A legendary radio personality in eastern Iowa has died. S
eventy-nine-year-old Darryl Hensley, who was known as “The Mad Hatter,” was killed Wednesday in a car /bicycle accident in Burlington on Carmen Road near 1100 North in Henderson County, when he apparently turned in front of a vehicle driven by 57-year-old Shawn Dunne.
Hatter was participating in a Bike Burlington Dinner Ride and was heading to Lomax, Illinois. Tyler Bickel is a local bicycle store owner and member of Bike Burlington. He says he’s known Hatter for most of his life.
“He always had a story. It was always an interesting, bigger-than-life story,” Bickel says. “Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever heard the same story twice.”
A member of the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hatter worked as an Account Executive for Pritchard Broadcasting. Throughout his career, Hatter worked at several radio stations, hosting the “Mad Hatter Morning Show”.
Hatter is credited with starting the Buddy Holly Memorial Concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake in 1979. Hatter built three rock and roll FM stations: KZEV, now KLKK in Clear Lake/Mason City, Minnesota, and KDWD in Burlington, now 93.5 KKMI.
(By Rob Sussman, KBUR, Burlington)