cooper, Oliver McCall, Greg Page, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tucker, and many, many others. This was a completely exclusive interview for any fans of boxing who may wonder what goes on behind the scenes of big time boxing. He shared details that have never before been disclosed before to the press about the great careers of the boxers I’ve mentioned. They...

info_outline
Ep 31: Jimmy Adams (Part 1) show art Ep 31: Jimmy Adams (Part 1)

About Nashville Podcast

BOXING MANAGER/PROMOTER/DON KING BUSINESS PARTNER Today’s guest is Jimmy Adams who is a Don King business partner and former boxing manager. Jimmy managed the boxing careers of Ernie Shavers, Bert Cooper, Oliver McCall, Greg Page, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tucker, and many, many others. Jimmy actually promoted several of my own pro bouts in the beginning of my boxing career with his “Mix Factory Boxing Series” in Nashville. The interview with Jimmy Adams was so good that I’m making it a two part series. This was a completely exclusive interview because he rarely speaks to the press, and when...

info_outline
Ep 30: Reggie Ep 30: Reggie "Sweet" Johnson

About Nashville Podcast

MIDDLEWEIGHT & LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Today’s guest on About Nashville is former world boxing champion Reggie Sweet Johnson who held both the WBA Middleweight and IBF Light-Heavyweight titles. His tie to Nashville is his boxing manager, Bob Jordan, who also managed me for a short time in my own boxing career. We talked about how he got into boxing, his winning two world championships, how he dealt with bad politics in the sport, his showdowns with legendary boxers like James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. and he spoke candidly  about his 12 year prison sentence for a...

info_outline
Ep 29: Jesse Case show art Ep 29: Jesse Case

About Nashville Podcast

COMEDIAN & PODCAST HOST Jesse Case is a popular comedian from the Nashville area who was featured on the television show The last Comic Standing. Jesse is also one of the hosts for the popular podcast Probably Science and hosts his own podcast Jesse vs. Cancer. A show that documented his winning battle with Stage 4 cancer and return to the comedy stage. Jesse and Mike talk about cancer, comedy and incompetence. They worked through a few technical difficulties, but not before some monkeys were humped.    ...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

GOLDEN GLOVES/SILVER GLOVES/CUTMAN

Ray Rodgers, who was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Conway, was inducted into the Silver Gloves Hall of Fame in 2001, the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

The late Billy Bock, a 1996 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee who was a well-known amateur boxer and later was among the pioneers of high school baseball in the state, told the Arkansas Democrat in 1990: “If it weren’t for Ray Rodgers, there would not be boxing left in Little Rock.”

Silver Gloves is for amateur fighters ages 10-15.

Golden Gloves is for amateur fighters ages 16 and older.

Based in part on the Golden Gloves’ tie back to the Chicago Tribune, newspapers long have been among the main sponsors of amateur boxing events. The New York City Golden Gloves tournament, which has been around for 85 years, is sponsored by the Daily News.

Rodgers told an interviewer in 2008: “It has a natural attraction to kids who are basically adventuresome and want to do something no one else does. That’s a lot of it. The dynamics of it hooked me in the fifth grade, and I’ve never been out of it one day.

“In boxing, as in life and everything else, desire is half the deal. … I’m a great believer in amateur boxing. I think it’s one of the greatest sports ever devised. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. In boxing, you don’t have anybody to hand off to or to lateral or pass it off to. You’re on your own, brother.

“The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. You can stand a kid in a corner and whip his butt with a paddle. But once he learns self-discipline and the desire to do better in the ring, that sticks with him all his life.”

Jermain Taylor is the most prominent example of the hundreds of boys (now men) Rodgers has helped through the years. Born in Little Rock in 1978, Taylor and his three younger sisters were abandoned by their father when the future champion was 5. Taylor began boxing at age 13 with Ozell Nelson as his trainer.

Taylor’s Olympic bronze medal came in 2000 and his professional boxing debut was on Jan. 27, 2001, at Madison Square Garden against Chris Walsh.

As noted in yesterday’s post, Rodgers has served as the cut man in Taylor’s corner throughout Taylor’s professional career.

Taylor once said of Rodgers: “He’s the type of guy who comes in the dressing room and makes you feel comfortable. I’ve never seen him mad, not one time, and I’ve known him since I was 12. I’ve never seen him with a mean face. He’s the type of guy who always wants to see you smiling.”

Rodgers’ father, who worked for 49 years for an oil company that eventually became part of Mobil, moved the family from Oklahoma to Conway so he could serve as a pump station engineer in Arkansas. Young Ray was already addicted to boxing at the time of the move.

Ray Rodgers’ office at the Golden Gloves Education Center, which is adjacent to the Junior Deputy baseball fields just off Cantrell Road in Little Rock, now serves as sort of a museum of this state’s boxing history.

There is, for example, a photo of Bock and Rodgers in 1959 at the state AAU boxing tournament with Miss Arkansas in between.

“We were her escorts,” Rodgers says.

Famous names in Arkansas business, sports and politics crop up as you look at the programs and bout sheets Rodgers has collected through the years. For instance, Buddy Coleman of Little Rock was the state AAU boxing chairman one year.

Rodgers delights in talking about his 14-year amateur boxing career, delivering pithy quotes such as this one: “My left jab was so good the judges thought the other guy was sucking my thumb.”

The Arkansas River Valley — from Fort Smith all the way down to Little Rock –was a boxing hotbed in those days. Rodgers tells of going across a low-water bridge to make it to a boxing tournament at Oark (not Ozark!) in the Ozark Mountains north of Clarksville.

Places like Clarksville and Coal Hill produced good amateur boxers. The Subiaco Abbey, built in 1878 and associated with the Benedictine Order, was the home of many talented boxers. Wherever amateur tournaments were held across the state, you knew the boys from Subiaco Academy would be there and compete hard.

Rodgers’ home ring was at the National Guard Armory in Conway, where he boxed for a coach known as “Slow John” Cole. Rodgers went by the nickname “Butterball.” He continued to box competitively through graduation from Conway High School and Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas.

“I had deceptive speed in those days,” Rodgers says. “I was slower than I looked.”

At age 16, Rodgers also began coaching younger boxers. In 1958, he sent his first boxer to the national Golden Gloves tournament in Chicago.

Rodgers graduated from college in August 1960, becoming the first member of his family to earn a degree. He got married two weeks after graduation and moved to Little Rock to take a job with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Rodgers fought his last fight in 1961 at the Mid-Arkansas Golden Gloves Tournament, but a lifetime of being involved in boxing was just starting.

He has worked with young boxers at various locations through the years, even using a gym that Gary Hogan, who loves the sport as much as Rodgers, once operated in downtown Little Rock.

In 1988, Rodgers raised private funds so he could transform a metal building next to the Junior Deputy baseball complex into a gym. It has been the home of the Ray Rodgers Boxing Club ever since.

In 2009, he turned the adjacent building into the Golden Gloves Education Center so his boxers would have a quiet place to study.

Rodgers has brought a number of legendary boxers to Little Rock through the years to promote the sport and help him raise money. Ali visited in 1990. Joe Frazier and Floyd Patterson also have visited the state’s capital city at Rodgers’ invitation.

Rodgers has had his share of tragedies.

In 1987, his wife Sally, a constant presence with him at boxing tournaments, died of breast cancer.

His current wife, Carole, whom he married in December 2005, now helps him run amateur tournaments.

Rodgers’ daughter Dawn battled brain cancer for 11 years before passing away in 2005.

Last year, Rodgers finally shut down his business, Mid-South Drywall.

“I’m not getting any younger,” he says.

On one wall of Rodgers’ office is a tribute to Stan Gallup, the longtime Golden Gloves executive director who died in February 2009 while accompanying the Kentucky Wesleyan basketball team (his son was the school’s athletic director) to an away game

It says “Stan Gallup, 1922-2009, Father of Modern Golden Gloves.”

Rodgers calls Gallup “a mentor.”

I happen to think Arkansas’ own Ray Rodgers has just as much a right as Gallup to that title of “Father of Modern Golden Gloves.”