By Russell Contreras
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — It’s approaching 9 p.m. and Art Laboe adjusts the microphone as Sister Sledge’s We Are Family ends.
“And now it’s time for you to call up for those goodnight dedications,” Laboe announces.
“Hello?” a young girl says. “I want to dedicate this to my dad that’s in Lancaster (prison) and I miss tonight … I just want to say, Dad, I love you no matter where you go…” She dissolves into tears.
The 93-year-old DJ based in Palm Springs, credits one group of listeners for keeping him on the air after 75 years: family members who want to send messages to loved ones in prison.
Every Sunday on his syndicated show “The Art Laboe Connection Show,” his baritone voice calls on family members to speak directly to inmates in California, Arizona or Nevada. Sometimes, Laboe reads parts of letters written by inmates.