Legendary New York Jock, Inspiration for Homeless Man/Announcer Ted Williams

Undoubtedly, you have seen the viral video of Ted Williams, a homeless man in Columbus, Ohio. Within hours, he became a media sensation.

Williams, for the few who haven’t seen the video or don’t know his story, was standing on the side of the road with the ubiquitous sign. However, this one said he’s a former radio announcer with the gift from God.

Williams, 53, pointed out that he was born and raised in Brooklyn (where his mother still lives). When he was 14, Williams got hooked on radio after visiting a station. In the first video, he didn’t say what station or who he met, only stating that the person didn’t look anything like he had pictured him.

On the Today Show Thursday, Williams said that the broadcasting idol was Hank Spann at WWRL 1600.

Throughout the 1970s, WWRL had a mix of Soul and R&B hits. Spann was at the heart of it as the station’s afternoon jock. Spann died in 2009.

In an interview with the Daily News shortly after Spann’s death, Bobby Jay said of his former WWRL colleague, “It wasn’t a broadcast, it was a performance.  He’d standing up boppin’ along with the music. He dressed the part, too. He was always fly.”

Jay added that among the station’s notable DJs, Spann was the rock star of the group.