I want to personally congratulate my radio mentor, Art Laboe on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame and Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. It’s a well-deserved accolade for an eight-decade legend in the field of radio broadcasting.
I can provide a little insight on my close friend. Art was born in Salt Lake City. He moved to Southern California after World War II, becoming a broadcaster while serving his country. His early contemporaries include Alan Freed, Murray The K, Hunter Hancock, and Dick Hugg Huggy Boy. Laboe coined the term Oldies but Goodies, which led to a successful series of album compilations. He popularized the live radio remote when he broadcast a show from Scrivners’ Drive-In in Los Angeles. He developed the modern West Coast Urban Oldies format, which featured popular songs and phone dedications from the Southern California Latino community, and elsewhere. He personally arranged the deal keeping 11-10 KRLA AM on the airwaves, in a negotiation with co-owners Bob Hope and Art Linkletter.
Laboe received a Star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood and Highland. I was proud to attend this wonderful ceremony in 1981. Art is the owner of Original Sound Records.
ART LABOE with RICK NELSON at SCRIVNERS' DRIVE IN
In a recent interview on our Forgotten Hollywood Radio Show, Art mentioned he was a huge fan of Hollywood’s Golden Age. During his career, he has met Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Rick Nelson, among others. A personal favorite movie is Shane, the 1952 Western starring Alan Ladd, Van Heflin, and Jean Arthur. And, Art proudly owns the complete Forgotten Hollywood Book Series in his personal library.
In 2009, he was honored with Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Diamond Circle Award, given to PPB members who have made an important contribution to the development of broadcasting during their 75+ years. Art Laboe memorabilia can be seen at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum’s interactive Rock and Radio exhibit in Cleveland.
His induction was star-studded, with Geraldo Rivera (above), base-ball-great Johnny Bench, and radio icon Dick Biondi in attendance. The next time I’m in the Windy City, I plan on stopping by the Radio Hall of Fame and Museum of Broadcast Communications to honor my dear friend… the legendary Art Laboe!
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