Wendy Hunt

Wendy Hunt

Wendy Hunt is one of the very few female DJ's of the Disco era.
She's still going strong DJ'ing all over the US.
In my interview Wendy shares her memories from back when she started out in Boston in 1974, over the years up 'till today.
So, read ahead for the full story of...
Wendy Hunt

Wendy Hunt was born in Glendale, California on September 8, 1952, but was raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Wendy tells about her move to MA; "I was 9 or 10 when my family (mother, step-father, younger sister) and I moved to Marblehead, MA, a historical sailing town 20 miles north of Boston. It was a tough move for me then but I now consider myself more of a New Englander than a west coast gal!"
Already at young age Wendy was into music and in 1964 she bought her first record, a 45 by Shirley Ellis called "the Name Game" and she refers back to an interview with DJ Ron Slomowicz of About.com where she tells about how she got interested in DJ'ing: "When I was a child, I got one of those little record players housed in a portable box with a handle that looked like a small piece of luggage. When opened, the inside of the top had a speaker in it. I begged my parents to get me another one so I could be a real DJ. I spent hours in my bedroom pretending I was a radio DJ playing at least 3 songs in a row before a commercial or news break so I could see how smoothly I could transition from song to song. Little did I know that that was the beginning of my career."
It would actually take years before DJ'ing became her career and occupation.

So, I [Discoguy], had to ask Wendy: How come you years later started DJ'ing?
"I was a nursing major at Northeastern University in Boston. I frequented a club called the 1270 and couldn't get enough of the music. I LOVED it!! At that time, there was only a jukebox. About a year later, a DJ appeared. Soon after, I was offered a job there as his back-up. Ultimately, I left college to be a full time DJ."
Was it something you wanted to do, or did it just "happen"?
"Both. After seeing this DJ work his turntable art, it became something I just HAD to do. Then, it just happened. Right place, right time!"
So when did you play your first gig and where?
"My first gig was in April of 1974 at this gay club in Boston called the 1270."
What do you think made you one of the hottest and most wanted DJ's? Any specific skills, special techniques or something else?
"In 1974, I was a 'novelty' as a female DJ. In addition, I was considered one of the best DJ's in the Boston nightclub industry. If I was known for anything, it would be my smooth transitions from one song to another and my ability to know what my crowd wanted, in some cases, before they did! A big part of DJ'ing is a 'head' thing... you have to read your crowd and cater to them."

Wendy Hunt

I know you have also been working in radio - please tell me more about that...
"My first radio job was at a little AM station in Newton, Massachusetts. WNTN was the first 'Disco' station in the area. My next job was an FM station in Boston, WBOS, 'Disco 93'. That station eventually was overpowered by another Boston station that had a LOT more money for promotions and whatnot and WBOS was forced to change their format. I did some more radio in other markets but the programming became repetitive and boring and the job just wasn't fun anymore."
Which was the difference DJ'ing for radio v/s Clubs? Which did you prefer and why?
"That's simple. In radio, you can't see your audience. A million people or NO one may be listening and you have NO clue if anyone is dancing! DJ'ing for a live crowd is, simply put, instant gratification! You SEE the crowds' reaction to what you're playing and you SEE the dancers on the floor."
Have you ever done something else, or has DJ'ing/music always been your life and career?
"I've done a million other things in my life, but DJ'ing has ALWAYS been a part of my life. When DJ'ing alone won't pay the bills, I'll do whatever is necessary. I've waited tables, worked in retail, worked at desk jobs, etc., etc. Currently, I'm going to college part-time, working at Home Depot part-time and DJ'ing here and there."

Which clubs have you played in?
"I've worked in more clubs than I could ever mention all over the USA, including Hawaii."
You think you can tell me some of the most known clubs you have played, as I'm sure the people reading this interview would love to know.
Wendy Hunt "I've played; 1270 [Boston, MA] (now a tapas restaurant), Boston-Boston [Boston, MA], Metro [Boston, MA] (now called Avalon), Pavilion [Fire Island, NY], Paragon Miami, FL (now called Mansion), Amnesia [Miami, FL], Twist [Miami, FL], Hula's [Honolulu, HI], Apex [Washington, DC] (formerly Badlands), Paramount [Provincetown, MA] (at the famous Crown & Anchor complex), The Stonewall [New York, NY], Boatslip [Provincetown, MA], The Brick [Dallas, TX], The Timberline [Seattle, WA] (original building now a theater), Boom Boom Room [Laguna Beach, CA], Ruby Skye [San Francisco, CA], Steel [Fort Lauderdale, FL], Coliseum [Fort Lauderdale, FL] and VooDoo Lounge [Fort Lauderdale, FL], to name just a few..."
Impressive list... Any favorite club of those?
"My favorite was the club in Boston where I worked for 9 years in the late 70's and early 80's. It was called Metro back then. Today it's called Avalon. At the time I worked there, it was THE club to be at in Boston."
Would you say there was a different crowd in each of the clubs?
"EVERY crowd is different everywhere and everytime I spin. I play for gay men in clubs and circuit events. No two nights are ever the same either musically or attendance-wise."
Were there songs that were floorfillers in one club that didn't work in another club?
"Depends on what year the song came out. If it was pre-disco on the radio, occasionally a certain song might have been more of a floorfiller than another. But a hot song is a hot song. If one like that rolled around, you could be sure we were all playing it at peak hours! Post-disco era, no, not really. Most floorfillers were/are popular nationwide."
Can you name some special "anthems" for some of these clubs?
"There are WAY too many from the past 31 years to mention. See some in my list of faves below..."
Which was your best gig ever?
"I don't have a 'best gig ever'. They all have special memories attached to them. My most challenging, I suppose, was a 'Retro' party I did at the Metro in Boston in 1979. I mean, how far back can you go in 1979 to constitute a RETRO party. It was a mix of 45's, album cuts and the few 12-inches that were released back then!"

Since you're one of the classic 'Disco-DJ's', have you got any comments on how the DJ was regarded in the beginning and how it has changed over the years?
Wendy Hunt "In the beginning, DJ's were known in the big cities and few played in other cities. We all had our residencies. Some were very popular and others weren't. Nowadays, many of us are internationally known. I've not played out of the USA but will never rule it out. You never know from day to day who may call and ask you to play for them!
Both then and now, nightclub DJ's have always had sort of a 'celebrity' status. People have their favorite DJ's and are known to travel long distances to hear them spin."

Have you got any comments on the techniques, equipment and stuff like that?
"When I started spinning, I worked on radio turntables with NO pitch control. I used to carefully put a small cocktail glass with 2 heavy fuses in it onto the record to slow it down and gently push the record a little bit on the label to speed it up.
Wendy Hunt I used only 45's and album cuts. There were no 12" mixes back then. The songs were 3-5 minutes long and often had very short intros and outros. To make a really smooth transition, you had to make sure that the 2 songs had some sort musical similarity as well as a boost in energy while you built and worked the room thru a musical journey.
Often, songs would have a cold ending which would enable you to either change the tempo and energy level or continue the build effortlessly. Cold endings were a bonus... it almost felt like cheating!
Before the 12"s, most mixes were only 2-8 beats long. That's it. If you wanted it to flow flawlessly, it took LOTS of practice. I used to go into the club for 6-8 hours during the day and practice until I could do a 2-4 beat mix in my sleep.
I guess people today would look upon that era, technically speaking, as the prehistoric days. Now, technology has advanced to the point where a DJ can mix right from his/her laptop computer, if so desired."

Haha! I guess so... As a female DJ, did you feel you were treated differently than your male colleagues? If so, in what way?
"No, I never felt that I was treated differently by my male colleagues. We frequently hung out and would often go record shopping together.
But being familiar with most of what goes on 'behind the scenes', I know that there are times when DJ's are hired based on looks, musculature, whether or not they 'put out', penis size, etc. If they know how to put 2 records together, it's a plus but, oftentimes, it doesn't matter.
Being a lesbian DJ who plays for gay men, this automatically takes me out of the running. No one who's doing the hiring would ever admit to that, but it's something that all DJ's know and have to live with. This has not changed over time and probably never will. It's not the norm but still is unfair to both female and male DJ's."

How was it being a female DJ in a very male dominated DJ world?
"I always felt like and was treated like one of the guys...except, of course, sexually. I've always considered myself to be a gay man trapped in a lesbian's body."
Did you female DJ's get the same kind of money and status?
Back then, I always did! I can't speak for the others."
Is there any difference in playing for a Lesbian crowd compared to a Gay men crowd?
"A DJ in a women's bar is, for the most part, a human jukebox. Women tend to like top 40 hits and LOTS of retro music. Men, for the most part, like to be taken on a musical journey. It's like night and day. The women that like my style can be found dancing with the boys!"
Many Disco DJ's went into remixing as well, have you ever been remixing?
"No, I was never interested in producing or remixing."

I know you're still active as a DJ. Where do you play today and is there any difference in the club scene compared to back in the Disco days?
Wendy Hunt "I play in clubs and events nationally. Today and the old Disco days are like night and day. Back then, people would be lined up at the door waiting for the club to open and would run to the dancefloor once in the club. They truly went out for the music. Nowadays, everyone is 'fashionably' late and only about 25% are really there for the music. Most are at these events and clubs because it's the place to be. That's just my opinion, of course."
To DJ Ron Wendy explain her sound as a DJ; I play for my crowd so it varies from gig to gig. I never play all of one format because, to me, it's ALL dance music. I won't limit myself to one style because, in talking to my audiences from coast to coast, I've found that they appreciate variety.
I'm fortunate and grateful to have the years of experience and knowledge to play ANY type of format which makes it easy for me to mix it up, no pun intended!"

In your opinion, was it harder or easier to mix back in the Disco days compared to today?
"Much harder... Often, you only had 2 to 4 beats to work with. Today you've often got minutes of intros and outros to work with. Remixers make my job incredibly easy compared to the old days!"
Which musical genre is the easiest to mix - Disco, Trance, House, Funk...?
"If it has a beat, it can be mixed!"
Do you still play some Disco classics to your crowd?
"Oh yes. I frequently will sneak something into my nightly set. If my crowd is an older crowd, I can even get away with some obscure songs that were only popular in clubs in the 70's."

I assume you knew many of the other great DJ's of the Disco era, have you got any comments or memories of them?
"I knew/know most of them. Unfortunately, many of them have passed on to the big Disco in the heavens. Currently, I hang out with Robbie Leslie (of the Saint era), as we both live in Fort Lauderdale.
I'm also friendly with Susan Morabito and Sharon White."

Wendy earlier told me the following on Sharon; "From the first time we met in the late '70's, Sharon and I have been the best of friends. We've shared a series of very similar experiences in our lives long before we met up to the present and continue to see the irony in all of that. We agree that we were 'meant' to meet and also see our friendship as one that will be lifelong. Even when we don't speak for extended periods of time, we seem to pick up where we left off when back in touch. Sharon often starts sentences that I can finish and vice versa. It's uncanny. We both respect and support each other as fellow DJ's and will go out of our way to help one another professionally.
Sharon got me my membership to the Saint in NYC where she was a resident. I remember the exact spot where I would dance when I'd go to the Saint....it was a place where I could ALWAYS see Sharon in the booth. It was truly the BEST nightclub EVER...nothing since has even come close to matching the space, the music and energy of the Saint. And, to me, Sharon WAS the Saint. Her music and the unbelievable light show created the magic of that era."

Sharon White And Sharon said the following on Wendy;
"Wendy Hunt has been my peer and one of my closest friends for over 25 years now. She was the 2nd woman to become a Billboard DJ (yes, I was the first) and one of the driving forces in the Boston Club and radio scene, simultaneously.
I have never known another DJ to be so supportive and unselfish as Wendy. She continues to play national venues on the Circuit and clubs in and around her home base of South Florida."


Signed White Party 8 CD Wendy's home base lets her spin and move crowds all over the US. And in November 2007 Wendy's spinning together with Warren Gluck was released on CD by Centaur.
The CD was called The White Party 8 and it's an uplifting Dance music CD filled with great Vocal House, just the kind of music you want to hear when you're out clubbing. Positive music and driving beats that just makes you wanna shake stuff to all the great tracks by acts like the Soul Seekerz, Stonebridge, FR feat. Jenny B, Avalon Superstar and Disco legend Viola Wills, among others.
Hands-in-the-air for this awesome dance release and let's hope Centaur bring in this 'Royal Couple of DJ's' for a new release soon...

So Wendy, have you still got your DJ record collection, or have you sold it off? You must have got a HUGE and GREAT collection if you've kept all your records during the years.
"I put the bulk of my collection on CD and sold most of my vinyl. I held on to about 6 crates of my faves. I've saved a lot of my favorite 45's, as well."
Could you name some of your favorite Disco songs? Like some kind of Top Ten or likewise... It doesn't need to be in order...
"I can't name just 10... There's just too many AND this is only a sampling of my faves! In no particular order:"


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CLICK to hear some Wendy Hunt favorites...

Dr. Love
First Choice

El bimbo
Bimbo Jet

Happiness is just around the bend
Main Ingredient

I'll be holding on
Al Downing

Law of the land
Temptations

MacArthur Park Suite
Donna Summer

Make me believe in you
Patti Jo

Peace Pipe
B.T. Express

Rock your baby
George McCrae

the Runner
Three Degrees

Shame, shame, shame
Shirley & Co.

Tell Me What You Want
Jimmy Ruffin

Think (about it)
Lyn Collins





The White Party 8
Click to buy from
BUY The White Party 8 from the US BUY The White Party 8 from Europe
Love Is The Music (Fr Gospel Mix) - FR feat. Jenny B
So Alive (Playmaker Club) - Avalon Superstar
Well Alright (Mark!'S Gospel Mix) - Master And Muse feat. Robin Shanelle
Lift Your Voices (Dj Escape & Dom Capello) - Georgie Porgie
Party (For The Weekend) (Stonebridge Classic Club) - Soul Seekerz feat. Kate Smith
Enjoy Yourself (Twisted Dee Anthem Mix) - Viola Wills
You Don't Know (Hott 22 Remix) - Stonebridge
Goodnight Tonight (Dj Scotty K. Vocal Club) - Dj Scotty K. feat. Knockhopper
Be Free (Georgie's Original Club Mix) - Jason Antone
It's Got To Be Love (Georgie Porgie's Original Club) - Rachel Panay
Beautiful (Mark Picchiotti Vocal Mix) - ATFC feat. Peyton
Breathe Life (Radboy Vocal House White Party Mix) - Brian Kent


Super Rare Disco vol.1
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BUY Super Rare Disco vol.1 from the US BUY Super Rare Disco vol.1 from Europe
Tell Me What You Want - Jimmy Ruffin
Dreaming A Dream - Crown Heights Affair
Touch And Go - Ecstacy, Passion & Pain
Sugar Pie Guy - The Joneses
Foot Stompin' Music - Hamilton Bohannon
Free Man - South Shore Commission
My Baby's Got E.S.P. - Four Below Zero
You Little Trustmaker - The Tymes
Rock Me Again & Again (6 Times) - Lyn Collins (The Female Preacher)
Let Me Lay My Funk On You - Poison
I'll Be Holding On - Al Downing
Dream World - Don Downing
To Each His Own - Faith Hope & Charity
Makes You Blind - The Glitter Band
Date With The Rain - Eddie Kendricks
It's Just Begun - The Jimmy Castor Bunch
Girls - Moments And Whatnauts
The Player - First Choice
Peace Pipe - B.T. Express
Hold Back The Night - The Trammps


Super Rare Disco vol.2
Click to buy from
BUY Super Rare Disco vol.2 from the US BUY Super Rare Disco vol.2 from Europe
Let's Start The Dance - Hamilton Bohannon
Somebody's Gotta Go (Sho Ain't Me) - Mike & Bill
Overnight Sensation - Jerry Knight
If My Friends Could See Me Now - Linda Clifford
When The Fuel Runs Out - Executive Suite
Think Before You Stop - Notations
Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart - The Trammps
I Caught Your Act - The Hues Corporation
Happiness Is Just Around The Bend - The Main Ingredient
Every Beat Of My Heart - Crown Heights Affair
There'll Come A Time, There'll Come A Day - Basic Black And Pearl
Smarty Pants - First Choice
This Will Be A Night To Remember - Eddie Holman
Down To Love Town - The Originals
Mainline - Black Ivory
The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson
Ten Percent - Double Exposure
(Sending Out An) S.O.S. - Retta Young
Remote Control - The Reddings
Love Insurance - Front Page


City Limits"Love Is Everywhere"
Jimmy Ruffin"Tell Me What You Want"
Al Downing"I'll Be Holding On"
Shirley & Co."Shame, Shame, Shame"
Tantra"Hills Of Katmandu"
First Choice"Doctor Love"
Three Degrees"Runner"
Blue Magic"Look Me Up"
Main Ingredient"Happiness Is Just Around The Bend"
George McCrae"Rock Your Baby"
Patti Jo"Make Me Believe In You"
Kool & The Gang"Hollywood Swingin'"
Little Sister"You're The One"
Undisputed Truth & Temptations"Law Of The Land"
Bimbo Jet"El Bimbo"
Reflections"Love On Delivery"
Esther Phillips"What A Difference A Day Makes"
Incredible Bongo Band"Bongo Rock"
5000 Volts"Bye Love"
Barbara Acklin"I'll Bake Me A Man"
Lyn Collins"Think (About It)"
BT Express"Peace Pipe"
Sharon Redd"In The Name Of Love"
Grace Jones"That's The Trouble"
Donna Summer"MacArthur Park Suite"

Wow, a bunch of great classic music there... So I guess you liked Disco music during that era...
"I couldn't get enough of the music... It was my passion and my WHOLE life!"
If you could choose one Disco track that would describe Wendy Hunt, which track would it be?
Wendy Hunt "I'm drawing a complete and total blank. I'll have to get back to you on this one...
OH!! I thought of a song that could describe myself... sort of... 'Respect Yourself' by the Staple Singers.
It was written by Luther Ingram and Mark Rice after Ingram said to his partner; 'Black folk need to respect themselves.' Well, I feel as though we ALL need to respect ourselves. It tends to keep us positive and judgement-free. Like the words say; 'If you disrespect anybody that you run in to, how in the world do you think anybody's s'posed to respect you...'
It's not exactly a disco song but I did play the 45 back in the old days at the 1270!"

What kind of music do you personally prefer?
"I prefer dance music, especially from the 70's and early 80's, but I enjoy most ALL types of music... Yes, even country, opera and some hip hop. I'm NOT into rap... I hate it."

Since you DJ's helped launch the careers of many artists during the years... Any special ones you wanna mention? Some you got special contact with?
Wendy Hunt "Sylvester and I became friends. He played at several clubs I worked at before he died. I met just about EVERY dance music artist of the late 70's and early 80's. I have a whole crate of records signed by the artists I met, including Madonna! I met her when she dressed like she did in 'Desperately Seeking Susan' and performed to tracks with 2 Alvin Ailey dancers backing her up on stage."
Any DJ "mentor(s)"and/or some comments on them?
"My MAIN mentor was Jimmy Stuard. He taught me the importance of smooth segues from one song to another and making the night of music a 'journey' for the dancers. Others were Caril Mitro, Danae Jacovidis, John Luongo, Jeff Tilton and Sharon White."
Do you still know or have contact with any other of the old Disco acts, divas or DJ's from the late 70's, early 80's?
I'm still in touch with Sharon White, Robbie Leslie and Pamala Stanley. Pamala also used to live here in Fort Lauderdale but she has recently moved to North Carolina."

Wendy sure has come a long way from pretending to be a radio DJ in her bedroom using a portable turntable with the speaker built into the top, to playing legendary venues for thousands of dancing people.
She just loved Disco music and being "a gay man trapped in a lesbian's body" her choice of song to describe herself probably says it all - "Respect Yourself".
She has been around as a DJ since 1974 and has met most of the Disco acts and DJ's of the era and as we have learned above and Wendy says herself:

"Most of my life has been centered around music in some way."




Discoguy (discoguy@disco-disco.com) 2006-2016.
All rights reserved.
No part of these pages may be reproduced or published without the prior written permission of the author.

Wendy Hunt

BIG THANKS
to Wendy for participating and making this page possible !!!
(Click her picture above to visit DJWendyHunt.com)

And to DJ Ron Slomowicz for letting me use some quotes from his interview.

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