Reflections on Maurice "Thin Man" King, from his wife Lessie King


Reflections on Maurice "Thin Man" King, from his wife Lessie King


Richard Maurice "Thin Man" King (b.Sept. 15, 1937; d.June 17, 1980) - born in Uniontown, Alabama to mother Ora Lee Evans (her second marriage last name, not her maiden name) and father Konnie King. "Thin Man," as he was known on the air at WENN 1320 AM in the 1960's, had a very distinctive style on the air - explosive is one way to describe his delivery - announcing "Dandy Daddy Thin Man on the air!" King started his radio career in the early 1960's at WCLS, Columbus, Georgia, working with Doctor Jive (referenced by Shelley Stewart on his 1999 WATV broadcast), followed by a stint in Little Rock, Arkansas, before arriving at WENN radio in 1962. He left with most of the WENN staff during the 1976 walk-out protest over the firing of Station Manager Joe Lackey. They took over another station's frequency - 900 AM - and began WATV shortly thereafter in the Cabana Hotel on 2nd Ave North in Birmingham. They were asked to leave the same year and moved to Five Points Ensley Avenue, their current location.

Maurice and his wife Lessie married on Dec. 9, 1962 and Lessie King consented to an interview on August 18, 2018 with additional information added on February 6, 2019.

Both interviews were conducted over the phone with Lessie at home in Phoenix City, Alabama and Newnan, Georgia. She shares some of her remembrances from her 17 year marriage to Maurice.

On the introduction to the two minute audio snippet is WATV announcer Shelley Stewart reflecting on his colleague "Thin Man," on the air for the first broadcast of WATV 900 AM back in 1976, after the WENN "Walkout.. That clip was aired by Mr. Stewart in 1999 on his radio retrospective programs on WATV 900 AM.


Lessie King
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


August 18, 2019
February 6, 2019


Mark Usry
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Lessie King


Phenix City, Alabama
Newnan, Georgia


Transcript of audio snippet:

Bob Friedman: Um, so, how long do you remember Maurice being at, at W.E.N.N.?
Lessie King: Well, he was there up until, they changed, um, W.A.T.V.
BF: Ah, okay, so he was there all the way through the time that, they did the walk-out.
LK: He did. Yes.
BF: Announcers because A.G. Gaston...
LK: Mhm
BF: Opted to get rid of Joe Lackey, the manager.
LK: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
BF: Do you remember that time?
LK: Yeah, he was there then.
LK: And, when they changed, you know,
when they switched over and got WATV then that's where he went then.
BF: Right, so he was there at the beginning of WATV.

[Shelley Stewart introducing clip of "Thin Man" on the first day WATV was on air]


Full Interview: 28 minutes
Audio Snippet: 2 minutes


Maurice King.jpg
Thin Man clip complete.wav
Lessie King.pdf


Lessie King and Bob Friedman, “Reflections on Maurice "Thin Man" King, from his wife Lessie King,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed June 22, 2024,

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