Congratulations to Mo’ Blues Monday Host Larry Lisk who recently marked 25 years of playing the blues on WMNF radio. A celebrated mainstay of the Tampa blues scene, Larry is co-founder of the Suncoast Blues Society (SBS) and served as its president from 1997 to 2005. He is also a well-regarded booking agent for the iconic Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa.
“My love affair with WMNF began upon my arrival to the Tampa area in 1980. While spinning the old analog dial on my car radio, I stumbled on ‘Ann, the Reggae Lady’ and I was hooked,” Larry said. “It took me several months to figure out just where I had landed on that dial as the frequency was a guess at best. All I know was that whenever I was on that extreme left hand side of the dial there was great music coming out of my radio.”
Over time, Larry progressed from WMNF listener to donor and volunteer, while attending WMNF live music events, getting to know the people behind the voices he heard on the air, and even becoming captain of the WMNF bowling team.
After guest-hosting and getting cleared to be a substitute programmer, Larry landed the Tuesday afternoon slot on alternate weeks. In January 1999, he was offered his own Tuesday show, The Blues Lovers show which remained on WMNFs afternoon schedule for more than a decade. In 2011, Larry’s show moved to its current Monday night slot (6 to 9 p.m.) and is still going strong!
Larry is credited by many with keeping the blues alive in Tampa Bay. In a 2002 story about SBS’s fifth anniversary, The Tampa Bay Times reported that the thriving blues scene was due in large part to the collaboration between the blues society, WMNF, and Skipper’s—a collaboration fostered by Larry.
To keep this stuff alive, to keep these (musicians) coming through here, the best way to do that is with a band of people committed to the cause…. It’s a tripod: Skipper’s, WMNF and the blues society. We’re the voice.
—WMNF Host Larry Lisk, quoted in The Tampa Bay Times, June 6, 2002
We are so fortunate to have this champion of the blues as a member of the WMNF Community! Larry’s passion for the musicians, the music they play, and his skilled way of connecting people makes him a true Tampa Bay treasure.
You can listen to Larry Lisk on Mo’ Blues Monday every Monday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. ET.