Remembering John LaBella
I can’t spend too many days between times when someone asks me if I’m that same John Rody from the hippie radio days. He and I spent 13 years hosting a morning radio show together – shoved together by a program director, The Morning Zoo with LaBella & Rody was a morning institution for a generation. John and I along with Mike Rhyner stole a living and had the most fun allowed by law. We grew up in the north east and shared the same radio favorites from New York City and Boston radio. We were courted by great stations nationwide but stayed in DFW for the full run. A great guy and a world-class broadcaster. I’ll get some old airchecks up sometime for you to hear or send you to one of the Zoo sites. KZEW was owned by Belo who also operated WFAA-TV and WFAA Radio and The Dallas Morning News.
LaBELLA JOHN CARL, 52, died March 4, 2002. A devoted husband and father, John also was a respected and admired radio personality. His deep passion for radio was evidenced by the energy, dedication and unshakable level of professionalism he brought to his craft. Born May 18, 1949, in New Britain, Conn., John graduated from the University of Hartford in 1972 where he also began his broadcasting career in 1968 at WWUH, the college radio station. After working at several stations in Connecticut including WHCN, John moved to Houston in 1977 where he worked for KLOL. In 1978 he moved to Dallas to work at KZEW (The Zoo) and became part of the legendary morning team of LaBella and Rody. Following working at KZEW, John fulfilled a life-long dream when he moved back to Connecticut to work at WTIC in Hartford. Drawn to Texas in 1992 by the opportunity to work at KZPS, John worked at The Arrow (KRRW), B-97.9 and spent the last several years doing the morning show on KMEO – Memories 96.7. John is survived by his beloved wife of eight years, Beth, and his adored 7-year-old daughter, Elise. He also is survived by his mother, Ruth LaBella of Middletown, Ct, his sister, Christine Sirigos of Portland, Ct., mother-and-father-in-Law, Bea and Frank Brundrett of Kemp. Texas, nephews Justin, David & Stephen Short and George Sirigos, as well as numerous other loving relatives. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Louis LaBella and his brother, Michael.