RIP: Huggy Boy, Los Angeles disc jockey

Huggy Boy disc jockey

For many people growing in Los Angeles, disc jockey Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg provided their first exposure to rhythm and blues music. For five decades, Huggy Boy was a true legend in the Los Angeles radio market.

And now, Huggy Boy is dead at the age of 78.

The Los Angeles Times has an excellent obituary on Huggy Boy. Here’s a couple of choice paragraphs:

By the early 1950s, Hugg was broadcasting a late-night show from the window of Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store, then a hot spot for R&B music. Hugg is credited with exposing white teenagers to Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

“He was one of the pioneers who first played rhythm and blues,” said Don Barrett, whose laradio.com website tracks local radio. “It came at a time of growing conflict between parents who were listening to Doris Day and their kids who all of a sudden could hear this forbidden sound. Huggy really captured the imagination of young people back then.”

Throughout a radio career that took him to as many as nine local AM and FM stations, Hugg’s programs were so popular with Latino audiences that he often jokingly referred to himself as “the Dick Clark of the Chicanos.”

He willl be missed.

The cool advertisement was borrowed from my friends at the DooWopSocietyof SouthernCalifornia.

9 comments to RIP: Huggy Boy, Los Angeles disc jockey

  • G.G.

    I LOVE HUGGY BOY! I LISTENED TO HIM ON THE RADIO 24/7 WHEN I WAS A KID. I GREW UP LISTENING TO THIS GUY AND ALL THE OLDIES AND GOOD MUSIC FROM BACK IN THE DAY. I DONT THINK ANYBODY COULD EVER COMPARE TO THIS MAN, ART LABOE COMES SO VERY CLOSE BUT COULD NEVER TOP HUGGY BOY!

  • jolyon brent pehrson

    Dear friends, me too. I loved Huggy and the time shared. It was a hard time socially, but I would not trade it for anything. I listened to Huggy Boy, and Hunter Hancock
    late at night and set my head right. Also Johnny Otis was a fine teacher with his TV show and along with Huggy and Hunter were a major factor in forgetting who’s who in the race game. I’m 69 and can still see how this time and it’s people have effected many of the major musical entertainers and the decades that followed.
    ” Vernon and Central ” I can remember Huggy Boy saying, it was a mysterious and magnetic place where music could do it’s work on avenues previously unavailable or
    unknown. Here race was not the issue. Cool music from the original artists. Shirley Gunther and the Queens and Johnny Guitar Watson played up stairs in a place in Arcadia
    The place was electric and few times ever could match the excitement. I was 15 and dressed up to get in, little red haired freckled kid who never forgot this wonder filled time .At intermission, I sat on the back step’s and smoked a cigarette with Shirley and talked, she was wonderful and made me feel like someone also. I got there by listening to Huggy Boy. Thanks Brent Pehrson

  • S.G

    My father loved listening to this show when he was younger. We would just like to know if by chance, anyone remembers the name and artist of the theme song. We believe it was Earl Bostic and we know one song was “Dream”. We would just like to know the name of the other. We’d truly appreciate any help you can give. Thank you.

  • John Flores

    I used to watch the Huggie Boy shows and I had met Mr. HB himself once at the Roger Young Auditorium. What happened to those videos? Are they syndicated? Can you buy them?

  • Darlene Knoll

    I’ve been recently listening to Hot 92.3 Art Loboe oldies up to I think the 80’s… And went online to see what he looks like present day as I grew up with him and Huggy boy. So I found this website on Huggy Boy which I grew on his “music & radio” station since I was approximate 12 up to 17. After which my music grew to many styles especially the 70’s and Led Zepplin, Eagles, Doobies, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc…. Anyway use to buy all his albums he’d sell in the air and I still have all the albums to date 12 albums from the age of 13-16. I am know going to be 60 in July and they are all in good shape….I was so bummed to find out he passed away at the age of 78!!! What year was that? My prayers are with him and his family…. JUST TO LET YOU KNOW I SO ENJOY HIM GROWING UP!!!HE WAS A BIG PART OF MY LIFE!!!! BLESSING TO YOU ALL!!!! lOVE DARLENE KNOLL OF LOS ANGELES, CA

  • Eddie B.

    What ever happened to the huggyboy show from the 70s?

  • thehumph

    I was just watching a PBS Motown show and reminded my wife of the time in the 50’s when I was smitten with black R&B played by Huggy. I was a white boy growing up in Altadena and thought the music just great (still is.) I still remember his banter (I think, which at almost age 75 may be unreliable): “this is Huggy Boy coming to you from … at Vernon and Central, Central and Vernon, Vernon and Central, Central and Vernon….”

  • RD Williams

    I’m 76 and grew up in L.A. listening to Huggy Boy in my 40 ford Hot Rod. I still listen but now on my computer. He was the best.

  • mo ryan

    just listened to Long Lonely Nights by Lee Andrews, courtesy of Alexa, and thought of Huggy Boy. I was a girl in L.A. who had just received a transistor radio as a Confirmation present. I remember laying awake into the night with the radio up against my ear listening to Huggy Boy broadcast from a record store. Somehow I found a freedom I never had before; I was transported by HB and the music I loved then and I love now 60 years later. What a wonderful gift he gave to the kids of L.A…including at least one Irish Catholic girl.

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