L.A.’s radio community pays tribute to Art Laboe, a legend and mentor: ‘End of an era’

In this 1950s archival photo, Art Laboe, center, pals around with Don, left, and Phil of the Everly Brothers.
(Art Laboe Archives)

Los Angeles’ music and radio communities are mourning the loss of prolific “Oldies but Goodies” disc jockey Art Laboe, who died on Friday.

The Instagram page for his syndicated show, “The Art Laboe Connection,” announced that the radio legend died at his home in Palm Springsat age 97 after battling pneumonia.

“Art Laboe’s legacy will endure as his team will continue to produce his current nightly request and dedication syndicated radio show, The Art Laboe Connection,” the Instagram post said.


Laboe, whose voice filled Southern California’s airwaves for more than 70 years, was known for being the first to play rock ‘n’ roll on the West Coast and creating the compilation album “Oldies But Goodies.” He became a beloved figure for generations of fans, particularly for Latinos, for his call-in dedication show, which aired first on HOT 92.3 FM and then on KDAY-FM (93.5).

Art Laboe filled the Southern California’s airwaves for more than 70 years

Oct. 10, 2022

A memorial for the Los Angeles radio vet will be announced later, but figures from L.A.’s local radio stations are already paying tribute online.

“RIP to the one and only #ArtLaboe,” tweeted KCRW DJ Candace Silva-Torres. “The end of an era. Staying up late, listening to those dedications.”

“Art Laboe was one of the best DJs and it was a beautiful Sunday tradition to listen to his love songs radio show,” tweeted KCRW host Tyler Boudreaux.

Anthony Valadez, who co-hosts KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” tweeted a photo of Laboe, noting that “no one could ever do shout-outs like this O.G.”

KDAY bid farewell to Laboe, calling him “our longtime family member.”

“Thank you for all the many years and amazing times you spent with us here at 93.5 KDAY!,” the station tweeted.

Romeo Mastin, who co-hosts KDAY’s “Morning Show,” paid tribute to Laboe, his “longtime Friend and Mentor,” with a video on Instagram. In the clip, Mastin and Laboe are seen backstage, exchanging radio stories and laughs.

Art Laboe, of the oldies and sentimental on-air dedications, returns to the L.A. airwaves on KDAY-FM, four months after a Hot 92.3 format shift.

June 4, 2015

“I Thank You for believing in me, encouraging me and allowing me to be a part of your Amazing Journey,” Mastin wrote in his caption. “We’ve shared so many stories over the years and you would always tell me that ‘I have that THING’ That will bring Joy to others and to never stop smiling.


“I know that you are smiling from Heaven because this City, the World and everyone that tunes into the @artlaboeconnection LOVES YOU!!! and I will make sure to do my part to continue your Legacy,” Mastin added.

Hip-hop station Power 106 also remembered Laboe on Twitter, noting that “his staple Sunday night show on our sister station @935kday won’t be the same.”

His deep, soothing voice had filled Los Angeles’ airwaves for more than 60 years.

Feb. 11, 2015

Also remembering Laboe on social media was Amoeba Music. On Twitter, the popular music store shared a photo of one of Laboe’s “Dedicated to You” CDs.

“Rest In Peace Art Laboe,” said the store’s tweet. “The broadcasting legend, king of dedications, and longtime host of ‘Oldies but Goodies’ has died at age 97.”

Times staff writer Esmeralda Bermudez contributed to this report.