DJ

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DJ, music

A Disk Jockey (DJ) is a person who plays recorded music on radio or television or at a nightclub or other live venue. DJ programs became the economic base of many radio stations in the U.S. after World War II. The format generally involves one person, the disc jockey, introducing and playing phonograph records and chatting informally, usually extemporaneously, in the intervals. Because popular DJs were in a position to influence public tastes, record companies attempted to bribe them with money and gifts, known as "payola." Over time radio stations developed formats (all talk, country western, oldies, rock, etc.) and a program director would often choose the music to be played. Alternative stations and College radio more closely aligned with the origins of DJing allowed DJs to maintain content control. With the advent of new media ownership laws corporations could own many radio stations and format them identically or with a local DJ personality. The medium has maintained influence and some DJs have become international celebrities.


  • It was a DJ style which helped to create the lifestyle which came to be known as hip hop. At the beginning of the disco era in the first half of the 1970s, regular disco jocks in clubs were most concerned with the blend between one record and the next - matching tempos to make a smooth transition which, at its best, could continually alter the mood on the dancefloor without breaking the flow. At its worst the technique could turn the night into one endless and inevitably boring song.


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