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Rick Samples

Rick was from Akron, Ohio. After graduation from Garfield High School in 1964, he attended Akron University to study graphic arts, and sang and played guitar at pubs off campus. He went on to front a four-piece band and performed as a singer/songwriter, comedian, and actor, often touring as an opening act for stars like Dean Martin and Liberace.

In 1980 he moved to Tampa Bay. While performing at St. Pete Beach’s Breckenridge Hotel, he was approached by the program director of News/Talk 57 WPLP who offered him the afternoon drive slot. With his keen wit, he soon caught the attention of many bay area listeners. One of those listeners was Bill Sproul, owner of Cracked Magazine, who talked him into writing some bits for his publication. The first, “The True Story of The Lone Ranger” was published in October 1983.

While on a comedy tour in 1988, Rick was offered the morning drive slot at a station in Valdosta, GA. Picking up the phone, he called back to Tampa Bay to see who he knew that was still at WPLP that would maybe give him a recommendation, and found that John Eastman was still there. Eastman talked him into returning to Tampa instead to take over his old afternoon drive spot on AM-570, which by then had become WTKN.

Since those 80’s radio days, he has managed comedy clubs in Michigan and Missouri, performed on various cruise lines, headlined at venues in major cities all over the United States, like Memphis and Nashville, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas (Caesar's Palace), Lake Tahoe and Reno (Harrah's), the Cayman Islands, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and The Comedy Zone in Aruba.

Rick was 71 when he passed away in December 2017 at his home in Kentucky.

Station History

1980 - 1982 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1988 - 1989 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)

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