A disc jockey, or DJ for short, is a person who plays recorded music either on the radio or at a club or event.
The first disc jockey was an experiment on the airwaves. In 1909, sixteen-year-old Ray Newby was a student under the supervision of Charles “Doc” Herrold at Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless. He played the first records over the airwaves before the word disc jockey even existed.
What started as an experiment from the Garden City Bank Building where the college was located in San Fernando, California was soon being replicated by radio broadcasters across the country. Prior to Newby, news, music and entertainment was primarily broadcast live.
It wasn’t until 25 years later that radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term “disc jockey”.
Today, modern DJs play music from vinyl to digital. Regardless of the medium they use, the term disc jockey still applies.
Hip hop DJs became popular in the late 70s and 80s using multiple turntables and using the turntables themselves as an instrument to alter the music. Mobile DJs often act as the master of ceremonies at events or parties directing the evening’s activities.