Disc jockey (DJ or deejay)

Successful DJs have three things in common--each loves music, has fun talking, and enjoys people.

DJ notables

Walter Winchell coined the term disc jockey (DJ) in 1934.

Notable DJs since then:

Bob Casey
Dick Clark
Alan Freed
DJ Kool Herc
Murray "The K"
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Wolfman Jack (pictured)

Drunk & disorderly, again : my name is Hoot, I'm an alcoholic
Claude "Hoot" Hooten.
Garden City, N.Y. : Morgan James, c2009.
Born an alcoholic and drunk at 5, I battled the symptoms of my disease my whole life. I was viciously attacked by a predator at 10, then went on to win my battle over booze, drugs and an obsession for women, to become one of radio's most successful stories. Tops in the morning in Houston and Miami radio, ultimately, I joined an old friend and bought a radio station in Santa Fe, NM, taking the station from "Worst to First" and leaving with over a million in my pocket. Sober and clean. I wrote this book to give hope to those "functioning" alcoholics who may see a better way to find success in life, business and with their families. It is a HOW TO book in the sense that throughout the writing, I lead the way with what you have to do next. The key in this book, is about the reader's ability to "reach deep" into his/her psyche to pull up the honesty it takes to win the battle over alcohol. More than anything, honesty is the key. Ultimately, that's what happened to me.
Are you talking to me?
Don Corey.
Denver, Colo. : Outskirts Press, c2008.
On-air : the guidebook to starting a career as a radio personality
by Jack Broady.
[S.l.] : BVI, 2007.
Teach yourself how to DJ
Rob Wood.
London : Hodder Education ; Chicago : Contemporary Books, c2005.
Spin like a superstar and keep the dance floor packed Written by a top DJ, music journalist, and former editor of "Jockey Slut," "Teach Yourself How to DJ" is filled with expert first-hand advice--including tips and quotes from famous DJs--on everything from preparing for a gig to dealing with dance floor jitters. You will learn how to: Work with vinyl, CDs, and MP3s Cue tracks and mix beats Add flavor with tricks like sound FX and scratching Create a unique style and build a collection Make a demo mix Find a manager and go pro
The death of Black radio : the story of America's Black radio personalities: a personal perspective
Bernie Hayes.
New York : iUniverse, c2005.
The pocket DJ
by Sarah Lewitinn.
New York, N.Y. : Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2005.
Settings -- Introduction -- Tool box -- How to be a DJ -- Essential genre -- Essential artists -- Essential celebrity playlists -- Essential themed playlists -- Extras -- Digital music players -- Where to download music -- Fun gadgets!

There are radio, club, and mobile DJs--some are all three.

  • Radio DJs host programs AM/FM, satellite, or Internet stations.
  • Club DJs perform anywhere from local bars, to nightclubs, raves, or stadiums.
  • The mobile DJ travels, usually with his own equipment and recordings, to weddings, dances, corporate outings, or other private functions.

DJs do more than play sound recordings. Today's DJ must be a combination of performer, music lover, composer, conversationalist, equipment manager, and businessperson.

DJ equipment

Sound recordings
Players (record, CD, MP3)
Sound system

When asked about getting started, long-time DJs tell of their first experiences on college or small town radio stations and time spent being the DJ at their friends' parties. They share their stories of learning how to 'mix' two recordings to make their own special sound or learning to beatmix. Other advice for aspiring DJs:

  • Learn as much as possible about all kinds of music
  • Apply for internship programs
  • Test equipment before buying
  • Check out the Internet for DJ tips
  • Create your own personality
  • Practice, practice, practice--get used to hearing your voice

For some DJing is a full-time career; for others, a part-time endeavor. But for all it is dream come true. Start today to fulfill your DJ dream.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff