It was a bright sunny day…
Jimmie & I sat and had a candid conversation about the early days in Disco in Miami. This interview was special to me since there was a lot of history that I lived through him.
Jimmie’s first gig as a DJ was in his Dad’s business in Detroit, where he worked with an Emerson turntable that played 78’s. The first songs that truly stuck to him were “Rain 2000” by Calhoun and “Hey Love” by Mari. It’s been a while since then. 45′s were the popular source of media in those days.
In his life in music, Jimmie has learned that “Beautiful Music” has a history that repeats itself. There’s a special meaning behind “Beautiful Music” when Jimmie says it. Jimmie says, “In the 1940′s, ballroom dancing for couples was popular. Then Elvis, the Beatles and others came on the scene, where dancers were solo. Then “Beautiful Music” came back with Disco, which featured couples dancing.”
In Miami, Jimmie’s family owned Salon Azul on 8th Street and 18th, where he was the DJ for Teen Night on Sundays. The young people who attended were into dancing in a big way. When they were on the dance floor, they judged the music by giving thumbs up or thumbs down. This group formed the Jimmy E. Disco Club, the first teen club in town. Disco moves were invented at Salon Azul during the Disco dance contests. Every competitor wanted to out dance the other, so new moves would frequent here.
Following his dad’s entrepreneurial skills, he got involved in the club business, moving on to build several clubs in Miami. Some of these included the Openings Night at the Deauville Hotel at 68th and Collins, Tiffany’s on Miami Beach, Bennett’s on Miami Beach (where the Marco Polo is now), and Disco 79 on the 79th Street Causeway.
In the mid-1970s, he was DJ on a Channel 51 TV show called “More Disco”. The show was recorded live at Salon Azul.
Jimmie introduced Disco at Sebastian’s, a gay women’s club, and at Dejavu at Di Lido Hotel. He created the sound system, sound installation and enforcement at Level 3, which later became Infinity. I became owner of the club Infinity.
He spent three years in Las Vegas, where he introduced the East Coast sounds at Don Jose’s, Juvilations, and the Brewery. He was one of the first DJs to try the Technics 1200, brought to him by Panasonic in California. Jimmie introduced the Technics 1200’s at Don Jose’s in 1979.
Currently he owns the Club at Renaissance where Ciro Llerena is the resident DJ. He has had his own record label, Infinity Records, featuring Breezie Beat MC and Naughty.
The biggest highlight in my career happened in 1977, when the teenagers from Salon Azul gave me a golden record. The Miami Herald wrote an article about our club. A later highlight for me was having Christmas dinner in 1980 with Donna Summer.
My own favorite DJs are Ciro Llerena, Bobby Lombardi, and my buddy Carlos Nodal (RIP)
Interview by Wilson Alvarez April 2013