Friday Photo History: Disc Jockey Memories

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In this photo Ed McKenzie is conducting what appears to be an interview with one of the most important female singers of all time, Ella Fitzgerald.

This is another photo from the Ed McKenzie collection. During his days on Detroit radio Ed McKenzie was responsible for bringing the music of some of the best artists in the world into the homes of Detroiters. Television was not the powerful force it is today in those years. There was no American Idol or America's Got Talent, MTV or any other variety of TV shows that the public depends on to discover and listen to new music. Radio was the way people heard sports, news, music, and entertainment. The public depended on radio disc jockeys like Ed McKenzie to pick the best artists and best songs to play. Disc jockeys were responsible for putting the best artists in the ears of the public. In those days before corporate radio, the disc jockey was an incredibly idolized public figure. Men like Dick Clark and Alan Freed became household names and important historical figures. They had magnetic personalities and were the gurus of all that was cool.

In this photo Ed McKenzie is conducting what appears to be an interview with one of the most important female singers of all time, Ella Fitzgerald. Often artists like Ella would stop in at the radio station and give an interview before performing at one of the city's venues that evening. Often the sound of an old radio show or a scratchy record can take us back to these times and we realize that it may have been a slower, different way of life but the memories still remain.

Collection: Ed Mckenzie Collection; Year: 1940 - 1955