By Cassy Fiano
Kevin Geddings was born in Orlando when his father, a career airman in the United States Air Force, was stationed at Orlando Air Force Base. He spent his childhood traveling all over the country before they settled down in South Carolina, where he went to high school and got his first job in radio at WDXY Radio in Sumter.
Geddings then went on to Wofford College and worked in commercial radio at WSPA as an announcer and DJ. He attended graduate school in New York City, where he worked for RKO Radio, a big radio holding company; he worked as an announcer, but also had stints in sales and management. He took a break from radio for a little more than a decade, working for a large ad agency in Washington DC, before owning his own ad agency. Soon, he bought a bankrupt radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina plus another station, and turned both around. He ultimately sold those stations and ended up in St. Augustine, where he owns WSOS 103.9 FM.
- What has been your favorite thing about living in Northeast Florida?
Well, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth and it’s an amazing climate. This place is cosmopolitan, with people from all over the world who end up being here, and yet everybody gets along. It’s an interesting place, a very friendly, warm place. And it’s very beautiful. It’s a perfect climate, at least for me.
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a pontoon boat and I like to take it out on the Intracoastal. I also enjoy exercise and working out.
- What is your favorite thing about working in radio?
Well, the kind of radio we do, it’s very local. So all day long, I get to interview people from St. Johns County about things that they’re doing and businesses that they’re starting or developing. I get to speak with plastic surgeons from Ponte Vedra or doctors from Flagler Hospital. We do these interviews off and on throughout the day, and I’m on the air each morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. It’s a great way to stay connected to the community, and at the same time, feel like you’re giving people some pretty good information and playing music that they like.
- What advice would you give someone who wanted to work in radio?
Stay away! No, I’m kidding. I think be prepared to start out as an intern and work your way up. Know that a big part of radio is being able to sustain it as a business, so you have to be prepared to provide a good product and sell that product in order to keep it going.
- Who would you say your favorite recording artist is and why?
I’d have to say, just because we play the ‘60s and ‘70s music, and you get a sense of the history of rock’n’roll — it makes you really appreciative when you listen to Beatles songs all day. When you listen to a ’63 Beatles song, you can hear pieces of that in music coming out today. And anything before the first Beatles albums was just very different music than after they came along. I think they were very influential. Not to say that there weren’t others, like Elvis, who weren’t also influential, but if you listen to music from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, and then you listen to the first couple of Beatles albums, they just changed everything. The pacing changed. The way you hear harmonies changed. Rock’n’roll ultimately developed after The Beatles came along.
Photo courtesy Kevin Geddings
Kevin Geddings on the radio.