Art Laboe dies; his ‘Oldies but Goodies’ show ruled the L.A. airwaves
Art Laboe gets ready for his call-in dedication radio show in the KDAY studios in Palm Springs in 2015 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
When Art Laboe was a child, his mother couldn’t pull him away from the radio.
“I listened to soap operas. I listened to news. I listened to all the announcements,” he told The Times in 2009. “I was enthralled with this box that talked.”
The disc jockey, who got his first radio job at 17, went on to fill Southern California’s airwaves for more than 70 years. He was one of the first to play rock ’n’ roll on the West Coast and was a pioneer in creating a compilation album, calling it “Oldies but Goodies.”
His inviting, baritone voice became a beacon for generations of fans, particularly Latinos.
Behind a microphone until late in life, Laboe died late Friday while battling pneumonia, Joanna Morones, a spokesperson for Laboe’s production company, said. He was 97.