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Cactus Ken

 Ken Barfield used various on-air aliases. It all depended on what station he worked for. He started his radio career as Cactus Ken in 1964 playing country music at WTWB in Auburndale. Two years later he moved to WWAB in Lakeland which had switched to full time country by then, and stayed about a year before going back to WTWB in 1967. 

Ken used his real name on the air for the first time in 1968 when he got a job playing rock ‘n roll at WINT in Winter Haven. In 1970 he started using the name Jim Kennedy when he moved to Cypress Gardens’ WGTO where he worked mostly on the weekends for about a year before returning to WTWB again for the next three years.

In 1974 Ken joined WPLA in Plant City using the name B. Mason Dean and eventually was named Program Director. He also had an alter ego - a funny character named Ernie Kupp, who managed to get in his two cents worth on the air every chance he could.

In 1979 Ken decided on a change and packed his bags and moved to Atlanta where he launched a career in law enforcement. Three years later he was back in Polk County, again as Jim Kennedy, and working nights at WPCV. In 1986, he returned to law enforcement and for a couple of years worked part-time at a small 1,000 watt AM station in Atlanta.

Ken retired in 2003 and moved back to Winter Haven to spend time with his three grown children and their families. He also enjoys flying small aircraft in his spare time.

Station History

1964 - 1966 Other Polk County Stations (On Air Personality)

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