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Jimmy O'Neill dies at 73; L.A. deejay hosted TV's 'Shindig!'

Jimmy O'Neill dies at 73; L.A. deejay hosted TV's 'Shindig!'

Jimmy O'Neill, an Oklahoman barely out of his teens when he became Los Angeles' top-rated radio deejay and only 24 when he catapulted to national celebrity as the host of "Shindig!," one of the earliest rock 'n' roll shows on prime-time television, died Friday at his West Hollywood home. He was 73.

He had diabetes and heart problems, said his son, James O'Neill.

In 1959, O'Neill made radio history as the first voice heard on KRLA-AM (1110) when it dropped its country-western format for rock music. It quickly became a powerhouse in rock radio and launched O'Neill into television in 1964 as the winsome emcee of "Shindig!"

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