John Ellie, longtime voice of Austin Mornings on KUT and KUTX, has passed away

John Ailey, the gentle and idiosyncratic narrator of the morning journey of generations of Austinites, has died. The longtime local radio host was 76.

“We are sorry to inform you that our dear friend and colleague John Alley passed away shortly before 8 a.m. this morning,” Austin stations KUT and KUTX said in a statement Sunday. “It was a great pleasure working with them, and very important to what Kuts and Kutks have become.”

In recent years, Ellie has suffered several health setbacks, including a heart attack in 2012 and a stroke in 2020. After the latter, Ellie stepped back from regular on-air duty at the station.

since 2012:In conversation with KUT’s John Ailey

Longtime KUT/KUTX radio personality John Ailey, shown here on the station in 2012, had suffered several health setbacks in recent years.

During his tenure with KUT and KUTX—more than half a century—the classically trained baritone and his “Eclecticos” show transformed the city into a new day, featuring everything from classical to classic rock. A beloved Austin character, he was a top fundraiser for a public radio station, as well as a connecting force among listeners and community arts organizations. For years, he hosted the station’s beloved holiday single at the Capitol.

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