Everyone has a favorite DJ, whether they’re Deadmau5 or DJ from Full House. Today’s music is dominated by DJs of all kinds, from electronic technicians to turn table magicians, you’re sure to run into a DJ somewhere along your journey through your radio stations. Because nearly all DJs have a different style or play a different genre of music, you’re sure to find one you love and truly enjoy listening to. In today’s blog, Dragon Frontboards, the producers of the best custom DJ booths and facades, will go over the history of the DJ in order to help you understand exactly how these musicians came to be so prominent in the music industry today.

The Early Years


In 1909, the very first DJ was born. A college student in California played records from a transmitter. Radio, which was first started in 1906, hadn’t seen anything close to a DJ since its induction. However, by 1910, the radio DJ was all the rage and saw a major boom in the years to come. Though the job was quite popular, the term disc jockey wasn’t used until the 1930s. The very first party DJ came around in the 1940s when hosts would play pre-recorded jazz records for their guests. Henry Savile was the first person to use turntables in order to keep music continuously playing, while the very first discoteque, which is the equivalent of a night club today, was opened in Paris in 1947.


The Middle Ages


During the 1950s and 1960s, discos were all the rage, popping up all over Europe and the United States. DJs also started taking their talents to the streets as radio DJs would host dance parties outside. It was during this time that the mixer was introduced, which gave DJs more control and style. This also saw the rise of beatmatching, which allowed DJs to mix seamlessly their music so the party didn’t have to stop. However, club DJ popularity began to decline, which made those accustomed to playing in club settings move their shows to the streets, which is where radio DJs played.


During the 1970s, hip-hop was born when DJ Kool Herc mixed two records together at the same time. The 70s saw the rise of DJs mixing their beats together instead of just playing a single song at a time. Scratching, or the moving of the record across the needle of the turntable, was also introduced into the DJ world during the 70s. In the 1980s, as people were coming out of the disco age, electronic music started to evolve. House music, a style of electronic music that’s still popular today, was born in the 80s. Techno was also introduced as was the Winter Music Conference in Florida, which is still around today and hosts the mega-popular Ultra Music Festival.


DJs Today


Rave and trance music took off in the early 1990s, gaining great prominence in Europe. It was during this time that DJs of every kind were becoming celebrities. The 90s gave rise to digital music, allowing all DJs to save, play, and even create music completely electronically. CDs, mp3 format, and internet radio brought the beginning of the cyber age for DJs. Electronic music became so popular that many rock bands even started to incorporate DJs. In the 2000s and 2010s, dance music became its own entity, even becoming recognized by things like critics and even the Grammys, making electronic/dance music an award category. Today, dozens of electronic and dance music genres exist and DJs have become the new rock stars.


We here at Dragon Frontboards hope you’ve found this blog to be fun and insightful. If you’re looking for a custom DJ booth, then look no further than Dragon Frontboards. Shop our collection of custom DJ facades, view our gallery to see our custom work, or contact Dragon Frontboards today to answer any questions.