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Man From Mars Productions

Len Thomas - R.I.P.
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We were sad to hear of the death of former WDRC announcer Len Thomas on July 4, 2013 at the age of 66. He was living in Zephyrhills, Florida at the time and died in a nearby hospice facility. Len, whose real name was Leonard Edwin Ham, was from Norwich and worked at several other stations during his career.

Len had the distinction of departing from Big D in a dramatic - and some say unfair - way. Back in July 1977 he hosted the midday shift on WDRC AM, following Brad Davis each morning at 10:00 a.m. Brad had been at the station for just three months and had trouble running his own audio console. Three of Len's former WDRC colleagues take it from there:

WDRC's Len Thomas
Leonard E. Ham


"Lenny did middays at Big D am back in 1976 and 1977. He followed Brad Davis, who replaced me as morning man. Brad had always done a lot of phone bits on his show and they were always recorded on the studio Ampex reel-to-reel. There was a switch that had to be set to 'program' to play it back and set to 'phone' to record a phone call. One morning, Lenny tried to record a request to play back over the song that the caller had asked for. After hanging up, he saw that the switch had been left in the wrong position by Brad and Lenny cursed, 'Goddam f***ing Davis!' Lenny's mike was open. Charlie walked over to the studio window and looked in with an ashen face. Charlie pointed down at the mike key and Lenny almost fainted. Charlie poked his head into the studio and said, 'I hope Dick wasn't listening.' He was. Korsen arrived at the station soon after, walked into Charlie's office, told Charlie to call a utility guy to come in, and then summoned Lenny into his office when relief arrived. To my knowledge, Lenny was the only jock in the history of the station to be fired during his shift." - Bill FM Stephens (February 7, 2000)

"Bob Marx (aka "the Italian teddy bear!") did fill-in on Big D FM in mid-70's...then, after Len Thomas was fired, Bob took over middays on AM. Len came in the studio one morning - following Brad Davis - and uttered a G'Damn F-bomb toward Brad... unaware that Brad had left the mic ON, and monitor OFF! Len was immediately dismissed on the spot at 10:00am!" - Mike Taylor (July 29, 2014)

"It wasn't until about 1977 that Len uttered those fateful words while taking over for Brad. I was across the hall in the FM studio where the phones began ringing off the hook with listeners using the same profanity Len used while testing out his mic and the reel to reel. I looked up to see Charlie Parker and a wild-eyed Dick Korsen steaming down the hallway toward the AM studio where they scooped up poor Len Thomas and escorted him back down the hall into Korsen's office where he was immediately terminated!" - Bob Marx (July 30, 2014)

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