Stayin’ Alive

In the late 1970s to have a disc jockey play music at a wedding reception was very rare.  Live bands ruled.

 

The 1980s saw the emergence of mobile disc jockeys entertaining at weddings as well as many other events.  The deejay would bring two turntables, a microphone, mixing board, amplifier, speakers, and crates full of vinyl records.

 

In the 1990s, the increased use of compact discs and mini discs lead to most deejays phasing out their use of turntables and vinyl.  Some very skilled disc jockeys, turntablists, continue to spin records for a specialized market; however, there is less demand.

 

This millennium has thus far been that of MP3s and vast musical libraries on computer hard drives.  Some disc jockeys, or maybe we should call them “compu-tunists,” bring a complete computer system to the reception.

 

Many deejays have imported the songs from their CDs to the computer.  They can scan their library of music on the monitor and, with a click of the mouse, begin playing a song.

 

Like most technology, it can be absolutely wonderful when it works.  But there are some concerns:

 

  1. If the computer crashes, is there a way to keep the music playing?  A separate laptop computer or a dual CD player with CDs is a possible backup.  You don’t want your reception remembered as the one that had to be continually “rebooted.”

 

  1. Has your deejay illegally downloaded poor quality songs?  At one wedding reception, the bride and groom were in the middle of their first dance together as husband and wife and the song stopped cold.  The deejay thought he had successfully downloaded the song, but the download was incomplete–he had only part of it!                                                                                                                     

 

When choosing a deejay, look beyond the hardware.  No matter how much technology is available, you can’t download experience and personality.

 

More important than the equipment is how confident and comfortable you feel with your deejay.  Does he listen to you and hear what you want and do not want at your reception?  Is he able to work well with your caterer and photographer?  Will he be dressed in a tuxedo or jeans?

 

Hopefully you have enjoyed this journey through the years of mobile disc jockeys.  It was easy for me—my brain recently received a 256 Megabyte memory upgrade.

 

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