It is with an extremely heavy heart that we inform you that our dear friend, colleague, leader, mentor and the soul of Alma Del Barrio, Eddie Lopez, has passed away.
KXLU tribute written by LMU Radio Director, Lydia Ammossow:
Eddie, an LMU alumnus from 1978, has been with KXLU since 1976 when he first began as a student deejay with Alma del Barrio. He was an exceptional pillar of our station for 46+ years who elevated Salsa music, artists, and musicians beyond measure. Eddie was a tireless champion of this life-giving genre of music, the quintessential radio professional on air, a seasoned curator of all things Salsa, and someone who cared deeply for the radio station. His presence will be infinitely missed, but the forever imprint of his spirit remains ever vibrant in our corner of these LMU blufftops as well as in the local and greater Salsa communities.
Please hold his family, many friends, and devoted listeners close to your heart in these days ahead. Eddie’s Sunday afternoon slot, from 2pm to 6pm, that he occupied for so many years on our airwaves may never quite feel the same. We will miss our friend, colleague, and mentor. Exponentially. May he rest in eternal peace. Godspeed, Eddie.
Alma del Barrio tribute written by current ADB program host, José Cristobal:
Eddie was a native Angeleno who grew up around his father’s photography studio. After graduating from Cathedral High School, he began his studies at Pepperdine University but then transferred to Loyola Marymount University where he graduated in 1978. He spent most of his professional career working at KVEA Channel 52 Telemundo in Los Angeles.
Eddie started with Alma Del Barrio in October of 1976 on the show’s third birthday. He spent the next 46 years bringing wonderful Afro-Latin music to the radio airwaves of Los Angeles on
Sundays from 2pm to 6pm. Eddie was a consummate professional who demanded that Alma Del Barrio be as professional as any of the commercial radio stations. He brought out the best in each of his colleagues and guided them to excel. He also made sure that all at Alma Del Barrio were not just colleagues, but also family. Eddie Lopez was key to Alma Del Barrio staying on the air for fifty years.
Eddie was a family man who loved his daughter Nina, his wife Vanessa, and their family dearly. He could be seen cruising around town in his classic Canary Yellow Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
He was a true gentleman, a fan favorite, and he will be deeply missed. Our condolences to his family.
Alma Del Barrio would like to dedicate its golden anniversary to Eddie Lopez, as well as our upcoming 50th Anniversary Salsa Festival in Summer 2023.
Rest in peace Eddie.
Personal tribute written by close friend and former ADB program host, Alan Geik:
Eddie Lopez changed my life —in an instant. That was almost forty-three years ago. He recruited me to host Latin Dimensions, a late night show on KCRW, then a small station operating out of a junior high school classroom. It never occurred to me to be a radio host.
He said it would be the greatest adventure in my life. I wasn’t impressed as I had lived in foreign countries and that small classroom didn’t seem likely to be a catalyst for a life change in any way. I thought it might be fun for a few months. Soon after, KCRW moved its antennae and became a powerhouse in public radio. The Latin Dimensions audience increased many times over.
Hector Resendez recruited me, and the late Nina Lenart, to join Alma del Barrio. We both did so thinking that would be fun also for a few months.
We stayed for twenty-five years.
I met the musicians, music producers and of course the countless fans of the show—the family that showed its love of the music and appreciation for us every weekend.
I recounted many times to Eddie how right he was —radio changed my life, as it did for all the other Alma del Barrio hosts since that long ago time in 1979.
I’m proud to say that Eddie and I became close friends and colleagues throughout all those years.
I’ll miss him dearly.
You can send your condolences by mail to: Family of Eddie Lopez, c/o KXLU, 1 LMU Drive, Malone 402, Los Angeles, California 90045.