Tom Moulton is far more than a disc jockey (DJ). The man is a cultural phenomenon that forever altered the face of club culture. His musical creations forever changed the process of how music is mixed. Tom Moulton is, for all intents and purposes, a musical genius whose experimentation led to a dance craze that is still being felt today.
Working sporadically trying to make ends meet as a male model, Moulton was a man of many trades who sought solace at dance clubs during his down time. Moulton often found himself frustrated when clubbing if the DJ failed to maintain momentum with the audience. Club-goers seemed to dance in response to the music; the energy in the room would ebb and flow based on what the DJ was playing.
Feeling there was a simple solution to this problem, Moulton pieced together his own mix on reel-to-reel tape. The result forever changed the club scene. Moulton’s reels were masterpieces – high energy disco funk that allowed club-goers to sustain incredible dance energy. His mixes became a phenomenon that quickly caught on around the world. Moulton’s mix tapes set the stage for more innovations with the universal purpose of maximizing dancing and maintaining a energy level or vibe. Arguably, Moulton’s most important contribution to music is the 12” single, an invention born out of necessity when he had trouble pressing 7” singles.
Moulton’s genius was recognized by RCA and United Artists who desired to harness his grafting skills in the studio in order to perfect the sound of albums they recorded for artists and groups the companies had signed. Moulton spent considerable time grafting for the record labels until the 1970s when he visited Long Island’s Fire Island. It was here that his next innovation was born. Moulton began the painstaking process of stitching 45s together on reel-to-reel tape, which ultimately resulted in a 52-minute session featuring multivariate styles of music. This invention gave Moulton further recognition and fame within the dancing community.
Moulton’s love for music is evident through his electrifying mixes. He does not DJ as a job, but instead as a mission to create mixes that invigorate. Moulton’s music mixes do not have breaks; every second pounds and bumps. They’re designed for inspiring people to move and dance until they can’t dance anymore. No interludes exist as the mixes seamlessly flow from one popular artist to another. Moulton’s “megamixes” were adopted by many artists. Gloria Gaynor mixed her songs, “Honey Bee,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” and “Reach Out,” into one continuous medley, resulting in an 18-minute track. Moulton’s incredible musical contributions were honored when he was inducted into NYC’s Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
Tom Moulton and fellow DJ Felix Hernandez along with R&B artists Little Anthony, Michael Henderson, Kathy Sledge, Millie Jackson, James D-Train Williams and Regina Belle were recognized on September 13, 2015 by The National Rhythm and Blues Music Society at their 5th Black Tie Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony.