John Aielli, longtime voice of Austin mornings on KUT and KUTX, has died

John Aielli, the sweet and idiosyncratic narrator of morning commutes for generations of Austinites, has died. The longtime local radio host was 76.

“We are heartbroken to report that our beloved friend and colleague John Aielli passed away shortly before 8 a.m. this morning,” Austin stations KUT and KUTX said in a statement Sunday. “It was such a joy to work with him, and so important to what KUT and KUTX have become.”

In recent years, Aielli had suffered several health issues, including a heart attack in 2012 and a stroke in 2020. After the latter, Aielli retired from regular on-air duties at the station.

From 2012:Conversations with John Aielli of KUT

Longtime KUT/KUTX radio personality John Aielli, featured here on the station in 2012, had suffered several health issues in recent years.

During his tenure with KUT and KUTX – more than half a century – the classically trained baritone and his show “Eklektikos” have ushered the city into a new day, with everything from classical to classic rock. A beloved Austin character, he was one of the public radio station’s top fundraisers, as well as a liaison force between listeners and community arts organizations. For years, he hosted the station’s beloved holiday tunes at the Capitol.

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