Francis Grasso

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It had to be around '73, '74. I knew a lot of famous people. Knew Jimi Hendrix very well, fact when he died, his main old lady, after she flew his body back to Seattle, when she came back to New York, she moved in with me

Francis Grasso, djhistory.com, 4 February 1999

Francis Grasso (March 25, 1949 – March 20, 2001) was an American soul music disc jockey from New York City, best known for inventing the technique of beatmatching which is the foundation of the modern club DJ’s technique. Grasso was the first DJ outside of the radio broadcasting business to require headphones as part of his setup. This allowed him to preview a record on one turntable while another played on the second turntable. By using headphones in combination with slip-cueing, he changed the art of DJing. The records that Grasso was mixing used live drummers and not beat machines. The most impressive addition Grasso brought to DJ culture was music programming; the art of picking up on the energy of the crowd and sending that energy right back to them through the next track. Soon he taught others and Grasso spread the art of mixing by maintaining a constant beat and working the crowd with the music throughout New York.