1966–74: Proto-disco and early history of disco music

The Jackson 5

The term disco is derived from discothèque (French for "library of phonograph records", but it was subsequently used as a term for nightclubs in Paris). By the early 1940s, the terms disc jockey and DJ were in use to describe radio presenters. During WWII, because of restrictions set in place by the Nazi occupiers, jazz dance halls in Occupied France played records instead of using live music. Eventually more than one of these jazz venues had the proper name discothèque. By 1959, the term was used in Paris to describe any of these type of nightclubs. That year, a young reporter named Klaus Quirini started to select and introduce records at the Scotch-Club in Aachen, West Germany. By the following year the term was being used in the United States to describe that type of club, and a type of dancing in those clubs. By 1964, discotheque and the shorthand disco were used to describe a type of sleeveless dress worn when going out to nightclubs. In September 1964, Playboy magazine used the word disco as a shorthand for a discothèque-styled nightclub. Continue reading »