How Did DJ Art Laboe Die? Cause Of Death

DJ Art Laboe Cause Of Death

During his eight-decade broadcasting career, Art Laboe, a pioneering radio DJ credited with ending segregation in Southern California, gave poignant song dedications to generations of devoted listeners. He was 97 years old.

Laboe succumbed to pneumonia on Friday night at his Palm Springs home, according to Joanna Morones, a representative for Laboe’s production firm, Dart Entertainment. Produced last week and released on Sunday night was his final show.

Art Laboe Career

By planning live DJ events at drive-in restaurants that attracted white, Black, and Latino listeners who danced to rock ‘n’ roll and surprised an older generation still listening to Frank Sinatra and Big Band music, Laboe is credited with aiding the end of segregation in Southern California.

The expression “oldies, but goodies” is also credited to the DJ. He founded Original Sound Record, Inc. in 1957, and in 1958 the compilation album “Oldies But Goodies: Vol. 1” was released. This album spent 183 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 chart.

After anchoring the syndicated “The Art Laboe Connection Show,” he later gained a sizable following among Mexican Americans. His baritone voice inspired fans to ring in with dedications and requests for Alicia Keys’ rhythm and blues song or a rock ‘n’ roll love song from the 1950s.

He relocated to California, went to Stanford University, and participated in World War II’s U.S. Navy. He eventually found employment as a radio announcer at KSAN in San Francisco, where he used the name Art Laboe after a boss advised him to do so to seem more American.

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How Did DJ Art Laboe Die?

According to a post on his Facebook page, Laboe, a host of a program on the Los Angeles radio station KDAY, passed away on Friday from pneumonia. KDAY’s owner, Meruelo Media, confirmed his passing.


Rich Cain wrote:

Long time west coast DJ Art Laboe has passed. He helped bring pop music to the airwaves and helped to end the segregation of blacks and Latinos in southern California. He was 97.

Luis Alfaro wrote:

I’ll never forget receiving a call from DJ Art Laboe after he read a poem I wrote called Angel Baby. He shared it with Rosie of The Originals, who got on the phone with him. I couldn’t believe I was talking to both icons. Their voices etched in my mind. An oldie but a goodie. RIP

Molly Lambert wrote:

I’ve always loved this album cover for the diverse California crowd where everyone looks so happy, and Art Laboe for being an Armenian DJ who played black music for a mostly Chicano audience…we love it

Damien Willis wrote:

‘Oldies but Goodies’: Longtime oldies DJ Art Laboe, 97, dies. This one hurts. Art was a legend when it came to Chicano oldies. His reputation in L.A. is inimitable. And, in the industry, he’s beyond reproach. He’ll sure be missed.

Craft Recordings wrote:

We’re saddened to hear about the passing of Art Laboe, the pioneering radio DJ who not only brought the music of iconic artists to Southern California listeners, but also helped end segregation with one of the first major broadcasts to play music from all races and genres.

Spectrum News 1 SoCal wrote:

In addition to helping end segregation in SoCal by organizing live DJ shows at drive-in eateries that attracted white, Black and Latino listeners who danced to rock-n-roll, Art Laboe is credited with coining the phrase “oldies, but goodies.”

Stephen Pitti wrote:

Laboe’s “radio shows gave the families of incarcerated loved ones… a platform to speak to their relatives by dedicating songs & sending heartfelt messages & updates. People incarcerated in California & Arizona would send in their own dedications …”

KVOA News 4 Tucson wrote:

RIP Art Laboe, the pioneering radio DJ who read heartfelt song dedications to generations of loyal listeners and was credited with helping end segregation in Southern California during an eight-decade broadcast career, has died. He was 97.

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