A pioneer country music broadcaster who grew up in South Georgia, Marshall began his successful career as a station owner in Florida and Georgia in the 1950’s when he put on the air a 1-kilowatt daytimer in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The calls were WFBF – or as its moniker was unofficially referred to by the populace, We Feed Bull Frogs. However, his reputation as a leader in country music radio really began as owner of a pair of highly successful stations in Jacksonville, WQIK-AM 1050 (later changed to WCMG) and WQIK-FM 99.9.
In 1970 Marshall expanded his radio interests to Tampa Bay, purchasing long-time rocker WALT-AM 1110 (way past its prime) and classical station WTCX-FM 99.5 (which was silent and in bankruptcy). He changed their calls to WQYK AM & FM and began to simulcast a country music format. The AM was a daytimer but the FM was full time and pumped country music over the airwaves 24-hours a day in crystal-clear stereo. Tampa Bay country music listeners had never had it so good.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s Marshall was not only involved in running his radio stations, but he also promoted concerts around the state. During the winter months (usually beginning in October and running through March) he would bring country music’s top entertainers to Tampa (usually to Curtis Hixon Hall), Jacksonville and West Palm Beach for a series of monthly concerts featuring five or six top stars on each show. Ticket prices were a bargain, too – $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50.
In 1976 Marshall decided to sell WQYK-AM. The sale of the FM followed about a year later. Eventually he sold off his Jacksonville stations, too. In all, this broadcast pioneer has owned over 25 radio stations in Florida and Georgia during his lifetime.
Today (2006) Marshall makes his home in St. Augustine, and since the early 1990’s has been owner and President of Rowland Towers, Inc., a company serving the broadcast needs of businesses and organizations in North Florida and South Georgia. Clients include Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, St. Augustine’s WQXT-TV Channel 22, Georgia Technical Authority, and several federal government entities.
1970 - 1977 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)