Len Ellis began his broadcast career in 1951 at WJOB Radio, Hammond. He began playing country music as a way to reach out to people who had moved to the area from Kentucky and West Virginia to work in the steel mills so they could hear the music they were familiar with. Broadcasting as “Uncle Len,” he was one of the 15 founders of the Country Music Association in 1959. He founded the company that would later be known as Radio One Communications with his wife Bee, going on the air Election Day, November 1964, with WAYK AM-1050, later changed to WAKE-AM, from a small concrete building near Valparaiso. He moved to Valparaiso, where he and his wife launched WKYK Radio in 1964. The family business grew to four northwestern Indiana stations under the umbrella of Radio One Communications.
Ellis died January 15, 2018, at age 89.