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1999 DJ Awards



The 1999 American Disc Jockey Awards

Gary W. Orr - Lone Star Entertainment


Alan Cabasso Gemini CEO


Scott Davies American DJ CEO


Mike Bendavid country DJ of the year


Randy Kort Prop master of the year, Lisa Capitanelli Female DJ of the year, Russ Harris male DJ of the year


Karl Detken KJ of the year


Mark Thomas (DJ Peace) Michael Butler Award


The Fourth Annual American Disc Jockey Award Awards were held January 14, 1999 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The American Disc Jockey Awards were created to honor deserving mobile DJ's from around the nation who have made significant contributions to our profession. Ken Knotts, the show producer who first envisioned the national awards show in 1994, has done a very commendable job of acknowledging and promoting the advancement of the mobile disc jockey industry. The show itself was a gala event expertly choreographed by Ken Knotts and his wonderful staff. Gary Kassor served as Master of Ceremonies and did an excellent job of keeping the show moving along once it got under way. A major highlight of the evening was the $5000 donation to the American Disc Jockey Awards by Alan Cabasso of Gemini. This donation signaled not only Gemini's commitment to the award show itself, but also the commitment Gemini has made to professional mobile and club disc jockeys around the world. Hopefully, other major equipment manufacturers will take notice of Gemini's efforts and respond in a like manner.

There were many highlights to this years show. The previous sound system problems that we've all heard about from last years show were non existent, due in fact to the high quality Cerwin Vega system that was provided by a local professional sound reinforcement company. The two large video screens mounted on each side of the main stage provided everyone in attendance with an unobstructed view of the proceedings even when the main floor area was full DJ's learning a new dance or game, or just dancing along to help one of the contestants. The contestants for Male and Female Entertainer of the Year, and Propmaster of the Year were energetic and enthusiastic in their performances and so were the guests who volunteered to help them out. Impressive demonstrations of the Mobolazer and Synthabeam were part of the show, and Game Show Madness was used at the end of the night to help award the grand door prize. The new "Hall of Fame" exhibit showcased artifacts tracing the evolution of the mobile DJ. Ray Martinez organized the items gathered for this spectacular exhibit. Ray also contributed his talent on the stage with a moving tribute to Frank Sinatra that was very crowd-pleasing.

Inductees to the "Hall of Fame" were Al Lampkin, who has more than thirty years experience in this business and Robert Lindquist, editor of Mobile Beat magazine. A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Charles and Scott Davies of American DJ. The Cabasso Family and Gemini Sound Products were recognized with a 25th Anniversary Award. The Retail Customer Service Award was given to Kevin James Gonzales of International Audio and Lighting. Lisa Capitanelli was recognized as the Female Entertainer of the Year for the third year in a row. Randy Kort was honored as Male Entertainer of the Year and Russ Harris was selected Propmaster of the Year. A very emotional Sid Vanderpool was recognized for his efforts with the awarding of the Technical DJ of the Year award. Todd Payson was selected as the Club DJ of the Year. Karl Detken was chosen Karaoke DJ of the Year. Mike Bendavid was the Country DJ of the Year. Mark Thomas (AKA DJ Peace) was given the first Michael Butler Humanitarian DJ Award.

There are very few negative things that I can comment on concerning this show. The only major glitch of the evening occurred before the show started. The long lines combined with the slow and cumbersome procedure that was used to get the guests into the hall forced the delayed start of the show itself. The long line of people waiting to enter the show was slowed even more by the sale of extra raffle tickets that gave the buyers of these tickets extra chances at winning some of the over $10,000 worth of prizes that were given away. The only other negative I will report concerns the positioning of one of the refreshment areas so close to the seating area. There were a few guests that chose this area to socialize during the show and because of the proximity to the main seating area this caused quite a distraction for those of us intent on watching the show. Perhaps at next year's show we'll see these areas relocated at the back of the venue and perhaps the hotel can provide additional wait staff to cut down on unnecessary movement during the show. Overall I give Ken Knotts and his staff two thumbs up and a hearty "job well done!" I will look forward to next years show!




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