MIAMI RADIO ICON LEO VELA PASSES AWAY
August 26,2021 / Alex Gutierrez
Leo Vela….. he was not only that voice you heard on the radio , he was your friend and to many of us in the music industry here in South Florida , he was our teacher. He used his raspy. Seductive voice as a musical instrument. Every word was a note , every sentence was a song. Sometimes we tuned in to his station more for the voice than the music. He was one of us , a true Miami boy , he partied at the same places we did , we drank and ate with him……man, he was the party. He was part of the original Super Q team , the groundbreaking station that catered to first generation latins like myself.
He was born on November 20, 1952 and began his career on Miami’s 96x , later moving to Super Q. and then as program director on WRTO. In the mid 90s along with “ The Chief” Raymond Hernandez he revived the Super Q format. Later again with the Chief he catapulted Salsa 98.3 Fm into the #1 position in local markets with a mixture of styles that catered specifically to assimilated Miami Hispanics. Introducing several new genres to South Florida.
The ” Chief” Raymond Hernadez
SVP Of Programming West Palm Beach, Florida
” My Brother My Homeskillet. You taught me so much. Im forever grateful that we crossed paths and became instant brothers. I will never forget you and your many lessons I practice daily. Love you! ”
Personally, I’ll never forget what he once told me back in the late 70s ” We love music, wherever we are , whatever we are doing , music will always be part of our life, it’s why we were put on this earth.
Zeta 92 in the mid 2000s gave him a nighttime slot which would be his last on air radio gig. After that Leo became the host of major Disco and Freestyle concerts around South Florida. After a stroke, which affected his speech, Leo retired and spent his remaining days at home attending to various other health issues. He passed away on August 26, 2021. He will always be a part of Miami’s musical history .