Dick began his radio career in 1965 at the age of 16, working part-time at Plant City’s WPLA through his high school DCT program. In May of his senior year, General Manager George Friend presented him with the Silver Mike Award, an honor bestowed on a local high school senior who was pursuing a career in broadcasting.
Because of his love of gospel music, Dick was chosen to host Gospel Homecoming, a highly popular program that had been a staple on Sunday afternoons since 1959. His love for the music and his audience kept him hosting the show for almost 25 years and helped make Homecoming the longest continuously running gospel music program in Central Florida. Because of his association with the show, he was asked to emcee numerous concerts in area churches and auditoriums throughout the area.
Dick’s job at WPLA was not just playing records. He wore many hats. Not only did he know everything there was to know about gospel music, but his love of sports led him into high school sports play-by-play where he was known as “The Voice of the (Plant City) Raiders.” He was also WPLA’s assistant engineer and commercial manager.
WPLA changed ownership in 1987 and, two years later, Dick ended an almost 25-year association with the station the offices and studios moved to Tampa. After putting in a few years with Sebring’s WWOJ-FM/WWTK-AM in sales and hosting a Sunday morning gospel music show there, he returned to the Lakeland/Plant City area as station manager of Auburndale’s WTWB in June 1996.
Dick passed away in October 2002. He and his wife, Ann, married in April 1969 and had two children, Chris and Angela.
1965 - 1989 WPLA (On Air Personality)
1965 - 1989 WPLA (Sales)
1970 - 1989 WPLA (Sports)
1970 - 1989 WPLA (Engineering)