New “old school” host takes over Art Laboe’s show
Chicana DJ "Old School Becky Lu" grew up listening to Art Laboe's syndicated radio show. Now, she's taking over as host following Laboe's death in October at the age of 97.
Why it matters: The percentage of radio disc jockeys who are Latino is declining, according to data gathered by Zippia.com, a job posting website.
- Latinos make up just 14.1% of radio disc jockeys in the U.S. Only 36% are women — a percentage that is also declining.
Catch up quick: Dart Entertainment announced shortly after Laboe died that Becky Lu, whose real name is Rebecca Luna, would continue his oldies radio show that airs on 14 radio stations in California and Arizona.
- "The Art Laboe Connection Show" allows listeners to call or email in dedications to loved ones in prison or those living far away. Laboe maintained a loyal following during the nearly eight decades he was on air.
- Luna, who is the chair of the Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Palm Desert, California, began co-hosting with Laboe during the pandemic.
What they're saying: Luna said callers were initially unsure of her when she first joined Laboe.
- "But eventually, they warmed up, and Old School Becky Lu became her own personality," Luna tells Axios.
- Luna said Becky Lu, like Laboe, didn't judge the listeners and lets them share their emotions over the air.
The backstory: Luna grew up in California's Coachella Valley in a Mexican American family that always listened to oldies, she says.
- Laboe, born to an Armenian-American family, was a favorite in her house because of his connection to the Mexican American community. Laboe is credited with helping end segregation in Southern California in part by organizing live events with different racial and ethnic groups, and he promoted Latino artists.
- Luna said she sees Becky Lu as a trailblazer who aims to help fellow Latinas by giving them a voice.
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