Pat Morgan started his radio career in the late 1950’s doing sales at WSOL in Tampa followed by seven years on the air and in sales at WTWB in Auburndale. He joined WONN in the spring of 1967 and became known as the “Banana Man”. Pat was the radio station’s most famous and most popular personality. Today you could call him legendary. His humor tended to lean toward puns and old jokes but he was successful because he could make everyone he met break into a smile.
Pat picked up his “Bananaman” moniker in 1974 when the Chiquita Company sent samples to the station. He soon became famous for handing out banana candy, banana stickers, and autographed bananas at remotes, and for awhile even drove a yellow Camaro which everyone referred to as the “Bananamobile.”
In 1976, Pat left WONN for Plant City’s WPLA where he also became a local celebrity. Many of the station’s listeners there already knew who he was from his years in Lakeland and would tune his show in everyday to get “Morgen-ized.”
Pat returned to WONN in 1979 and took over the morning show, a shift he held until his death in 1992 from cancer at the age of 67. He awakened Lakelanders with his rooster, Roscoe, his robot, RU12, and also hosted a Sunday morning program of gospel music, Sunday Song Time, which was simulcast over sister station, WPCV.
Pat dominated Lakeland’s radio airwaves during most of his career and received many accolades. Among those, a Sunny Award from the City of Lakeland in the 1980’s. But perhaps the most endearing recognition was the one he received from his WONN employer, Hall Communications. Pat was given the company’s very first Extra Mile Award. Later, it was re-named in Pat’s honor as The Pat “Bananaman” Morgan Extra Mile Award.
1976 - 1979 WPLA (On Air Personality)
1976 - 1979 WPLA (Sales)