US DJ Art Laboe Died At the Age of 97 After Health Battle

A DJ who was credited with helping to abolish segregation in Southern California has died following a health battle, according to his publicist.

Art Laboe, who coined the famous saying “Oldies but Goodies,” died on Friday at 97.

According to Joanna Morones, a representative for Laboe’s production business, Dart Entertainment, the musical man died of pneumonia, according to the Associated Press.

According to The US Sun, his final program was produced last week and aired Sunday after he died.

Laboe is known for contributing to the abolition of segregation in Southern California.

He organized live DJ events at local drive-in restaurants, where people of all races danced to rock-n-roll.

In addition to coining the slogan “oldies but goodies,” Laboe founded Original Sound Record, Inc. in 1957.

Laboe published the collection album “Oldies But Goodies: Vol. 1” a year later, in 1958.

The album spent 183 weeks on Billboard’s Top 100 list.

Later in his career, he presented The Art Laboe Connection Show, a syndicated show broadcast by Laboe from Palm Springs, California.

US DJ Art Laboe Died

Laboe’s show allowed families who had loved ones in jail to send messages to them by dedicating music and notes on the radio.

Through Laboe, inmates in California and Arizona may also send dedications and receive updates from relatives.

In a 2018 interview with AP News, Laboe said he liked people and stressed, “I don’t judge.”

Laboe occasionally recounts a tale about a mother who wanted her kid to say “Daddy, I love you” over the radio so her father could hear it.

“It was the first time he had heard his baby’s voice,” he stated.

“And this strong, tough-as-nails guy fell into tears.”

When Elvis Presley traveled to Hollywood, Laboe was one of the few media people who had an interview with him.

Laboe, born Arthur Egnoian in Salt Lake City and grew up during the Great Depression, received his first radio when he was eight.

He subsequently migrated to California, attended Stanford University, and served in the United States Navy during WWII.

Laboe’s first employment was as a radio broadcaster at KSAN in San Francisco.

Art Laboe was his new name at the time.

This story was first published in The US Sun and is reprinted with permission.

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