tampabay.com

DJ spins new tune with a healthy lifestyle

"Marvelous" Marvin drops 1 15 pounds, and picks up a voracious appetite for exercise and reading the Bible.

By Amy Scherzer
Published January 5, 2007


Headphones on, he's "Marvelous" Marvin, Q105 midday DJ, king of the oldies, master of rock 'n' roll trivia.

Headphones off, he's Marvin Boone Jr., happily married husband, king of the fruit smoothies, master of the exercycle.

Six years and 115 pounds ago, 7-Eleven clerks set their watches by his nightly 2 a.m. forages for chips, ice cream, M&Ms and beer. At 320 pounds, he says it took 12 beers to get a buzz.

He decided he wanted to end his unhealthy habits the day he was fired from talk radio. On the same day, he filed for divorce from his second wife, a disaster he blames on too many margaritas in Las Vegas.

The turning point was Dec. 13, 1999, "and all before noon," he said. Boone switched his prodigious appetite from food to learning about nutrition and the Bible, searching for deeper answers than a few quick New Year's resolutions.

"New Year's resolutions don't work because you make them when you're drunk," said Boone, 51. "And diets teach you how not to eat and I already knew that."

Boone had ballooned to size 48 pants before the next jock job had him hawking Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula and endorsing a local gym near his Hyde Park bungalow.

The company was sued for false advertising, and Boone admits their claims of losing weight while sleeping were far-fetched. Even so, participating in the campaign forced him to change some of his bad habits. He stopped eating at night and lost 20 pounds in a month.

Then he started going to the gym he was touting. He expected a torture chamber, but found support instead. He became a regular, going nearly every day. Gradually, his weight began to drop.

Now, he's maintaining his weight at 205 pounds. He starts each day with a powdered milk smoothie, then drinks fruit juice to hydrate at the gym. He eats organic eggs for breakfast and stops to buy a smoothie on his way to work. He snacks on fruit while he's on the air, then goes home to make a big salad, loaded with broccoli and salmon.

Growing up, Boone's weight rose every time his DJ father Marvin Boone Sr., changed stations. He's lost track of how many schools he attended in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

"I was always the new fat kid," he said. "That's one reason I listened to a lot of music."

Home has always been West Virginia, where he was born and spent his summers.

"I consider every day I'm not a coal miner to be a success," he said. Against his father's wishes, Boone mined music. He secretly enrolled in the Ohio School of Broadcasting in Cleveland, starting his career in 1978 at WGUL-AM/FM in New Port Richey.

"It took my Dad five years to tell me he was proud of me," said Boone, the oldest of five children and the only one in radio.

Daytime, he played Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Hank Williams. Saturday nights, he brought in records from home and took requests for oldies. He was as surprised as everyone else when his Saturday show got ratings.

The late radio guru Scott Robbins took note. He gave him the nickname "Marvelous" and hired him for the midday shift and a Saturday oldies show at Magic 96 .

Boone bounced to different stations, sometimes in the same building, over nearly three decades. You've heard his deep voice on Mix 96 ; WHBO-1040AM; U92 ; and WFLA-970 AM, among an alphabet soup of others. Callers go nuts for his wacky phone calls and try to stump his legendary recall of '60s, '70s and '80s music when he hosts Q105's daily Bouffant Buffet.

He's impressed DJ Mason Dixon during the 15 years they've worked together. He calls him encyclopedic.

"My reference is Marvin," he said. "I'll ask him before I'll look it up. He knows the groups, the artists, the labels. We have a great time kicking the info back and forth and involving the listeners."

Boone cherishes the quiet when he puts down the microphone. He reads his Bible, cooks healthy meals and takes walks with his wife, Pamela.

Spinning the Platters will always be Boone's passion. Those platters of chicken wings and fries? Not as tempting as the Temptations.

Amy Scherzer can be reached at scherzer@sptimes.com or 813 226-3332.

Marvin on ...

Women: Once broke up with a girlfriend because she didn't like Louis Armstrong. Married three times, since 2002 to Pamela, who was escorted down the aisle by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas. She and Boone met when she was caller No. 9. He accidentally hung up on her.

Band: Songwriter, drummer for the Stumbling Troubadors.

First Song He Remembers: Splish, Splash, Bobby Darin's 1958 hit.

Fan Club: Mountain musician Ralph Stanley and bluesman Muddy Waters. "He has the countenance of Buddha."

Out Of The Studio: Mobile DJ available for weddings and special events, (813) 259-0266.