Good ‘Ol Times: Mason Dixon Marks 30 Years On The Air
By WALT BELCHER
The Tampa Tribune
March 23, 2008
ST. PETERSBURG – The week always begins with “Blue Monday” and ends with “Friday on My Mind.”
In between are jokes, parody songs, rock ‘n’ roll standards, patriotic salutes to the troops, prize giveaways, the occasional “Polka Challenge” and large doses of self-deprecating observational humor from Mason Lee Roy Pee Wee Bodine Moon-Pie (and any other Southern name you like) Dixon.
Every weekday morning, Dixon gives his take on the news:
“You can tell its spring. Robins are building nests in Donald Trump’s hair.”
“Poor old Sarah Jessica Parker. Maxim magazine voted her the unsexiest woman in the world. You think she is upset – I had $50 riding on Rosie O’Donnell.”
“The producers of ‘Desperate Housewives’ have ordered Eva Longoria to cover up the tattoo on her finger so viewers won’t see it. The big news here is that the producers think viewers are looking at her fingers.”
Nearly 40 years ago, Jimmie Crawford, a good ol’ boy from Memphis with musical savvy, started calling himself Mason Dixon (as a symbolic reference to the cultural differences between the northern and southern states).
It has become one of the most recognizable monikers in the Tampa Bay area because Dixon has been entertaining radio audiences here for three decades. He also is known throughout the broadcast industry and has rubbed elbows with just about every veteran pop and rock performer in the country, from Olivia Newton-John and Paul McCartney to Cher and Rod Stewart.
Dixon celebrated 30 years on the air earlier this month with his pals on the “Mason & Bill in the Morning” show on St. Petersburg radio station Q105 (WRBQ, 104.7 FM).
“After nearly 40 years in radio and 30 of them in the Tampa area, it is still fun to come in and do this everyday,” says Dixon, 58.
“You can’t talk about the history of Tampa Bay radio without including Mason Dixon; he’s earned a place along with other legends like Jack Harris, Tedd Webb or the late Scott Robins,” says Clearwater-based author and media expert Bob Andelman.
Andelman, who runs the Mr. Media website, is a former newspaper and magazine columnist who covered Tampa radio in the 1980s and ’90s.
“I clearly remember the first day I came to Clearwater in 1982 and was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half,” Andelman recalls, “I stumbled on Mason’s afternoon drive show, and I had never heard anything like it. It was fast; it was fun. He was doing his ‘Friday Festivities,’ and it was great.”