Fonds PR2531 - Osborne Brothers fonds

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Osborne Brothers fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

    Level of description

    Fonds

    Reference code

    PR2531

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area

    Date(s)

    • 1975 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    12 videotapes

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    Name of creator

    (1927-2012)

    Biographical history

    Ray Osborne was born in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. He and his eight siblings were raised on their parents' farms at Seba Beach, Alberta and Jasper Place, Alberta (now an Edmonton neighborhood). Their father also worked as a coal deliveryman, lumberman and real estate salesman.

    He and his brother William (known as Bud) entered a strong man contest at a circus that came to Jasper Place in the late 1940s, where Bud Osborne defeated the circus strong man. The circus then hired the brothers, and they toured from Ponoka, Alberta to Filn Flon, Manitoba for the next two summers.

    The Osbornes got their start in wrestling with Stu Hart's Klondike Wrestling (and later Stampede Wrestling) in 1950 as a tag team. They had met Hart as teenagers while working out at the YMCA. The Osborne Brothers were Canadian Wrestling Champions, winning the National Wrestling Alliance International Tag Team Championship Title on three occasions: 18 April 1969, 7 July 1969, and 4 September 1970. For ten years, Ring magazine ranked the Osborne brothers in the top ten tag teams. They continued wrestling with Hart's outfit until 1979 when left after a falling-out with Hart. They felt that Hart was holding them back from becoming bigger stars and that Stampede Wrestling wasn't giving them the opportunities they deserved.

    They appeared regularly in Toronto, Ontario's Global Network television program Super Stars of Wrestling which was produced by Contact Sports Inc. and broadcast from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. Milt Avruskin and George Cannon, the announcers for Super Stars of Wrestling, were two of the producers of Contact Sports Inc. Super Stars of Wrestling was born out of a split in the Detroit, Michigan wrestling scene. Ed "The Sheik" Farhat was the promoter for the Detroit region, and his territory extended into southern Ontario. However, Farhat was not universally popular among the wrestlers and many broke away and established their own promotion based out of Windsor, Ontario. They convinced Toronto upstart Global TV to broadcast shows which led to the cancellation of Farhat's program on Global TV. The first taping of Super Stars of Wrestling was in an outdoor studio using the Global TV mobile truck. Subsequent tapings of Super Stars were held in a Global TV studio. The producers were able to attract top talent due to their wrestling connections. Promoters of the time agreed to territorial boundaries for their shows.

    However, in the mid 1970s, the International Wrestling Association (IWA) was established and challenged the traditional wrestling boundaries. The IWA managed to sign top talent who were looking to expand their profile. Contact Sports Inc. was connected to the IWA through George Cannon's membership, so were able to access talent from the IWA. The Osborne Brothers wanted to become wrestling promoters in Alberta and western Canada and used their appearances on Super Stars of Wrestling to promote their live events in Alberta. They convinced ITV in Edmonton, Alberta to broadcast episodes which would be in competition with Stu Hart and Stampede Wrestling. Contact Sports Inc. became dormant after the production of Super Stars of Wrestling ceased.

    The Osbornes traveled the wrestling circuit both singly and as a tag team through Canada, the United States, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Europe Besides wrestling for promoters, the brothers also fronted their own shows. At one time the Osbornes had a stable that included six midget wrestlers, twelve female wrestlers, and a 500 pound black bear known as Terrible Ted. Some wrestling aliases for the Osborne brothers included Fritz and Otto Schroeder, Boris and Metro Sawchuk, and Ivan and Boris Rolimov the Doukhobors.

    The Osborne's father retired from the real estate business in 1964 and the brothers gradually worked more on the real estate business until they finally retired from wrestling in 1979 to concentrate on the real estate business, Osborne Brothers Land and Property Ltd, where Bud was Chief of the Sales Division and Ray was Head of the Construction Division.

    He married Lucille Bellerose (1929-1992), and together they had six children, including Audrey (Dowkes), Debra, Doreen (Smith). He later married Betty Osborne. He died in Edmonton in 2012.

    Name of creator

    (1929-2009)

    Biographical history

    William "Bud" Osborne was born in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta in 1929. He and his eight siblings were raised on their parents' farms at Seba Beach, Alberta and Jasper Place, Alberta (now an Edmonton neighborhood). Their father also worked as a coal deliveryman, lumberman and real estate salesman.

    He and his brother Ray entered a strong man contest at a circus that came to Jasper Place in the late 1940s, where Bud Osborne defeated the circus strong man. The circus then hired the brothers, and they toured from Ponoka, Alberta to Filn Flon, Manitoba for the next two summers.

    The Osbornes got their start in wrestling with Stu Hart's Klondike Wrestling (and later Stampede Wrestling) in 1950 as a tag team. They had met Hart as teenagers while working out at the YMCA. The Osborne Brothers were Canadian Wrestling Champions, winning the National Wrestling Alliance International Tag Team Championship Title on three occasions: 18 April 1969, 7 July 1969, and 4 September 1970. For ten years, Ring magazine ranked the Osborne brothers in the top ten tag teams. They continued wrestling with Hart's outfit until 1979 when left after a falling-out with Hart. They felt that Hart was holding them back from becoming bigger stars and that Stampede Wrestling wasn't giving them the opportunities they deserved.

    They appeared regularly in Toronto, Ontario's Global Network television program Super Stars of Wrestling which was produced by Contact Sports Inc. and broadcast from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. Milt Avruskin and George Cannon, the announcers for Super Stars of Wrestling, were two of the producers of Contact Sports Inc. Super Stars of Wrestling was born out of a split in the Detroit, Michigan wrestling scene. Ed "The Sheik" Farhat was the promoter for the Detroit region, and his territory extended into southern Ontario. However, Farhat was not universally popular among the wrestlers and many broke away and established their own promotion based out of Windsor, Ontario. They convinced Toronto upstart Global TV to broadcast shows which led to the cancellation of Farhat's program on Global TV. The first taping of Super Stars of Wrestling was in an outdoor studio using the Global TV mobile truck. Subsequent tapings of Super Stars were held in a Global TV studio. The producers were able to attract top talent due to their wrestling connections. Promoters of the time agreed to territorial boundaries for their shows.

    However, in the mid 1970s, the International Wrestling Association (IWA) was established and challenged the traditional wrestling boundaries. The IWA managed to sign top talent who were looking to expand their profile. Contact Sports Inc. was connected to the IWA through George Cannon's membership, so were able to access talent from the IWA. The Osborne Brothers wanted to become wrestling promoters in Alberta and western Canada and used their appearances on Super Stars of Wrestling to promote their live events in Alberta. They convinced ITV in Edmonton, Alberta to broadcast episodes which would be in competition with Stu Hart and Stampede Wrestling. Contact Sports Inc. became dormant after the production of Super Stars of Wrestling ceased.

    The Osbornes traveled the wrestling circuit both singly and as a tag team through Canada, the United States, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Europe Besides wrestling for promoters, the brothers also fronted their own shows. At one time the Osbornes had a stable that included six midget wrestlers, twelve female wrestlers, and a 500 pound black bear known as Terrible Ted. Some wrestling aliases for the Osborne brothers included Fritz and Otto Schroeder, Boris and Metro Sawchuk, and Ivan and Boris Rolimov the Doukhobors.

    The Osborne's father retired from the real estate business in 1964 and the brothers gradually worked more on the real estate business until they finally retired from wrestling in 1979 to concentrate on the real estate business, Osborne Brothers Land and Property Ltd, where Bud was Chief of the Sales Division and Ray was Head of the Construction Division.

    He married Gladys Evans (1934-2021) in 1953, and together they had five children: Elsie, Lynn, Charlie, John and Sam. William "Bud" Osborne died in Edmonton on June 21, 2009.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of twelve 2" videotapes of the Global TV Network's televised professional wrestling program, Super Stars of Wrestling. These programs are among the first episodes that were broadcast. The Osborne brothers appear in the programs in individual and tag-team wrestling matches and in ring-side interviews. The programs include other wrestlers of the day such as Sailor White, The Mongols, Eric the Red, Kurt Von Hess, Luis Martinez and Dino Bravo.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    These videotapes were donated by Ray Osborne.

    Arrangement

    Language of material

      Script of material

        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: Access is restricted.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is available.

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        Related materials

        Accruals

        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Biography compiled from Heath McCoy's book Pain and Passion, an Edmonton Journal article dated March 31, 1978, and from a January 2010 telephone interview with Milt Avruskin, announcer and producer for Contact Sports Inc. Super Stars of Wrestling.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2008.0089.

        Conservation

        Tapes have been transferred to Beta SP video cassettes for backup preservation masters and to VHS tapes and DVDs for access copies.

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