A Video History of the American Radio Personality

A Video History of the American Radio Personality! from Kurt Kelly on Vimeo.

Back in 1935, American radio 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) as a description of radio announcer Martin Block, the first announcer to become a star. While his audience was awaiting developments in the Lindbergh kidnapping, Block played records and created the illusion that he was broadcasting from a ballroom, with the nation’s top dance bands performing live. The show, which he called Make Believe Ballroom, was an instant hit. The term “disc jockey” appeared in print in Variety in 1941.

Ok, so fast forward to the 70s and 80s. While it was nearly impossible to top the popularity of Alan Freed, Dick Clark or Wolfman Jack, every city in America had their own superstar DJs. Some you’ll have heard of, some you won’t – but rest assured, all these hosts influenced hundreds, if not thousands of kids to go into radio, or create a band with enough ambition for the local DJ to play their songs one day.

For the complete list of names and stations, visit the Vimeo site.