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Art Laboe, one of the US radio pioneers dies after battling pneumonia

Art Laboe
Art Laboe

Art Laboe, one of the pioneering voices in radio who created one of its most popular phrases, is dead after battling pneumonia.

Laboe, who’s widely credited with coining the phrase “Oldies but goodies” died on Friday night at his home in Palm Springs, according to a rep for Art’s production company.

Direct sources tell us that he was diagnosed with Pneumonia two weeks ago and had already started treatment.

We’re told he had close friends by his side when he passed and generations of his fans, particularly on the West Coast, are remembering the man who revolutionized radio broadcasts.

Art was only 18 years old when he got his first gig on KSAN in San Francisco.

During WWII he started taking requests and dedications, a new concept for disc jockeys at the time. He later moved to Los Angeles and had an enormous social impact on the city.

He organized live DJ shows at a drive-in movie theater where he would play rock ‘n’ roll music, and attract young audiences of white, Black, and Latino fans.

His shows were so popular, some credit him with helping end segregation in SoCal.

Art went on to become a record producer, and concert promoter and even owned some radio stations in the 20th century, a rare gem indeed.

Art’s final syndicated radio show was produced last week and aired Sunday night. He was always looking for ways to do new things, despite his age.

Laboe was 97 when he died and he left a great legacy for many others to follow. There are many thriving radio stations in the United States now.

May his soul rest in peace.

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