Before the late 1960’s, there was little opportunity for people of color on radio or TV. Once opportunities did become available, these trailblazers had to work extremely hard to forge a career in the highly competitive business of broadcasting. One such pioneer is St. Petersburg native Marvin Tim Flemmings.
Flemmings, a 1966 Gibbs High School graduate, grew up in a musically inclined family. He was a member of the Pinellas County Youth Symphony. His brother, Leroy, played saxophone and toured with James Brown and Otis Redding, and was a former director of the Al Downing Orchestra. He also cites George Charouve, a local record producer and WTMP deejay, as a great influence on his young life as well.
While attending East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, Flemmings did deejay work at the college station and had his own jazz show. He also got an opportunity to work at a country station. After graduating with a BA in health and physical education, with a minor in broadcast communication, he enlisted in the Army (1968) where he continued to hone his broadcast skills. While stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA, he was on the air with music and information for the troops, and even produced “welcome videos” for new recruits.
Armed Forces Radio led to a job at AM-1380 WLCY. Stations in the late 1960’s and early 70’s were clamoring for experienced black talent, and WLCY-TV Channel 10 brought him on board as one of its cameramen (and later news reporter) where he got the opportunity to cover his own stories.
Flemmings fulfilled his boyhood dream of commanding the radio airwaves at numerous stations throughout the country, including Tampa’s WTMP and St. Petersburg’s WLCY and WRXB. Before retiring, he worked with Tampa’s listener-supported WMNF from 2004-2015 as host of early Saturday morning’s ‘Mellow Music Encounter’.
1975 - 2015 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)