Marv Ray (Marvin J. Sklute) was as popular as a deejay can get and was Tampa Bay’s #1 deejay and best known WALT Good Guy in the early and mid 1960’s. When he wasn’t on the air he was pounding the streets for the Tampa station’s sales department.
Raised in New York, Marv worked in Jacksonville and Miami before moving to the Tampa daytimer in 1959. He started out in morning drive but soon switched to afternoons where he became the area’s highest-rated deejay, even more popular and with a larger audience in his time period than the 24-hour WLCY. In 1966, he left the job that brought him the fame and popularity and took an on-air job in the same time period over at WFLA. A little more than a year later, he moved off the air and totally into sales. Some say he had become bored with deejay work while others believe it was really because his ratings at WFLA never approached those he had enjoyed at WALT.
Thought by his wife to be in Miami on business, Ray was rushed to the hospital in February 1968 after being found unconscious in a Tampa hotel room. Efforts to save him were unsuccessful and he died at the age of 36. The police report listed his death as a suicide after discovering a bottle of powerful prescription sleeping pills at his bedside. But an autopsy did not confirm this theory, instead listing the death as an accidental overdose which led to a heart attack.
1959 - 1967 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1959 - 1968 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Sales)