During National DJ Month in June, music lovers around the country celebrate disc jockeys. DJs are musical magicians who cast the perfect tunes to keep music festivals reverberating and nightclubs pumping. MVS (Musician Veteran Senior) is a non-profit organization founded in 2018. It started the National DJ Month initiative to spread awareness and honor DJs for their role in our modern-day culture. The National Day Calendar Registrar declared National DJ Month to be observed in June.
History of National DJ Month
In 1909, 16-year-old Ray Newby was the first person to play records over the airwaves. He was a student under Charles Herrold at the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless. This was years before the word ‘disc jockey’ even existed.
After the experiment, other radio broadcasters across America began replicating it. It was in 1935 that American radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term ‘disc jockey.’ Little did he know that the word was going to be the next big thing in the music world.
During the 1950s, radio DJs began playing live at ‘platter parties’ and sock hops and turned themselves into human jukeboxes. It was in 1969 that American DJ Francis Grasso made beat-matching popular at the Sanctuary Club in New York. Beat-matching involved creating smooth transitions between two or more records with matching tempos or beats.
In the 1970s, turntablism, i.e. the art of using turntables to manipulate sound and create new music, began to develop. It was the ‘father of hip hop culture’ DJ Kool Herc who first made use of turntablism when he performed at parties in his neighborhood, the Bronx.
The ’80s was a turning point for DJing as equipment like sequencers, samplers, synthesizers, and drums became more accessible and cheaper. This led to the emergence of bedroom producers. New York, Chicago, and Detroit had DJs as well as music producers delving deeper into music production.
The late ’90s saw the release of the first MP3 digital audio player (in 1998), which led to the new Digital DJ revolution. And the introduction of audio and video mixers like the SVM-1000 and other high-tech mixers led to the formation of a whole new disco DJ culture. DJing today is an intrinsic part of the music culture as a whole.
National DJ Month timeline
The world's first DJ dance party is organized by Jimmy Savile in the function room of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds in Otley, England.
‘Soc hop’ DJ Bob Casey brings the two-turntable system to the U.S.
Scratching is invented by accident by hip-hop DJ Grand Wizard Theodore.
The Winter Music Conference comes into being at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which is a Mecca for DJs.
National DJ Month FAQs
Is a DJ a musician?
You don’t have to be a musician to become a DJ. However, knowledge of music is of paramount importance.
Is being a DJ a career?
Yes, DJing is one of those few jobs that offer worldwide recognition and thus can be an exhilarating career. But being a successful DJ is not easy at all. You need to not only understand music in all its forms but also be successful in experimenting with it in a way that people love.
Is being a DJ fun?
DJing allows you to go on tours around the world and play at events. In other words, it is one of the most fun jobs ever. However, achieving that kind of fame that comes with being a pro at your job is something not many people can do.
How To Celebrate National DJ Month
Listen to your favorite DJ
National DJ Month provides a month-long opportunity to celebrate your favorite DJs. You can also give them a shout-out on social media.
Watch a documentary
Watch a documentary about DJs and the music they create. If you are looking for inspiration, this is a great way to find it.
Create your mix and celebrate
If you are into DJing, you can mix tracks and dedicate them to your favorite DJ. You don’t need high-end gear for that nowadays. Just get your friends over to your place and have fun.
5 Facts About DJs That You Didn’t Know
DJs hid the names of their records
Before the arrival of DJ programs like Serato, DJs had to bring all their records to events and they would cover the labels of their records to keep them secret.
DJing requires as much skill as dancing
DJing is an art form like dancing and requires deep knowledge of music and years of practice to understand and get the hang of it.
DJing changed culture forever
In the late ’70s, DJs became a cornerstone of urban music and changed the music culture and culture as a whole forever.
Disco at the Olympics
World-famous DJ Tiesto was the first DJ to perform at the Olympics in 2004.
Surprisingly, 37 years is the average age of the current top 100 DJs.
Why We Love National DJ Month
It welcomes trends
National DJ Month is a way to celebrate new trends in music. DJs are the first ones to find out about the latest trends in the music industry, including which songs people are listening to, which songs people hate, and which artists are making it big.
It takes music culture forward
National DJ Month takes the American music culture forward. Since DJs are experts in people’s different tastes in music, they play the role of spreading it and coming up with new tracks through experimenting.
It celebrates the variety of DJ music
National DJ Month celebrates the variety of music that DJs bring to the table. From prom nights and Christmas events to live and corporate events, a DJ can make the atmosphere by suiting the music to the occasion and the preferences of the crowd.
National DJ Month dates