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Wink Martindale

Wink Martindale attending the "Night of 100 Stars" for the 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA on March 7, 2010
Born Winston Conrad Martindale
December 4, 1934 (1934-12-04) (age 75)
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Game show presenter
Years active 1958–present
Spouse(s) Madelyn Leech (1954-1971)
Sandy Ferra (1975-present)
Official website

Winston Conrad "Wink" Martindale (born December 4, 1934) is an American disc jockey and television game show host.



Martindale was born in Jackson, Tennessee and started his career as a disc jockey at age 17 at WPLI in Jackson, earning $25 a week. He was hired away by WTJS for double the salary by Jackson's only other station, WDXI. He next hosted mornings at WHBQ in Memphis while a college student at Memphis State College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. While there Martindale became a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In 1959, he became morning man at KHJ in Los Angeles, California, moving a year later to the morning show at KRLA and finally to KFWB in 1962. He also had lengthy stays at KGIL, KKGO/KJQI and Gene Autry's KMPC. In 1967, Martindale narrated a futuristic documentary which predicted Internet commerce.

Martindale's first break into television was at WHBQ-TV in Memphis, as the host of Mars Patrol, a science-fiction themed children's television program. It was at his tenure with WHBQ that Martindale became the host of the TV show Teenage Dance Party where his friend Elvis Presley made an appearance. Following Presley's death in 1977, Martindale aired a nationwide tribute radio special in his honor.

Martindale has hosted numerous game shows, including What's This Song?, Gambit, Headline Chasers, High Rollers, The Last Word, Great Getaway Game, Trivial Pursuit, Shuffle, Boggle, Jumble, Instant Recall, Debt, and most famously Tic-Tac-Dough. In addition, he was the creator of Bumper Stumpers. As of today, he is the second television personality to have hosted 15 game shows, behind fellow veteran game show host, Bill Cullen, who had hosted 23, and in front of fellow game show hosts Tom Kennedy, who hosted 13, and Bob Eubanks and Alex Trebek, who both had hosted 9.

His rendition of the spoken-word song, "The Deck Of Cards," went to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over a million copies in 1959.[1] It also peaked at #5 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1963, one of four visits to that chart.[2] It was followed by "Black Land Farmer".

He appeared in various TV commercials and, until 2007, had a daily three-hour show on the syndicated Music Of Your Life format, which is heard on around 200 radio stations. On June 2, 2009, Martindale signed with the syndicated Hit Parade Radio format.[3] The format began operation on February 7, 2010, with Martindale as afternoon drive personality.[4]

Martindale made an appearance (in two separate roles) in the Quiet Riot video for The Wild and the Young in 1986. As of 2005, Martindale has capitalized on his camp appeal by doing television commercials promoting Internet travel agency Orbitz.

On June 2, 2006, Martindale received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, Martindale became a member of the nominating committee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Wink appeared on GSN Live, an interstitial program during the afternoon block of classic game show reruns. Several times during 2008, Martindale filled in for Fred Roggin on GSN Live while Roggin was on vacation. Martindale currently hosts the GSN show Instant Recall, which premiered on March 4, 2010.[5] Instant Recall will be the first show Martindale has hosted since Debt aired on Lifetime from 1996 to 1998.[6]

Personal life

In addition to being friends with Elvis Presley, Martindale is also a longtime friend of Memphis TV personality Lance Russell and TV director turned artist, Chuck Staley.

He divorced his first wife Madelyn in 1971, and married his second wife, Sandy Ferra, in 1975. He has four children (from his first marriage) and seven grandchildren.

Martindale had a long-standing friendly feud with Chuck Woolery and Gene Rayburn. Upon the death of Rayburn, Martindale admitted that Rayburn and Woolery were responsible for his potty-humored nickname of 'Stink Fartindale', and would always fondly remember their times together.

Like fellow game show host Chuck Woolery, Martindale is also a born-again Christian.[7]


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 115. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London Land: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 352. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ [ "Earthworks Entertainment’s Hit Parade Radio Signs Wink Martindale"]. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  4. ^ [ "Earthworks Entertainment's Hit Parade Radio Announces Launch Date on Clear Channel Satellite"]. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  5. ^ Sassone, Bob. "Wink Martindale to Host 'Instant Recall' on GSN Starting March 4". TV Squad (AOL). Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  6. ^ Davis, Alex. "Wink Martindale Hosts GSN’s Instant Recall Starting March 4th". Buzzerblog. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  7. ^

External links

Preceded by
Bill Wendell
Host of Tic Tac Dough
Succeeded by
Jim Caldwell

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