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The Art Leboe Connection
Art Laboe made his radio debut in 1943, during World War II, on KSAN in San Francisco, while stationed at Treasure Island. The war had deprived the station of technicians, and he had a radiotelephone license. He pioneered the request-and-dedication concept at KSAN, taking phone calls from listeners on-air while playing big band and jazz records late nights. At first Laboe would go every 15 minutes to announce what segments were coming up next, but after realizing a gap between the last segment ending at 11:00 p.m. and the station's signoff time at 12:00 a.m., he decided to use that hour to play music in the swing and jazz genres. What was unique about the way he conducted his show was the calls he would take from listeners while on air. He would repeat to the listeners what the person on the phone was saying because technology had yet to catch up with Laboe's ambitions.
Laboe stepped away from his work as a DJ and served his country transmitting Morse Code, sending messages to ships traveling in the South Pacific.
When he returned to Southern California and began working at KCJM in Palm Springs, he was the only broadcaster in town, and would often meet with his fans at bars after signing off. He later returned to Los Angeles and began his time at KPOP. While working at KPOP, Laboe got the idea to take his show on the road and broadcast live from the local Scrivner's Drive-In, on Cahuenga and Sunset. Teenagers would come to the drive-in and hang out, and give live on-air dedications for songs.
Today he live right here on KMBY Radio playing the best of the best in Memory Music from the golden ages of the 50's and 60's.