Museum Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, seven days a week

Spend an Evening with Wink Martindale

Spend an evening with Wink Martindale at the National Automobile Museum!

Thursday, June 2, 2022, 6 to 7:30 pm.

Seating is limited. Buy your tickets now.

Attendees are invited to arrive early and spend some time enjoying the Hot August Nights Show & Shine being held from 4 to 6 pm in the Museum’s parking lot. The event includes music and a food truck.

Perhaps best known as the longtime host of television’s “Tic-Tac-Dough,” Wink Martindale is celebrating a 70-year career odyssey as one of radio’s best disc jockeys, a radio personality, game show host, and television producer. The event includes a meet and greet, book signing, and stories and unseen images from Wink’s personal archive.

“Mr. Martindale has had an illustrious career, from helping launch Elvis Presley’s career to game show fame to a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” said Museum President and Executive Director, Phil MacDougall. “We look forward to an evening of great stories, and a peek behind the curtains of game shows, radio programs, concerts, and exclusive interviews.”

WINK MARTINDALE

Whether it was listening to “Stella Dallas” or other radio soaps with his Mom after school; pretending to be Gene Autry’s Sunday sidekick on “Melody Ranch”; or getting lost in the prosecutions of “Mr. District Attorney” on Wednesday nights, Wink Martindale’s fascination with radio began during childhood.

Playmates may have aspired to being doctors, firemen, or policemen. Wink wanted to be a radio announcer. His journey from being a Jackson Sun newspaper carrier to soda-jerk at Baker’s Drug Store to legendary status in radio and television, began in his hometown, Jackson, Tennessee – population then, 25,000.

Following graduation from high school in 1951, Wink’s former Sunday school teacher managed Jackson’s 250 Watt radio station, WPLI. Charles Wingate gave Wink his first on-air job. $25 dollars per week.

With persistence, Wink advanced to Jackson’s two larger stations. And in short order he found himself on Memphis’ number one station, WHBQ, where he soon became one of the Bluff City’s most popular radio and television personalities.

Work never hindered Wink. While hosting the morning radio show “Clockwatchers”, a TV show in the afternoon, “Wink Martindale of the Mars Patrol”, and beginning to raise a family, he still found time to complete his college education at the University of Memphis- majoring in Speech and English and a minor in Journalism. A shining example of what happens when one envisions a goal and acts upon it.

In 1959 Wink moved West to Los Angeles where he was alternately featured on KHJ, KRLA, KFWB and KGIL. His radio “dream job” was fully realized in 1971 when he began a 12 year run as mid-day personality on the Gene Autry owned flagship, KMPC – “Station of the Stars”.

Along the way there was his teen oriented “Dance Party” from Pacific Ocean-Park; Santa Monica; the gold record narrative; ‘Deck of Cards”; an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show; and 21 game shows Wink either hosted or produced; including “Trivial Pursuit”, “Gambit”, “Can You Top This”, “Debt”, “High Rollers”, and the long running “Tic-Tac-Dough”.

To whom much is given, much is expected. Wink has always followed his Mom’s admonition to “give back”. In addition to emceeing countless charitable events over the years, like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. His fondest memories are the 12 years he hosted and co-produced the Cerebral Palsy Telethon in his home town, for which Wink enlisted the support of dozens of Hollywood singing and film stars. In recognition, he was given the 2009 Tigrett Award by the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation.

For years Wink and wife Sandy were on the Los Angeles Board of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, working closely with its founder, the late Danny Thomas.

When fortitude is evident fame and fortune are sure to follow. In 2006 Wink received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012 he was a career inductee into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

Wink even has his name and likeness on a soda-pop bottled by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shops! Social media is a part of Wink’s daily agenda as well; a Facebook page.

Soon after moving from their home in Calabasas to Palm Desert, CA, Wink was back on radio via the legendary KWXY, where his two-hour interview-music show is aired Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1- 3PM; and his nationally syndicated “History of Rock ‘N Roll” airs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the same time slot.

Wink is the father of 4 children – Lisa, Lyn, Laura and Wink, Jr., 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Wink and his wife Sandy will soon be married 47 years.

When asked about retirement, Wink’s answer never wavers: “Why retire? I’m not tired!”

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