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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (book)

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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey
AuthorBill Brewster and Frank Broughton
PublisherHeadline Book Publishing
Publication date

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life is a book written by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton about the history of DJing published in 1999. A compilation album of the same name was released with the book. The album contains various clips ranging from 1970s reggae to Handel's Largo, the first song to reach radio airwaves, in 1906. The book takes its name from the Indeep single "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life."[1] In 2006, The Observer named Last Night... #45 on their list of the greatest music books.[2]

Both experienced journalists, Brewster and Broughton seek to chronicle the role of the DJ in the 20th century.[3] Starting from Jimmy Savile, Broughton and Brewster track the rise of the DJ as a figure in music.[4][5] The authors champion the idea that the DJ is an "unsung hero" of popular music and is an artist himself.[1] In examining the place of a DJ over time, Last Night... also follows the rise and fall of various musical genres and subcultures.[1]

The companion album, which was compiled by Brewster himself, serves as an overview of dance and DJ music.

The DJ[edit]

In their book, Brewster and Broughton talk significantly about of the DJ on popular forms of Black music like Reggae and Disco. For reggae music, they describe "disco as king" because the DJ was responsible for using the sound system to engage in practices like toasting, versioning, and sound clash in the formulation of reggae music. This led to the modern American DJ, as DJs began to use their power to "grab the mic" and began rhyming and using rhythm to hype crowds (95-98).

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Compilation album by
ReleasedDecember 19, 2000
GenreR&B, disco, reggae, hip hop, house, classical

Album track listing[edit]

  1. Georg Friedrich Händel - "Largo" (0:33)
  2. DJ Premier - "Red Alert Chant" (1:58)
  3. Dave Barker - "I Got To Get Away" (2:10)
  4. U-Roy - "True True" (2:10)
  5. Bernard Purdie - "Funky Donkey" (2:52)
  6. Frank Wilson - "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" (2:32)
  7. The Carstairs - "It Really Hurts Me Girl (Tom Moulton Remix)" (3:32)
  8. Tanya Winley - "Vicious Rap" (7:14)
  9. Patti LaBelle - "Get Ready (Looking For Loving) (Back To The Music Box Edit)" (8:06)
  10. MFSB / The Salsoul Orchestra - "Love Is The Message (Danny Krivit Re-edit)" (11:00)
  11. Chas Jankel - "Glad To Know You (Disconet Re-edit)" (7:29)
  12. Class Action - "Weekend (Larry Levan Weekend Mix)" (8:22)
  13. Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay - "Snakecharmer (François Kevorkian Snake Dub)" (6:55)
  14. Jungle Wonz - "Bird In A Gilded Cage" (3:55)
  15. Visage - "Frequency 7 (Dance Mix)" (5:02)


  1. ^ a b c Udovitch, Mim (2000-09-03). "It's All in the Mix". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  2. ^ "The 50 greatest music books ever". The Observer. 2006-06-18. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  3. ^ Oppelaar, Justin (2000-10-01). "LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE (review)". Variety. Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  4. ^ "Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (First Edition) review". Spannered.org. Overload Media. 2000-07-01. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  5. ^ Donovan, Paul (1991). The Radio Companion. London: HarperCollins. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-246-13648-0. Retrieved 3 July 2011.

External links[edit]