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Local DJs make Hall of Fame

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By Nathan L. McBroom

Four local DJs will be inducted into the DJ Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Bardstown tonight.

William “Daddy D” Murphy, Robert “Big Rob” Marshall, Anthony “DJ Smurf” Beckley, and John “DJ Master Rocker” Foree Jr. have a combined total of more than 100 years of experience in rocking the microphone and getting the party started.

The men are considered some of the pioneers of what is called “the Southern Style” or “Old School” DJing, in which a DJ mixes records and occasionally adds vocals during the performance.

Greg “Spoony” Rogers, the organizer of the DJ Hall of Fame, said the four local DJs are among 25 others who will be inducted tonight. He said these Shelby County DJs are “the real deal.”

“There has never been a place to commemorate their accomplishments,” he said. “They deserve this recognition.”

The event, which is being billed as a “red carpet affair” will be held at 202 Downs Lane at the Abraham Lincoln Post in Bardstown. The cost is $10 at the door.

Along with the inductions there will also be music and dancing. Murphy, 65, started DJing in the 1970s and said he still enjoys getting behind a mic. “I’m 65, and I can still throw down,” he said. “I love working a crowd.”

The other three DJs said they were inspired to pursue the craft of spinning records through watching Murphy play at local clubs and parties.

“Even when we were too young to get in the club, we would peep in through the windows and stand out side just to listen to him play,” Beckley said.

Each of the DJs claimed to have thousands of records, eight-tracks, tapes, CDs and digital song files.  Beckley said the style of DJing they do is completely different than just turning on a record and letting it play. “It’s an art form. It really is,” he said. “And it’s slowly dying out.”

Marshall said while the nature of DJing has changed over time, there are still some songs that will always getting the crowd moving.

“Anytime you play ‘Atomic Dog,’ people are going to go nuts,” he said. The DJs said the play more than 100 gigs in a single year.