Diamond Circle Award Winner
Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters' Past President Chuck Southcott presented the organization's Diamond Circle Award to long-time PPB member Wink Martindale at the March 27, 2015 luncheon honoring "Shotgun Tom" Kelly. Below are Mr. Southcott's remarks introducing Mr. Martindale:
Wink Martindale’s love of radio began when, as a child. He listened to the golden age shows like Gene Autry’s “Melody Ranch” and “Mr. District Attorney.”
While the other kids dreamed of being a doctor or fireman, Wink just wanted to be a radio announcer. That dream began to be realized shortly after high school when his former Sunday school teacher, who managed a 250-watt radio station, gave Wink his first on-air job at $25 dollars a week.
It didn’t take long for Wink to make it to Memphis and the number one station - WHBQ. In short order, Wink soon became one of the Bluff City’s most popular radio and television personalities.
In 1959 Wink ventured west to Los Angeles where he was alternately featured on KHJ, KRLA, KFWB and KGIL. His radio dream was finally realized in 1971 when he began a 12-year run as the midday personality on Gene Autry’s legendary KMPC.
Along the way there was his teen-oriented “Dance Party” from Pacific Ocean Park, a platinum record: “Deck of Cards,” an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and a record 21 game shows that Wink either hosted or produced, including “Gambit,” “Trivial Pursuit,” “Can You Top This?” and the long-running “Tic-Tac Dough.”
In 2006 Wink received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012 he was a career inductee into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
Last year, incorporating his past interviews from KMPC, Wink produced and hosted for Sirius XM’s “Siriusly Sinatra” channel, nine one-hour conversations with iconic stars, including Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra.
Ever the radio guy, Wink was just selected by veteran radio programmer John Rook to be the voice of the new internet radio station “Hit Parade Radio.com.” During the holiday season there’s his syndicated countdown, “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time.” He is national spokesperson for EZLOANS.BIZ. Wink even has his name and likeness on a new soda pop bottled by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops!
These days he’s preparing to co-host (with Peter Marshall, Bob Eubanks and Chuck Woolery) yet another “live” interactive syndicated game show from Indian Wells Casinos titled “Bingo Nation.” When asked about retirement, his answer never wavers: “Why retire? I’m not tired!”
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome PPB's newest inductee into the Diamond Circle, Wink Martindale! (Photo by Don King)