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Gail O'Doski

Born and raised in Bartow, Gail graduated from Summerlin Institute in 1959 and got his first real broadcasting experience while in the Air Force at Canadian stations CFLA AM/TV in Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland. On the radio side of the combo he was an announcer and on the TV end he was a news anchor. Following military duty he returned home and got a job spinning records at his hometown station, WBAR, in 1964. Although there only about three years, he had learned the sales end of the business and had been promoted to general manager by the time he left.

Gail opened his own advertising and public relations office in downtown Bartow in 1967. Since then he says he’s marketed everything from accounting firms and automobiles to western-wear and mobile home dealers – even artificial insemination for bulls.

In the 1980’s a former classmate and record producer was in town visiting family and stopped by the office and asked Gail if he would record two songs he had written. The tapes were taken back to Nashville and soon Music City called with a record deal. Five singles were released in 1987 and 1988 on Door Knob Records, each one scoring a little higher on the charts than its predecessor. An album, The First Time, was also released.

His recording career and a newly-developed interest in car racing were cut short, though, due to a medical problem that surfaced in 1988. Following a performance at a party, Gail’s heart stopped beating. Had it not been for someone there who knew CPR he would not have survived. Doctors told him he needed to lead a more normal life, so that’s what he did. First, he gave up smoking and racing cars, and then cut back on his music activities. In late 2004 he closed his downtown headquarters and semi-retired, handling only a few clients from a new office in a spare room of his Bartow home.

On Sunday, August 24, 2008, Gail E. O’Doski passed away from cancer at his home at the age of 67. Active in Bartow civic affairs for over 40 years, he was a member of the Bartow Rotary Club, chairman of the City of Bartow Code Enforcement Board, former member of the Bartow Performing Arts Guild; The United Way, and a charter member of the Polk County American Cancer Society.

Station History

1964 - 1967 Other Polk County Stations (On Air Personality)
1964 - 1967 Other Polk County Stations (Sales)
1967 - 1967 Other Polk County Stations (Management)

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