The Invention Phase

The phonoautograph was invented in 1857 in France by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville , commonly known as Leon Scott. He received a French pattern for the phonoautograph on 25 March 1857. Although the device was able to record sound, there was no possibility to playback. in 1877, Thomas Edison invented a phonograph cylinder that was able to play back the sound that was recorded. in 1892 commercial gramophone records that were produced by Emile Berliner and sold to the public.

The first audio radio broadcast playing William Handel’s “Largo” from Xerxes was transmitted through the first audio radio broadcast in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden. In 1909, a 16year old, became world’s first disc jockey. when Ray Newby & his team started playing records on a small spark transmitter 7 days a week under the authority of radio pioneer Charles “Doc” Herrold. ( with the exception of a bit of downtime during World War I)

Pre- world war I – The rise of the DJ

Christopher Stone became the first radio announcer and programmer In 1927, on the BBC radio station (United Kingdom).During the early years of radio broadcasting, the term used for the broadcasters was radio announcer as the term disk jockey didn’t exist until 1935, when American radio commentator Walter Winchell used it to describe Martin Block – the first radio announcer, famous for his show “Make Believe Ballroom” where Block would pretend he was broadcasting from a ballroom by playing the nation’s top dance bands.

In 1941, when it appeared in print in Variety magazine. The content pre-World war I era included live and pre-recorded versions of the broadcast in genres like comedy, drama, news, music, and sports.

In 1943, Jimmy Savile organized the world’s first DJ dance party by playing jazz records in the upstairs function room of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds in Otley, England. He also claims to have become the first DJ to use twin turntables for continuous play. Gradually radio disc jockeys became famous separate from the radio station. In the days before station-controlled playlists, the DJ often followed their personal tastes in music selection and played a big role in exposing rock and roll artists to large, national audiences. DJ Bill Randle of WERE 1300AM was one of the first to introduce Elvis Presley to radio audiences. In the 1950s, American radio DJs started appearing live at “sock hops” and “platter parties”. They would usually play hit singles on 45-rpm records while talking between songs. Occasionally, a live drummer was hired to play beats between songs to keep the dance floor alive.

Developing DJ skills

Between 1969 and 1975, with more specialized equipment on the market, special techniques like beat matching (creation of seamless transitions between records with matching beats) slip-cueing, (holding and releasing a record to create a sudden transition), scratching and mixing back and forth between two identical records to extend the rhythmic instrumental segment, or break. Turntablism was started.

In 1977 the Disco Bible was introduced by disc jockey Tom L. Lewis. Later renamed to Disco Beats it published hit disco songs listed by BPM (beats per minute), as well as by either artist or song title. This way beginning DJs could easily learn how to create seamless transitions between songs.

MTV was launched in 1981 and originally broadcasted mainly popular rock music videos. This initiated the term “video jockey”, or VJ, to describe the young and gorgeous looking announcers of videos.

DJs are taking over the world

Starting in the mid-1980s, the wedding and banquet business started to be taken over by DJ companies thanks to their skills and knowledge of audience participation, MC charisma, and “crowd-pleasing” repertory selection.

During the early 1990s, the rave scene changed dance music, the image of DJs, and the nature of promoting. Famous DJs started touring around the world and were able to branch out into other music-related activities.

The gramophone record started to lose popularity due to the Compact Disc. In 1992, MPEG designed the MPEG-1 standard to produce reasonable sound at low bit rates. The MPEG-1 Layer-3, popularly known as MP3, later revolutionized the digital music domain. The birth of Internet Radio and digital DJ revolution

In 1993 it was Carl Malamud who developed the first internet “radio station”, Internet Talk Radio. By relaying audio over the internet, it was possible to access internet radio stations from anywhere in the world, making it popular for both amateur and professional disc jockeys. During the late 1990s, various DJ and VJ software programs were developed, allowing anyone with a PC to DJ or VJ using their own music or video files.

The first MP3 digital audio player (the Eiger Labs MPMan F10) was released in 1998. Final Scratch came out with the first digital DJ system enabling DJs to control MP3 files through special time-coded vinyl records or CDs. Although it took a while before “die hard Vinyl DJs” would warm up to this innovation it was the first step in the new Digital DJ revolution. In 1999, Shawn Fanning released Napster, the first of the extremely popular file sharing systems. During this period, the AVLA (Audio Video Licensing Agency) of Canada announced an MP3 DJ license, administered by the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which would give DJs the right to perform in public using music stored on a hard drive, rather than bringing their entire CD collection to work.

2000 came with a bang! The role of the DJ is developing faster than ever before and now in 2012 taking a prominent place in the music and entertainment industry.

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