The Biography of R.J.Rhythm
It all started in April 1980 when young and enthusiastic budding little bedroom DJ pestered his dad to buy him some DJ Equipment for his birthday off the son of a shopkeeper from Kingstanding Circle. This shop was Hewards and his son was Steve from Streetly Nr Sutton Coldfield. It was my birthday on the 16th of this month so my dad eventually gave in and yes I had my first lot of Disco Equipment. If my memory is correct I think this consisted of Fal Decks and Speakers along with them Fal lights, you know them light boxes with the chrome plastic grills with holes in them. There were also some home made light boxes which stood tall about 5 foot high and had 8 coloured par 38`s in them. This show was quite magnificent for those days and I must admit looked very impressive.
Martin Age 15
Well I had the lot set up in my Bedroom; we were living on the Chester Road North right opposite Sutton Park. I played and played for hours with this equipment annoying the neighbours and my parents. We then eventually brought a trailer and that was it I was on the road as they say. Being the young teenager who was a pain in school but everyone loved me (as they still do) I was asked why donít you organise a disco, so with the help of my dad i.e. transport etc I decided to hire out Coppice View Road village hall and hold regular discos charging 50p on the door, this then got bigger so we had to move the venue to Banners Gate Village Hall. I Must say at this stage a big thanks to the twins Susan and Elaine Hardy (Elaine was my first girlfriend and lasted 2 years not bad for a DJ eh?) for all the help and support in starting up.
At the age of 15 still with this same show my dad built me a set of decks from Maplin Electronics. These were literally in kit form and if I remember a pain in the bum to build and get working. I was then getting a name for myself and with the help of dad for transport I was working all over Birmingham and of course working in the CB clubs as I was also active on CB Radio I had made lots of friends due to CB and especially Mark Johnson (Rockabilly Rebel).
My Handle was The Jam as I was a Mod in the Eighties. I got to know Mark very well in fact we used to go to Clifton Road Youth Centre in Sutton Coldfield together, he used to catch the bus think it was the 377 in Streetly and I caught it at Banners Gate. Anyway as our friendship grew stronger we both decided to do the discos together, this was the birth of the name R.J.Rhythm. At lot of people still ask me now what the R.J. stands for well it could be 2 things Richards and Johnson or was it our CB Handles Rocky and Jam. As mark was older than I was he was now the driver lol so dad could now relax and not worry about me.
Martin With T bar Behind
The show grew bigger now by introducing T bar stands and the first type of effects lighting along with the old original lighting this show looked quite impressive now. We both worked together on various projects and this is where my flare for PA work started. During our time at the youth club we put on 2 shows one called 1984 and another called Chaos and I did the sound and mixing of various music for both of these shows. We even took the one show on the road and toured around, so I suppose this was my first PA experience.
Time went by and mark got married and as you do you loose touch with each other which happened to us, but the disco show went on with the help of Michael stone who worked for dad. R.J.Rhythm now had quite a following and a very full diary. We were working all over Birmingham, British legion clubs, Workingmen's clubs, Hotels and Pubs. One of the best clubs on our list was the MEM Social Club in Reddings Lane Tysely; we were playing there every other week and in between there was another disco there with a Female DJ called Girl Talk Disco. Well one weekend when we were not working we had to go and check out the competition which we did and Wow a lovely blond female DJ with a twice as good looking female roadie. Well as time went by we got to know these girls really well and yes you guessed it the roadie whose name is Lesley I married. We were together for 20 years but unfortunately we drifted apart but we are still the best of friends which I am so please about as we get on better now than we did over the last 2 years of our marrage.
Lesley and Martin
Well as time went by Michael then got married and moved away and we moved to Stratford Upon Avon where our daughter Emily-Jayne was born. This is also where we met Ian Dance. Well with a name like that you can guess he then became part of R.J.Rhythm as he lived next door to us. We gradually moved out of Birmingham with our work and moved into Stratford Upon Avon getting a bigger name for ourselves by now and working in all the big hotels. The PA side of things then took off and we were working for a company called FANTAZIA who used to organise outdoor rave parties. Ian Dance became and still is one of the best Rave DJ's I have ever known but now he is older like us all he is an excellent fun pub and club DJ.
Please take a look around the site and our gallery of pictures. It would also be nice to sign our guest book.
The latest news in this story is that in august 2003 we had to go up to Stratford Upon Avon as Ian Dance is very ill and has always been a very good friend to us. Now as this is sad news there is also some very good news. We decided to see if we could find Mark Johnson and after 15 years we did find him and I must admit it was one of the happiest day of my life to find and be back in touch with one of my best friends that I have ever had and also the making of the name R.J.RHYTHM.
Well 25 years on now and still going strong, My daughter is now 20 and on her way to University and I must thank her and her boyfriend Luke Crocker for totally re-designing this web site. My Karaoke collection has grown to over 9000 titles and not one of these are repeated, I have every number 1 record in my music collection since the charts we published back in 1952. To top all this we have gone totally digital hence we now operate on laptops for better sound and performance along with a Dynacord sound system for a much better sound experance and our lighting show as you can see on our main page on the YouTube video is right up to date and still using the latest intelligent lighting.
We now have a new medium sized show for 2009 please look at our video page