Radio DJ Art Labo has died at the age of 97. He coined the phrase “Old people, but good”

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Radio DJ Art Labo, who coined the phrase “oldies, but yummy”, has died. He was 97.
According to a representative of his production company Dart Entertainment, Labo died on October 7 from pneumonia. The DJ’s latest show was produced last week and aired on Sunday, October 9th. In 1957, Labo founded Original Sound Record, Inc., and in 1958 released the compilation Oldies But Goodies: Vol. 1. This release remained on the Billboard Top 100 chart for over 183 weeks.

“Condolences to Art’s legions of fans, family, friends and colleagues. In September 2022, the radio executive turned 79 years old, marking the longest period of continuous broadcasting,” the statement published on his Facebook page reads. “Art Laboe’s legacy will be preserved as his team continues to produce his current nightly syndicated radio show by request and dedication – The Art Laboe Connection — which can be heard on Sundays in Los Angeles 93.5 KDAY from 6:00 to 00:00.”

According to NPR, the format of the request to call Labo has become popular among families with prisoners. The families of prisoners from California and Arizona sent their own dedications and requests to the radio DJ, who says it was an honor for him to fulfill these requests when he received them.

“I’m not judging,” Labo told the AP in a 2018 interview. “I like people.” Art Labo was born Arthur Egnoyan in Salt Lake City and grew up during the Great Depression. He received his first radio as a gift when he was eight years old, which caused his lifelong obsession with this format.

Egnoyan moved to California, enrolled at Stanford University, and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Soon he got a job as a radio announcer at KSAN in San Francisco and took the name “Art Labo” after one of his bosses suggested taking a different surname to make it sound more American.

Labo was one of the first California radio DJs to play music in the style of R&B and rock and roll. By 1956, the iconic baritone DJ could be identified with a new musical genre, and he had a popular daytime show. Labo was one of the few radio DJs who interviewed Elvis when he finally arrived in Hollywood.

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