August 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Back to fifties Paris, there was a bar near the Boulevard St Germain which was a cross between a gentleman’s bar and a library. Around the walls were Jazz Records (78s). The barman working as a DJ as well, found the records the customer requested and played them. The club was called “La Discotheque”.
In the early sixties London, the place that defined what discotheques were the Ad Lib Club, dark and sexy with mirrors round the dance floor. Later the Ad Lib burned down, the new address was the Scotch of St James, the Cromwellian, Maunkberry’s, Tramp and the Speakeasy. Although loosely termed discotheques, these club had small dance areas which was secondary to the club’s social propose of providing a meeting place for “in” people (sounds familiar isn’t it?)
These discos had their equivalents in other capitals,like Arthur in New York.
Here is “the sound” of the time :
Let’s have a quick look now :
1857 Phonoautograph invented in France
1878 Edison patented phonograph
1906 Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first audio radio broadcast in history also playing the first record, that of a contralto singing Handel’s Largo from Xerxes
1909 The world’s first radio disc jockey was Ray Newby, of Stockton, California.
1927 Christopher Stone became the first radio announcer and programmer in the United Kingdom, on the BBC radio station.
1935 American commentator Walter Winchell coined the term “disc jockey” (the combination of disc, referring to the disc records, and jockey, which is an operator of a machine)
1943 Jimmy Savile launched the world’s first DJ dance party by playing jazz records in the upstairs function room of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds in Otley, England.
1947 The Whiskey à Go-Go nightclub opened in Paris, France, considered to be the world’s first commercial discothèque, or disco (deriving its name from the French word meaning a nightclub where the featured entertainment is recorded music rather than an on-stage band)
1953 Regine began playing on twin turntables in The Whiskey
1955 Bob Casey, a well-known “sock hop” DJ, brought the two-turntable system to the U.S.
1969 American club DJ Francis Grasso popularized beatmatching at New York’s Sanctuary nightclub.
1973 Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc, widely regarded as the “father of hip-hop culture,” performed at block parties in his Bronx neighborhood and developed a technique of mixing back and forth between two identical records to extend the rhythmic instrumental segment, or break.
1974 Technics released the first SL-1200 turntable, which evolved into the SL-1200 MK2 in 1979
1974 Kraftwerk released the 22-minute song “Autobahn”
1975 DJ Grand Wizard Theodore invented the scratching technique by accident.