“He was a larger-than-life character, and he could bring the music to life,” said Art Rowbotham, president of Hall Communications Inc., which owns WONN 1230 AM / 107.1 FM and its three sister stations in Lakeland plus 17 other stations in the northeastern U.S. “That’s why he was so popular.”
Hendrick died Friday morning in Lakeland from unspecified causes after taking a medical leave of absence in July of 2016. He was thought to be in his 80s, although he did not like to discuss his age, according to The Ledger.
After a long broadcasting career in the Detroit area and a brief stint as a band singer in Las Vegas, Hendrick moved to Lakeland, FL in 2005 and joined WONN as the host of a 6-to-10 a.m. show featuring big band and American standards music of the 1940s to the early 1960s.
Between songs, Hendrick often would include recollections from his Vegas years, where his band, the Four Crowns, would play on the same bill with stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Sarah Vaughan, said Rowbotham and Nancy Cattarius, vice president and general manager for Hall Communications of Florida.
“He was passionate about music,” Cattarius said. “He had a history with that music, and he enjoyed sharing it with his listeners.”