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Disc Jockeys

History

Guglielmo Marconi, a young Italian engineer, first transmitted a radio signal in his home in 1895. Radio developed rapidly as people began to comprehend its tremendous possibilities. The stations KDKA in Pittsburgh and WWWJ in Detroit began broadcasting in 1920. Within 10 years, there were radio stations in all the major cities in the United States and broadcasting had become big business. The National Broadcasting Company became the first network in 1926 when it linked together 25 stations across the country. The Columbia Broadcasting System was organized the following year. In 1934, the Mutual Broadcasting Company was founded. The years between 1930 and 1950 may be considered the zenith years for the radio industry. With the coming of television, radio broadcasting took second place in importance as entertainment for the home, but radio's commercial and communications value should not be underestimated.

The first major contemporary disc jockey in the United States was Alan Freed, who worked in the 1950s on WINS radio in New York. In 1957, his rock and roll stage shows at the Paramount Theater made front-page news in the New York Times because of the huge crowds they attracted. The title "disc jockey" arose when most music was recorded on conventional flat records or discs.

Today, much of the recorded music used in commercial radio stations is on compact disc or digital audio files. The disc jockey personalities are still very much a part of the radio station's image, with major players commanding top salaries.

In addition to being broadcast via transmitters, radio stations now also broadcast via satellite technology and on the Internet.

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