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At 80, Britain’s Oldest DJ Just Can’t Stop Spinning

When Don Barker was born in 1936. all music came on 10-inch 78 RPM discs and were often still played on gramophones that you had to wind up. The music they contained was a mix of big band, blues, classical and jazz.

Today at age 80, Don–call him Don Disco when he’s one the decks–works as a full-time DJ, spinning 12-inch vinyl. CDs and MP3s.

Barker’s started DJing full time in 1977 and it’s still the only thing he does. According to this story in The Express, he has a posse of about 70 people–you call them “Donettes,” apparently–who follow him from gig to gig. And despite being fitted with two hearing aids, Don doesn’t seem to have trouble finding that groove for the dance floor.

So what’s in Don’s set? He says it’s mostly “golden oldies,” so those heading to his regular Thursday nigh residence as the Ascot Arms in Devon shouldn’t expect the latest white label grime remix.

Read the whole story of Disco Don here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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