Bobby D is our featured retrospective artist of the week.
From Sal Amato:
I was working in Schaumburg, a very lively part of the NW suburbs of Chicago back in the late ’80s, Bobby D was working down the block from me at a club named Toto’s which was a teen club and then wound up a 21 and up club.
Bobby was an amazing DJ and a stand-up guy, unlike many DJS, Bobby was always sociable, no ego and would talk to you even though he was busy mixing 200 records an hour.
There are many great DJs that come to name when you think of Chicago DJs. There are so many you don’t know too. Bobby D is up there as one of the greats and a true visionary. In fact, many would say he changed the mixtape market forever as you’ll hear with all of his EDIT CRAZY MIXES along with songs and more below.
Here’s Bobby’s story… from the beginning
ABOUT BOBBY D
In a world filled with so many different types of music, it is rare to find someone who can effortlessly maneuver between all styles with so much talent and ease. To be able to communicate a storyline between the music and edits while keeping the rhythm and tempo as if they were already as one is not an easy task. But if you are Bobby D., you’ve already had a lot of practice.
At age 10, Bobby was already determined to make his dream come true and become a DJ. Originally his goal was to become a DJ because he loved the music and found himself most comfortable behind a pair of turntables creating his own unique sound. When he first started with his radio shack Realistic turntables there was no turning back. By the age of 12, Bobby was doing his own gigs and parties, spinning for 5 hours at a time for minimum pay. But word spread fast of his skills and by the time he was 13, Bobby was working for WDGC, a radio station for his high school in Downers Grove, IL. Although the signal for the station was small, his show was by far the most fun and interactive.
His work for WDGC got him a chance to create his own radio show for his school’s Junior Achievement Program. His radio show was broadcasted on WBBM-FM, Chicagos B96. Although his show was on at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings, it was still a huge accomplishment for this young man who was dedicated to pursuing his music career.
Continuing to throw parties and doing gigs through high school was taking up most of Bobbys time, though his first love was always in his room, mixing music. During high school, Bobby had befriended some promoters that were looking to open a club in the suburbs. And in 1990, he got his first residency at a club; Totos in Schaumburg, IL. While Bobby was spinning nights, he went on to Columbia College in Chicago, IL for broadcasting. But he found that the courses he was taking at Columbia were not challenging enough for him, and he decided to continue his broadcasting education at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting. When he finished his courses there, he was more determined than ever to do something more in the music field.
In 1991 Bobby summoned up his courage and sent a demo tape to WGCI in Chicago, IL and was thrilled to find out that they liked it and began to air his mixes on their weekly mixshow. Bobby continued to send new mixes every week and slowly a bigger buzz was created around the name Bobby D.
However, the real start of Bobby D.s career came in 1993 with the B96 Mixer Search. Although Bobby had sent in resumes and demos to B96 in Chicago, IL for some time, his mixes were never aired. When Bobby saw his chance at the Mixer Search, he was certain that this was going to be it. The Mixer Search finalists were going to be able to be a guest DJ on B96, which at that time and even still is considered the most prestigious radio mixshow in the country. When the contest began, Bobby was more than ready and came in 3rd place out of the six finalists. And so it began. Bobby got his first guest DJ spot on B96. For six months he continued to submit new mixes each week and it finally paid off. After half a year as a guest DJ, Bobby was a B96 Chicagoland Mixmaster. At the time the mixmaster roster consisted of legends such as Bad Boy Bill, Julian Jumpin Perez, Tim Spinnin Schommer, Brian Hitmix Middleton and Frankie Hollywood Rodriguez.
Bobby once again took charge of his destiny in 1995 and became the first Chicagoland mixer to release a fully licensed dance mix compilation entitled Hot House Mix. This compilation was the first to lead Strictly Hype/Underground Construction Records into their ongoing process of releasing mix compilations worldwide. “Hot House Mix” is still being sold globally to date. Other mix compilations soon followed including UC 97 with Bobby D. and Tony B. on PR Records, Bobby D.s In The House on Underground Construction and The DJ Rocks on ESP-Sun/Roadrunner Records.
However, these releases were not Bobby s first compilations. Through the years Bobby created a collection of tapes and CDs that he used to promote his name and his talents called Edit Crazy. This collection originally began in the early 90s and continued for several years. Most of the early mixes were done on reel-to-reel tape and edited manually. The process was long and tedious and Bobby learned to master it, therefore earning the nickname The Edit Crazy Man.
The Edit Crazy Man became so recognized for his talents that in 1996 Tommy Boy Records approached him with a project, a four-minute megamix of their best Jock Jam hits. Tackling this task (with DJ Riddler) put Bobby on the map faster than anything else he had accomplished at that point. The Jock Jam Megamix went multi-platinum and Bobby D. became a household name. People began to book Bobby for parties in droves and promoted him as the creator of the Jock Jam.
Less than a year later, Tommy Boy Records requested Bobby to do another Jock Jam megamix, this one was entitled, Its Awesome Baby! Bobby once again proved himself a success and was again approached by another company, Arista Records. He then created a very challenging New Wave 80s megamix for them to promote their Ultimate New Wave Dance Party compilation. This megamix turned out to be very popular with the retro bars and is still being played by request consistently.
Finally changing hats again in 1998, Bobby was requested to do a megamix for RCA/MCA. This one was definitely something that was new to him, a country megamix for the band, Alabama. After spending days listening to their top 42 singles, Bobby went to work and once again surprised everyone, even himself. He ended up finishing the year with yet another Jock Jam megamix featuring Austin Powers.
Not only was Bobby busy with his weekly radio mixes, parties, megamixes and compilations but had decided to take it even further. In 1995 Jasper Stone Records was created. The first release was “Who Came to Party” by MCM-13. Starting the record company with this track was a huge success and Jasper Stone became the leader in club anthems continuing with “My Ding Dong”, “100% Not Guilty” and the Jasper Stone number one selling record, “How To Run A Train”. These tracks continue even now, years later, to be very popular in clubs across the U.S. and overseas.
Jasper Stone Records has been proud to have tracks produced by DJ Angel Alanis, DJ Trajic, MCM-13, DJ Josh Collins, DJ Self, Mr. Eddie, DJ Josh R and many more. Other projects released on Jasper Stone have been mix compilations by Hypersound entitled Makin It Phat and Eric Bam Bam Ceas House Factor. With Jasper Stones growing popularity, two compilations were released containing all of Jasper Stones best club anthems called Jasper Stone Club Hits. Bobby also released a CD entitled Summer Mix 99 and Summer Mix 00 where he mixes the best of the Jasper Stone hard house.
Continuing his own record business and forever producing megamixes, compilations and street mixes in his studio, Bobby still finds time to hold residencies at clubs across the states. Some of his residencies have included: Toto’s in Schaumburg, Zero Gravity in Naperville, IL and Merrillville, IN, Galaxy Club in Des Plaines, IL, Bamboo Room Schaumburg, IL and countless clubs outside the state such as Rock N Dome in Stitzer, WI, The Factory and Stars and Stripes in Davenport, IA. Performing at all of these clubs doesnt give Bobby much time, yet he still manages to travel to perform at raves and clubs across the country.
So what does the future hold for this incredibly talented young man? Well, if you can catch up with him he may tell you that he may produce one of his own records one day, instead of doing remixes for other record labels. He may tell you that Jasper Stone will have a subsidiary label one day. He might even tell you that one day there will be an Edit Crazy 10. But the one thing you can count on is more Bobby D in some way. This is only the beginning. He has proved time and again that he can roll with the changes and adapt and come out even better than before. Having a mix show on the most listened to a radio station in Chicago, running a prestigious record label, having multi-platinum megamixes and now digging into a world of music videos, has proved one thing for sure.. Bobby D’s In The House!
Find out more about this great artist when you visit http://bobbyd.com/