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February 16, 2023

Joanie Labine, the First Female DJ at the Whisky a Go-Go, ca. 1964

Joanie Labine was the first female DJ and sound mixer at the Whisky A Go-Go Club in L.A. in 1964. She played records in a suspended booth next to the stage and danced along to the music. Club goers thought it was part of the show so that’s how go-go dancing was popularized.

During one of Johnny Rivers’ sets, Labine was moved to dancing and the concept of the go-go dancer was born. Soon a ‘uniform’ of the go-go dancer also evolved: a girl wearing a short, fringed skirt and high, white boots. Go-go dancers began appearing in nightclubs and discotheques across the country. During his tenure at The Whisky (a one year contract), Rivers recorded the album, Johnny Rivers Live at The Whisky a Go-Go, and The Miracles’ song “Going to a Go-Go” soon gave the nightclub a national reputation.


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