Singer, songwriter, and country music performer Haywood Henson (H.L. Mease) was “The Midnight Rambler,” a nickname from his days as 97 Country WPCV’s overnight host from 1979 to 1982. All his work hasn’t been behind the microphone, though. The Union SC native also managed Bartow country AM’er WPUL for a couple years beginning in 1982.
He began a television career in 1986 on Lakeland’s WTMV-TV Channel 32, a station known at the time for its “all videos all the time” MTV-type programming. During the years he was with the Lakeland station, his program evolved into a weekly half-hour show that blended music videos and performances with local and national celebrity interviews, even as the station itself evolved into mainstream programming. After a lengthy and successful run on Channel 32, he moved his program to Paxson TV’s WPAX-TV Channel 66.
The TV show has led him to do numerous interviews with top stars in the field of country music like Reba McEntire and, as a country music performer himself, open shows for big-name acts like Johnny Cash. He’s a big Nascar fan and, as a result of his many hours spent working with area charities, is always in demand for public appearances.
In 2008, Haywood announced that he was retiring from TV work, and today (2009) makes his home in Valrico.
1979 - 1983 WPCV-FM 97.5 - Winter Haven (On Air Personality)