You are currently viewing Polito Vega, Salsa ‘King’ of New York Radio, Dies at 84

In a career that began in 1960, the Puerto Rico-born Mr. Vega became, one admirer said, “the architect of Hispanic radio at a global level.”

Polito Vega, an exuberant announcer with a booming bass voice and a finely attuned ear whose Spanish-language shows popularized salsa music in New York in the mid-1960s, died on March 9 in North Bergen, N.J. He was 84.

His death was announced by his family. No cause was given.

After abandoning his dreams of becoming a singer, Mr. Vega began his broadcasting career in 1960, shortly after transplanting himself from Puerto Rico to New York. He quickly distinguished himself on air with his signature voice, his perky epigrams like “Andando, andando, andando” (“Keep going”) and his adventurous playlists. He also distinguished himself in person, at concerts and dances, with his ubiquitous Yankees cap, starched white guayabera shirt, white goatee and fuzzy sideburns.

The disc jockey and recording artist Alex

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