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Woody Garcia

Woody was a lifelong resident of Tampa, a pioneer in Bay area Hispanic broadcasting, and a prominent big band leader whose orchestra performed at local Latin nightclubs. His broadcasting career goes back to the early 1950’s – first with Tampa’s AM-1110 WALT and then St. Pete’s AM-1380 WTSP, where he hosted a late night two-hour music block conducted entirely in Spanish.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s he was heard on WSOL-AM 1300 before moving to longtime country outlet WYOU-AM 1550 in 1977 when it flipped to a Spanish format. Five years later, he returned to AM-1300 (which, in the meantime, had become adult oldies WTYM) as program director after convincing its owners to switch to Spanish. WTYM eventually changed its calls to match the Spanish format and became WQBN.

Spanish-speaking viewers could also see Garcia on Tampa Bay TV. In the late 50’s, he hosted “La Hora Latina,” an hour-long Sunday afternoon entertainment program on WSUN-TV, and for five years in the 70’s, co-hosted a weekly half-hour show, “Lo Nuestro,” on WEDU, Tampa’s public television station.

Woody was instrumental in founding the Tampa Bay Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was an honorary member of the organization for more than a decade. The last five years of his life he suffered from bone cancer and died in 1987 at his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 68.

Station History

1953 - 1982 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)

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