DJ Art Laboe, 93, spins oldies to link inmates and family

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — DJ Art Laboe is celebrating 75 years in radio and credits his longevity in part to his devout following among family members with loved ones in prison.

The 93-year-old Laboe allows those family members to speak to inmates on his syndicated radio show through song dedications and quick messages of love.

It’s a role Laboe, based in Palm Springs, California, says he feels honored to play.

Laboe has played popular rock ‘n’ roll, Doo-Wop and R&B songs to generations of adoring Mexican-American and black fans amid changing musical tastes and social transformation in the American Southwest.

Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the Los Angeles-based National Hispanic Media Coalition, says Laboe allows the most humble of us to be humanized through music.

Over the years, the syndicated show on Sunday has aired in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

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