TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — A new R&B radio station is bringing the Rickey Smiley Morning Show to the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa Bay is home to many different radio stations, but there hasn’t been a sole rhythm and blues station in the area in 15 years. 101.5 The Vibe is bringing adult contemporary and R&B music to Tampa’s airwaves.
The on-air lineup includes the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show.
“I’m excited for the people of Tampa because now they can get entertained in the morning before they go to work,” said Rickey Smiley.
Rickey Smiley is a legendary comedian who started his comedy career more than 30 years ago. It all started in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama at the local comedy club, The Stardome. Smiley has starred in several stand-up specials, did his own theater tour, made special appearances on Martin Lawrence’s tour and more. Some of his fan-favorite characters include Ms. Bernice Jenkins, Lil’ Daryl, Joe Willie and Beauford.
Nearly 15 years ago, Smiley launched his Rickey Smiley Morning Show. It is heard in more than 70 cities across the nation with Tampa being the newest city on the list. For nearly two decades, Smiley has been waking up at 3 a.m. and on-air from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. daily.
“I love the discipline and the structure radio brings, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Smiley said local listeners will get more than just R&B music during his show.
“They’re going to get closer to God, they’re going to laugh, they’ll get the news, celebrity gossip, sports news,” Smiley said.
Rickey Smiley is known to make people laugh. However, he tackles a lot of controversial topics on his show.
“I get a lot of flack for not going along with the status quo or how people are,” Smiley said. “I’m a little old school and I believe in that solid foundation that our grandparents taught us. I’m just not going to conform to today’s behavior with the sense of entitlement that people have. I talk about it on the air everyday to let people know that it’s not okay to behave the way a lot of people behave.”
Smiley brings on a variety of different people on the show, from Presidents, members of Congress, singers, actors and more. The show features two HBCU graduates, three professional comedians and rapper, Da Brat. Smiley is known for his philanthropic ventures, especially through his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
“The Omega Psi Phi Conclave is coming to Tampa, so I’m looking forward to that,” Smiley said.
In July, Omega Psi Phi will host their national conference. Smiley will be back for a couple of weeks and broadcasting back in Tampa Bay.
Listeners can catch the Rickey Smiley Morning Show on 101.5 The Vibe from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.