Who Was Art Laboe?- Wife, Death Cause and More Things!


Art Laboe, a renowned Los Angeles radio personality who played those “oldies but goodies” for local listeners and a syndicated audience for more than 50 years, has passed away. He was 97.

Keeping the torch alive for Latinos raised on the ultra-romantic crooner and dance group songs of the 1950s and 1960s was Laboe‘s legacy. Laboe was a resident of Palm Springs. Stay tuned as we discuss Art Laboe's career, the circumstances surrounding his passing, and much more.


Who Was Art Laboe?

Art Laboe was a American radio station owner, songwriter, record producer, and disc jockey. Art Laboe was also a songwriter. The phrase “Oldies but Goodies” was commonly attributed to him.

Rain or shine, Laboe offered the Chicano Southwest sound he had selected, which included R&B, rock ‘n' roll, and soul oldies. It became the soundtrack for driving lowriders and antique vehicles.


Early Years of Art Laboe

On August 7, 1925, Laboe was born in Murray, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, to Hosanna (née Kezerian) and John Egnoian. His father, John, immigrated to the United States from the Ottoman Empire; both of his parents were devout Mormons who were of Armenian descent.

Who Was Art Laboe?

After his parents' divorced when Laboe was 13 years old, he travelled to South Central Los Angeles to live with his sister. In 1938, while still a student at George Washington High School, he started doing amateur radio experiments in his bedroom.

Laboe attended Stanford University after finishing high school, where he studied before enlisting in the American Navy for the duration of World War II. In San Francisco Bay, he was assigned to Naval Station Treasure Island.

Art Laboe's Career journey

Laboe made his radio debut in 1943 at Treasure Island's KSAN. He got the position because he possessed a first-class radiotelephone licence and the station was short-staffed due to war. During this time, he altered his last name to “Laboe” because “it sounded catchier” and “more American.”

He played big band and jazz albums late at night until midnight, then encouraged listeners to call with song requests. Laboe had to repeat callers' statements into his microphone because the technology didn't exist at the time.

Laboe worked at KCMJ in Palm Springs. In February 1948, he held a “120-hour talkathon” for charity, earning him the nickname “As Long as He Lasts.” He took 15-minute breaks max.

He returned to Los Angeles and joined KPOP. Laboe broadcast live from Scrivner's Drive-In on Cahuenga and Sunset while working at KPOP. Teens would gather out at the drive-in and dedicate songs live.

Laboe made a list of popular songs. People who just broke up would want him to play love songs to win back their partners. As the popularity rose, Laboe found a promoter and a ballroom east of Los Angeles.

He had an audience and demands for his live radio broadcast. He trademarked Oldies But Goodies, the album's title. In 1959, Laboe launched Original Sound Records to encourage fresh musical talent. 1959 saw the release of “Teen Beat” by Sandy Nelson and “Bongo Rock” by Preston Epps. On both songs, Laboe wrote.

Who Was Art Laboe?

He afterwards transferred to KXLA (later KRLA) and lasted for years. In the 90s, Laboe worked for KGGI. In January 2006, Laboe debuted The Art Laboe Connection. The show began on KDES-FM in Palm Springs and KOKO-FM in Fresno.

Soon, it added KHHT (Hot 92.3) in Los Angeles (until 2015), KAJM (Mega 104.3) in Phoenix, and stations in Bakersfield and Santa Maria.

Later, Laboe DJ'd two syndicated radio shows in the Southwest. The Art Laboe Connection & Sunday Special” Art was heard in 14 areas in 2018, including Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

Art Laboe: Was He Married?

Art Laboe had been married twice, to different wives, although it was unknown if he was still married at the time of his death. Art Laboe had two previous marriages that ended in divorce.

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Art Laboe's Cause of Death

Art Laboe was a radio DJ who played records, dedicated songs to devoted listeners, and introduced newer audiophiles to “oldies but goodies” for generations of Californians.

However, Laboe, a renowned DJ and well-liked Los Angeles celebrity, has hung up his microphone for good after almost 80 years in the air.

Laboe passed away on Friday following a brief case of pneumonia, according to his publicist Joanna Morones. He was 97.