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Read the Review. Forgetting, for now, the witchdoctor, the bandleader and all the disc jockey's other illustrious prototypes, what we're asking is: Who first played recorded music to entertain a group of people? Thomas Edison, who invented the cylinder phonograph inhardly conceived of putting music on it, and in any case his equipment could only just be heard by a single person, let alone a group.
Emil Berliner, who gave us the flat-disc gramophone inwould still probably fail on the volume test. A decade later the radio waves were tamed, but it would take another full ten years before Marconi's equipment was able to send more than Morse's dots and dashes.
However, when the gramophone and radio al were finally combined, we find our first DJ candidates. In an American, Lee DeForest, known as the "father of radio" for his invention of the triode, which made broadcasting possible, played a record of the "William Tell Overture" from his laboratory in the Parker Building in New York City.
DeForest was wrong, however—he had been preceded. Fessenden, who had worked with Edison, and who intended to transmit radio waves between the U. He made a short speech explaining what he was doing, read the Bible text "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will" and played a few solos on his violin, together with some singing, which he admits "was not very good. What was the very first record played by a DJ? It was a woman probably Clara Butt singing Handel's Largo. Radio is a unique broadcast medium. It has the power to reach millions, and yet it has the intimacy to make them each feel they are the most important person listening.
Unlike television, which invades the home with images of the outside world, radio is somehow part of the place in which it is heard, and the voices and music it carries manage to create a strong feeling of community. Sociologist Marshall McLuhan called it the "tribal drum. Because of radio's uniquely seductive nature, the disc jockey quickly gained adoration, fortune and notoriety. The power of someone playing records across the airwaves was soon noticed and immediately questioned. It was seen as a great threat to employment by musicians and viewed with suspicion by those responsible for society's cohesion.
It was even perceived as an economic threat by the record companies, who thought it would replace rather than promote their products. And the radio DJ was undoubtedly powerful, almost from his inception. His promotional muscle was the major factor in the creation of the modern music industry and the broadcast advertising industry, too. He was instrumental in founding new genres of music, by bringing together unconnected stylistic strands and by creating pride and ambition in the local folk musicians who played them.
In a similar way, the early disc jockeys were key in fostering understanding between different races and cultures. The disc jockey's influence was soon so strong that it attracted more than just envy and suspicion. America's musicians went on strike for a full year in protest over the rise of the DJ. And before his profession was very old, a radio DJ would be targeted, investigated and eventually hounded to death by the U.
It was in that radio is said to have begun in earnest. Before that there were just scientists and hobbyists dotted around the world toying with the medium and trying to find uses for the new technology. Radio was broadcast to midwestern farmers with coded weather predictions; it was used to boost the morale of the troops of both sides in the First World War trenches; Thomas E. Clark in Detroit broadcast to ships plying Lake Erie. In in New York City, Dr. Elman B. Meyers started broadcasting a daily hour program which was almost all records.
Even at this early stage, it was clear that it was a powerful force. True noted with satisfaction that her program had a noticeable effect on the store's record sales. Radio's advertising potential was soon clear and in late the first fully-d commercial station, KDKA in Pittsburgh, started on air. KDKA—which soon gained fame for its coverage of the presidential election—had grown out of Dr. Frank Conrad's experimental broadcasts as station 8XK, which, using wartime equipment, transmitted from his garage.
The story of early radio is a very American one because it was only in the U. The rest of the world saw the medium as a force to inform and educate their populations and the resulting nationalized broadcasting was paternalistic and staid. America, however, after a brief debate, quickly saw radio as a mass advertising medium.
Economic function then dictated its form and as it looked for ways to gain a large audience, American radio settled firmly on populist entertainment. Afterwhen the first Radio Conference drew up formal proposals for the use of the U. In March of that year there were sixty registered stations; by November there were His name was Christopher Stone and he had to work hard to convince the BBC to let him construct a program around just playing records. However, once on-air it was a great success and Stone's dry and disarming manner quickly made him one of the first stars of radio.
In a distinct contrast to the corporation's rules of decorum, he was allowed to ad lib his introductions and developed a conversational, almost chatty style as he spun American and American-influenced jazz.
In Melody Maker declared, as it celebrated Stone's seventy-fifth birthday, "Everyone in Britain who has written, produced or compered a gramophone program on the air should breathe a prayer, or if it is in more accord with temperament raise a glass to salute the man who was the founder of his trade. Despite the early triumphs of such pioneers, radio had a long road to travel before it became anything we would now recognize. In its seventy-fifth anniversary issue inBillboard described the sleepy nature of the medium in the years before Explaining that the evening was taken up by broadcasts from ballrooms and symphony halls, the magazine described the rest of the day's schedule.
A solo pianist was heard sporadically around the clock. Stuffy, pompous staff announcers read the news from the daily press. A singer might have his own hour, accompanied by the solo pianist. Weather and livestock reports, farm produce prices, fruit and citrus warnings, poetry readings and interminable lectures on cultural and scientific subjects by boring local academic figures ate up the clock from -on to dusk. Records were played too. The same staff spieler who read poetry announced each disc solemnly, impersonally and formally enough to qualify as an adept funeral director.
Almost immediately, the presence of records on the radio aroused opposition. In the U. In the industry's new governing body, the Federal Radio Commission, reemphasized that phonograph performances were "unnecessary. While the big stations complied, using music from large orchestras and live dancehalls, the smaller broadcaster still relied on the gramophone.
During the Depression, as belts were tightened, the use of records increased. Musicians called the broadcast of recorded music "DeForest's prime evil. In their employment prospects worsened further when The Jazz Singer ushered in talking pictures. Thousands of musicians who had performed accompaniment for silent movies were now out of a job. In coming years the jukebox would become another rival. Attacked by technology on all sides, it was inevitable that the jobbing musician would fight hard for survival. The American Federation of Musicians, a tight-knit closed shop union, declared the DJ to be the enemy of the musician and fought long and hard to prevent records being broadcast on radio.
The AFM were aided in this by the Federal Radio Commission, who as Arnold Passman wrote, "attempted everything this side of public hangings to curb the practice. On August 1,America's musicians actually went on strike over the issue. The AFM ordered a ban on members making records, which would be lifted only when the record labels agreed to pay greater royalties to their artists to compensate for income lost through radio's use of records. They also threw in a few demands aimed at curbing the use of jukeboxes in nightclubs.
After more than a year during which virtually no new records were made, the record companies gave in. In the UK, the Musicians' Union and the record companies fought a similar battle against the disc jockey, but this was more about the public performance of records than their presence on radio.
Allied to the musicians were the music publishers, then the most powerful part of the music industry. At the time of radio's birth, sheet music was still the dominant popular musical commodity, and songwriters were the stars of the day. When the world started buying records instead of sheet music, however, power shifted away from the publishers and songwriters and into the hands of the record companies and recording artists.
Allowing records on the radio would accelerate this shift, so the publishers fought it every way they could. This would have serious positive implications for the rise of black music on the radio. This lasted from January to October. However, all the songs played in the meantime had been those d by BMI, most of them by upcoming artists ed to independent labels, playing jazz, blues, bluegrass and other less established genres.
As a result, strong links had been forged between broadcasters, record retailers and smaller labels, and these ethnic and regional styles of music had gained a lot of exposure. For several years record companies remained unconvinced of radio's overall value as a promotional medium for their products, so they too ed the throng in fighting the idea of the disc jockey. They thought people were less likely to buy a record if they could hear it played for free. This fear was borne out by some Depression-era figures which showed that urban areas with popular radio stations were suffering a downturn in record sales they were actually suffering a downturn in sales of everything.
The larger record companies started taking legal steps against selected radio stations and a series of lawsuits ensued. One of these, the infamous Waring case, even reached the U. Supreme Court. One alternative to records which was successful for a while was the electrical transcription disc, or "ET," which was in use throughout the forties. This was a monster inch disc pressed not on shellac like the usual 78s but on "luxurious lightweight vinylite," i.
It spun at the novel speed of 33 rpm, had a playing time of thirty minutes, and contained a whole program, complete with announcements and a live-sounding orchestra playing the latest hits, all captured using state-of-the-art electronic recording techniques. The transcription disc was aimed at the smaller stations and sold as a monthly subscription service. Selvin recalled that some of the top artists made transcriptions under a phony name. The money was good, but they had to get around their existing record company contracts.
And musicians recall the mammoth recording sessions which produced them. Bob would just recall a tune we knew, next second he'd be up on the bandstand: Ready, set, go! One after another in the can. McLean's book also explains how the tiny local stations would use every trick in the book to convince their listeners that the band in question really were broadcasting from nearby.
Despite optimistic predictions, the booming market in transcriptions died off soon after the war, largely because of the rising popularity of the personality disc jockey.
The first recorded use of "disc jockey" was in Variety on August 13,when someone wrote, " Gilbert is a disc jockey, who sings with his records. As well as its obvious reference to a horse rider, it can suggest someone capable of skilful maneuvering, a man of the people, or a trickster. In Scotland "Jock" is a nickname for man or fellow; while in America a jock is a sportsman, named after his jockstrap, the article which protects his man or fellow. When it was first used it is likely that "disc jockey" was meant to be disparaging. The DJ was jockeying his records —maneuvering them with skill—but he was also seen as jockeying, as in hustlinghis place in the world.Women want sex Brant Rock
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