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More Martin, live on FM

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By Amy Ryffel-Kragh

His voice is a familiar one; and after more than 15 years on a Citrus County radio station, the Gene Martin Show has moved to Dunnellon. Oak Run resident and popular radio personality Gene Martin switched stations after being laid off from his former radio job.

A few weeks before Christmas, Martin learned the news of his departure. But after the word spread his phone started to light up with offers. However, they were all from AM radio stations and Martin wanted to be on an FM station.

So, when Frank 104.3 FM Sinatra and More called, it seemed like the perfect fit. Traci Bower, operations manager and music director, said the addition of Martin and Don Bruce, who was also released from WRZN, is like a “marriage made in heaven.”

“It’s a blessing,” she said. Bower called the addition of the two DJs the “best Christmas present.” Prior to Martin’s move, WIFL-FM had programmed music without the benefit of having a live person on the air. Martin, a former Cadillac sales division employee, said people tend to listen more to stations that do have a live broadcast. “It’s like night and day,” he said.

When he made the switch to the station two weeks ago, the listeners followed him also. It became apparent when he announced some on-air giveaways for a CD and dinner for two. The phone started ringing almost immediately. He usually gives away two freebies a day during his show.

Bower said the public is thrilled to listen to the station’s style of music and interact with Martin as well. During the week there are a couple special shows highlighting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on the two-hour show. Frank 104.3 Sinatra and More plays music from the 1930s to today. The station can be heard from Gainesville to Spring Hill

Not only have the listeners followed Martin to the new station; the advertisers have also tuned in. “They want me to sell their products,” he said. He announces’ the majority of his sponsors advertisements live on the air. Some of his Corridor advertisers include Little Joey’s restaurant and Wise Way Auto Sales.

Before the station became known as Frank 104.3 Sinatra and More in March 2007, it was a Top 40 format. WIFL-FM is based out of Inglis, but has its main office in the large white building, which is also the home of Al’s TV Antenna and Satellite, off U.S. 41 in Dunnellon.

The Gene Martin Trio

In addition to being on the radio, the professional musician has formed a jazz trio with fellow Corridor residents, Dean Millward and Don Gold. With Martin on the keyboard, the group recently performed at Jasmine Plaza’s customer appreciation celebration.

They have also performed for Hospice of Marion County. In addition, the trio plays a monthly gig at Oak Run’s Royal Oaks Golf Club and Dell Webb’s Stone Creek.

For information about The Gene Martin Show tune into Frank 104.3 FM Sinatra and More, call 615-9885 or e-mail thegenemartinshow@yahoo.com. Martin is on the air Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information about the Gene Martin Trio, call 615-9885.