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Len Ellis

March 4, 1995 OHC344 204 min.


Disc jockey. Born February 28, 1928. Career most active 1950s-1970s. Popular radio personality and promoter known as “Uncle Len.” Recognized as the first member of the Country Music Association (CMA).

Interview Summary

1995 March 4
(3 hours, 24 minutes)
Country disc jockey Len Ellis describes the development of and highlights from his career. Discussion includes his family background and his first exposure to country music; his educational background; his first radio jobs; working at WVMI in Biloxi, Mississippi and the station’s switch to “hillbilly” music; his move to WJOB in Hammond, Indiana and his role in developing the station’s country show, Rhythm Round-up; his “Uncle Len” persona; his introduction to Nashville in 1953; memories from the Country Music Disc Jockeys Association conventions; memories of early record promoters; his distinction as the first member of the Country Music Association (CMA); CMA’s role in increasing country music’s visibility; early CMA telecasts; owning and managing radio station WAKE in Valparaiso, Indiana; his experiences as a promoter; and memories of performers he worked with during his career.

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