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New type of Austin DJ draws influences from the past

By Nancy Flores - American-Statesman Staff

Amelia “Foxtrot” Raley isn’t a typical Austin DJ. She has no laptop, speakers or need for an electrical outlet. Instead, Raley lugs two 1900s-era phonographs and a crate of vintage records to her gigs and literally cranks out the nostalgic tunes of yesteryear.

At a recent Austin Mini Maker Faire event, Raley’s old-timey DJ set lured a group of wide-eyed children around her booth. “This record player is more than a 100 years old,” Raley told the curious faces. She hand-cranked the phonograph’s small lever like manually rolling down a car window and dropped a thick needle that landed in the grooves of her old 78 revolutions per minute record. Then, out of the phonograph’s big horn boomed the sweet 1917 tune “My Fox Trot Girl” by the era’s famous saxophone ensemble the Six Brown Brothers.

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