THE HISTORY OF MUSIC & DJS FOR WEDDINGS
DJ's and Grammophones
According to an electronics enthusiast, the birth of turntables eventually paved the way for disc jockeys. But did you know that the term disc jockey did not even refer to a person, many many decades ago? Eons ago, anyone looking for a disc jockey, will get a gramophone record.
Today, when you come across a chap searching for djs buffalo ny, he will not get a gramophone record, but a googled list of New York djs - professionals whose hobby or work includes mixing music to the delight of his audience.
There is a DJ For Everyone
There are many types of professional DJs providing entertainment to a host of different crowds. Some DJs perform for radio listeners, club-goers, festival enthusiasts, public events crowd, and even wedding guests. And because of the growing market, some DJs have specialized in wedding events.
It is interesting to travel down memory lane and find out how DJing (and their music and tools) has evolved through time. And when you discuss history, you talk about what was the first, who was the first, where was the first time, and a lot of firsts. Briefly, let us take a look at the evolution of the DJ, his music, tools, and weddings (yes weddings), and how they entwined in history.
The Firsts in DJing
Before these professionals branched out from clubs to wedding events, DJing started in the radio world. And when you talk of firsts, DJ Jimmy Savile may be the rightful heir to the title, First DJ to introduce the DJ dance party. It took place in Otley, England, in 1943, and as expected, he played all jazz records. By 1947, he became the first DJ to introduce continuous play using double-turntable, but it was Bob Casey who introduced it in the U.S.
As the 1950s ushered in, DJs became known as human jukeboxes. While playing RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) records, they would deliver their spiels in between their music.
In 1969, DJ Francis Grasso was the first to introduce beatmatching, a style showcasing shifting between two more records that have the same tempo.
In the 1970s, the break turntablism technique gained popularity. Turntables became tools for creating new music by manipulating sound effects. And by the mid-1970s, the scratching sound technique was invented. The credit goes to Grand Wizard Theodore, a hip-hop DJ from the Bronx.
By 1981, the VJ or video jockey was introduced, along with the launch of the MTV (Music Television). The following year, the popularity of compact discs reached Asia and beyond.
By 1990, the gramophone record waned in popularity as the Compact Disc came to the market. In the late 90s, many DJs, the likes of Carl Cox and Sasha and John Digweed, reached their popularity.
In 1993, the very first radio station via the internet got launched. Thanks to Carl Malamud, DJs, including newbies, had a chance to operate using their personal computers. Nathan Burton of England was the first to combine Computers with DJing. The year was 1998.
By 2002, DJs started spinning using digital vinyl. It ushered the Digital DJing revolution.
Today, DJs use the turntable as an ally in live performances. Many realize that they are almost indispensable in parties and wedding receptions. DJs who are professionals in mood-setting and mixing music that jive, have since been sought after.
How DJs May Have Landed in Weddings
Reportedly, DJing at weddings may have started as early as the 60s and 70s, although not in the U.S. Roger Squire from the U.K. was one of the first to promote the mobile disco business. When it gained popularity, his mobile disco business widened its clientele base. Apart from the disco-going crowd, mobile discos and mobile DJs have landed in other social events such as wedding receptions. Soon, others have followed suit, and the role of a DJ in weddings has multiplied - from emceeing to packing the dancefloor.
Even tools for mobile DJing have evolved. At the onset, a pair of speakers, single turntable, and records (apart from sheer DJing talent, of course) was all that was necessary to pull off a successful DJing act during wedding parties. Now, it is a whole new game. Input devices, headphones, mixers, sound systems, controllers, laptops, and monitor speakers are a must.
A DJs List of First (and Topmost)
Now here is a bit of trivia. Because of their popularity, wedding DJs have been asked time and again which songs are the most requested. Here is what one DJ has revealed of late:
The most popular first dance song is Your Song by Elton John. Now to get the guests and entourage grooving on the dancefloor, I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston and Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars are both on the top of his list of most-requested dance songs.
Songs from the past eras have also made it to the top. According to this DJ, the most requested old songs in weddings include Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley, and The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra.
Small bits of history about DJs - how their music and tools have evolved, and how they may have landed in weddings help us realize that history does shape the future. And because of this, we cannot wait to see what the next generation of DJs might have to offer in the distant future.