Radio pioneer Art Laboe dead at 97

Fans of classic radio were left grieving this past weekend after it was announced that pioneering radio star Art Laboe had passed away at age 97. 

According to TMZ, Laboe died last Friday at his home in Palm Springs, just two weeks after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

The website explained that Laboe first became a disc jockey when he was 18 years old at the San Francisco radio station KSAN.

“Oldies but goodies”

In addition to popularizing the catchphrase “oldies but goodies,” Laboe was also credited with starting the practice of taking requests and dedications from audience members.

The radio host’s innovation continued in Los Angeles, where he would hold racially integrated parties at drive theaters, which some say contributed to the end of segregation there.

He also stood out for his music selections by choosing to play rock ‘n roll and R&B.

Laboe branched out into other ventures as his success grew, becoming a record producer, concert promoter, and radio station owner.

The Daily Caller noted that Laboe was born to an Armenian-American family in Salt Lake City, where he grew up during the Great Depression. Originally called Arthur Egnoian, Laboe changed his name following his service in War II.

Fans react

Following news of Laboe’s passing, fans took to social media, sharing warm words of praise for the radio legend.

One writer recalled how Laboe provided “eternal reassurance that there was always someone dedicated, waiting up late.”