David was a popular morning show talk host on Pinellas Park’s WPLP who arrived from Houston in 1984. Back in Texas he had worked for a number of major stations including KNUZ, KULF (1971-news director), KPRC and KLYX-FM. For the four years he was in Tampa Bay, the Virginia native consistently outdistanced competitor WFLA to win his time period. Along with many other station staffers, he was let go when Susquehanna Radio bought WPLP from Gannett Broadcasting in 1988 and the talker became WTKN. Fortunately, he wasn’t out of work long. The veteran talk show host replaced Dick Norman in the mid-morning 9 until 12N slot on WFLA. Fowler, who had been married five times, was retired at the time of his death in 2004. He passed away of natural causes in Cadiz, Kentucky at the age of 67.
On June 19, 2014, I posted this blog piece on a radio personality I used to greatly enjoy and admire: David Fowler, Radio Talk Show Host: Gone But Not Forgotten (and his Chili Recipe).
In January of 2015, I got a cool and exciting response out of nowhere from an old friend of Dave’s who also used to DJ at KLOL ‘back in the day’. (I hate that expression, BTW.) We then had a brief email exchange.
With Jeff Jensen’s kind permission, and in the interests of expanding the public profile of a late, great radio guy, I’m reproducing those emails below. ~ Mike
PS: The photo at left is the only photo online of Dave that I can find, presumably at WPLP. (Note the reindeer hat.) And that’s pretty much ALL the photos there are that I can find, which is really sad.
If anyone has any photos of/with David Fowler that you would like to contribute, I’d love to have them and, with your permission, post them. Any explanatory captions you want to add (dates, places, circumstances, names of folks in the photo) would be wonderful!
If I get enough material, I’ll create a separate page in memory of David Fowler. ~ Mike
From: Jensen, Jeff <JJensen@mytreasureisland.org>
Sent: Fri 1/16/2015 1:46 PM
Subj.: David Fowler
Came across your name while doing some lazy web surfing for David Fowler.
I used to hear David on KPRC, too, as well as quite a bit on WPLP here in Florida. I did nights at KLOL in the early 80’s and had a morning show in Tampa Bay in 85 and 86. When I heard Fowler here in this market, and remembering him from Houston, decided to give him a call. Nick, my radio partner, and I met David at B.T Bones Steakhouse in St. Pete. We talked radio, drank a lot of beer, and then David was off. Said it was “nice meeting us and stay in touch.” So we did, and before we knew it, Nick and I were in David’s circle, hanging at his “humble beach hut on Sunset Beach” for hours on end. There was the odd bit of alcohol involved, as I recall, and David held us spellbound with stories and more stories. The “banana suit” story was one he liked to tell. He would often disappear into the bathroom around the corner from his kitchen (where he held court and drank with us, or should I say, we tried to keep up with David’s drinking) and come back into the room wearing a fake moustache or eyeliner, and hold forth conversations as a completely different character. He once held an hour long conversation between three people, with David doing the voices of all three people.