The Scary Tale of Shock Theatre continues....
Paul Reynolds had long been Channel 13's 'do it all' guy.
The puckish broadcaster was born August 28, 1927 in Tampa. His interest in broadcasting was sparked when a friend involved him in producing a weekly church radio program. The future 'Shock' Armstrong would often take a newspaper to his bedroom and read it aloud to hone his presentation skills.
Reynolds graduated from Hillsborough High and in 1946 joined WDAE radio, where he became an associate of another future WTVT legend, 'Salty' Sol Fleischman. Reynolds left Florida to major in speech and languages at Northwestern College while also acting as chief announcer for the school's radio station, KTIS. It was there he met his future wife Connie, who worked in the school's cafeteria and delivered meals to Reynolds during his air shift. "He was a very outgoing person…I don't think he ever met anybody who didn't like him," says Mrs. Reynolds, now living in suburban Atlanta. "People just seemed to enjoy him. He was very witty and had a real sense of humor."
Returning to Florida a married man, Reynolds worked briefly for WPIN radio and then served as sports director and disk jockey at Nelson Poynter's WTSP radio station in St. Pete. Paul and Connie started a family, eventually having two daughters, Carol and Alice ("A.J.") and a son, Daniel.
|He's no 'shock' jock!
Paul Reynolds spins records at WTSP radio.
He also helps put Channel 13 on the air and serves loyally for the next 15 years.
By the mid 50's, Reynold's "Million Dollar Bandstand" show, heard at 8 pm Monday through Friday, was the top-rated disk show in the Tampa Bay area. Reynold's quick wit, likeability, and a talent for voices were always a winning combination. In his spare time, Reynolds displayed a flair for music and played tympani with the St. Petersburg and Clearwater symphony orchestras. At one point, when Reynolds was holding down the 11pm to 4 am night shift at WTSP, he was anointed "Night Mayor" of St. Petersburg by then-Mayor Samuel Johnson.
"That's 'Night Mayor,'" stated Reynolds, "not 'Night Mare!'"