Radio personalities who introduced and played individual choices of recorded music on broadcast radio stations evolved into the current DJ’s position as a performer who crafts a seamless and extended mix of music for a dance party or club ambiance. American radio broadcaster Jimmy Savile, a radio DJ, hosted the world’s first DJ dance party in the upstairs function room of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds in Otley, England, in 1943. He claims to be the first DJ to use twin turntables for continuous play in 1947, and in 1958, he joined Radio Luxembourg as a radio DJ. The Whiskey à Go-Go nightclub opened in 1947 as well. In the 1950s, American radio DJs pretended to be a human jukebox by performing live at sock hops and “platter parties.” They frequently talked in between songs while listening to 45-rpm records with hit singles on one turntable. In certain occasions, a live drummer was hired to keep the dance floor moving between songs. Bob Casey, a well-known “sock hop” DJ, introduced the two-turntable system to the United States in 1955. Sound systems, a novel kind of public entertainment, were established in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica, in the late 1950s. Promoters known as DJs held massive street parties focused on the disc jockey, known as the “selector,” who played dance music from large, loud PA systems while boasting and screaming in a rhythmic chanting technique known as “toasting.” These parties quickly became profitable for the promoters, who sold entry, food, and booze, sparking heated competition among DJs for the best sound systems and the latest records.
1960s and 1970s
Nightclubs and discothèques grew in popularity in Europe and the United States in the mid-1960s, so dance music dj skill was required. DJ equipment with specialized features began to appear on the market, such as Rudy Bozak’s iconic CMA-10-2DL mixer. At New York’s Sanctuary nightclub in 1969, American club DJ Francis Grasso popularized beatmatching. Beatmatching is the process of making smooth transitions between tracks that have the same beats or tempos. Grasso also invented slip-cuing, a radio method that involves keeping a record steady as the turntable rotates beneath it and releasing it at the right time to provide a seamless transition from the previous record. Agustin Martinez, a regular of the legendary “Tequila a Go-Go” Nightclub in Acapulco, is recognized with becoming the first Club DJ to mix and edit recordings live in 1964. Armando’s Le Club, a new club in Acapulco, was opened a few years later. By 1968, the number of dance clubs in the United States had begun to fall; most of them had closed or been changed into live music venues. In Europe and the boroughs of New York City, neighborhood block parties modeled after Jamaican sound systems were popular. DJ Kool Herc, widely considered as the “founder of hip-hop culture,” began performing at block parties in his Bronx neighborhood in 1973, and created a technique of mixing back and forth between two similar songs to extend the rhythmic instrumental element, or. Turntablism, the technique of manipulating sound and creating original music with turntables, began to emerge. breakThe first SL-1200 turntable was produced in 1974, followed by the SL-1200 MK2 in 1979, which is still the industry standard for DJing in the early 2010s. The 22-minute song “Autobahn” by German electronic music band Kraftwerk was released in 1974, and it takes up the entire first side of the album of the same name. Years later, hip-hop musicians like Afrika Bambaataa and house music pioneer Frankie Knuckles cited Kraftwerk as a major influence. Hip-hop music and culture first emerged in the mid-1970s among urban African Americans and Latinos in New York City. Graffiti, DJing, b-boying, and MCing are the four fundamental aspects of Hip Hop culture (rapping).The soul-funk blend of dance pop known as disco took off in the mainstream pop charts in the United States and Europe in the mid-1970s, reviving discothèques. Unlike many late-1960s clubs, discothèques relied on the DJ’s selection and mixing of tracks to provide entertainment. Record pools first appeared in 1975, giving station jockeys quick access to current music from the industry.