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Goldie Thompson

Goldie Thompson, one of the first black radio announcers in the South in the late 1940’s, was born in Floral City, FL to a very poor family. A gentle man with a giant voice, it was he whowent on to  introduce black radio to Tampa Bay when he landed a weekly gospel radio show on WHBO in 1949. A year later, management offered him a daily program featuring popular music, but he accepted only after it was agreed that he could devote 30-minutes of the show to sacred music.

In 1955, Goldie signed a three-year contract with Tampa’s new all-black radio station WIOK, and was given three hours a day on the air Monday through Friday for his “Peace in the Valley” and “The Old Ship of Zion” shows. Sundays, he hosted “Breakfast with Goldie” and “The Goldie Thompson Hour,” broadcast from the Robert James Hotel on Burlington Avenue North in St. Pete’s Methodist Town neighborhood. After WIOK was sold and became WTMP in 1956, he stayed on with the station, spinning the records and continuing to ply his trademark close to commercials, "And tell 'em Goldie sent ya!"

Even before he was on the radio, Goldie was known as a gospel music promoter. Early in his career, he led a gospel quartet called the Thompson Four. When that group disbanded, he became the road manager for Gainesville’s Singing Angels. After that, he promoted a MacDill AFB group until World War II intervened.

Following the war, he took over the Manhattan Casino, a showcase for local and nationally-known black entertainers on 22nd Street South in St. Petersburg. He also formed his famed Teenagers Gospel Singers in an effort to keep teens off the streets and interested in gospel music, and made it an honor to be a member of the group.

Goldie was still working for WTMP at the time he passed away in 1972 at the age of 67.

Station History

1948 - 1972 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)

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