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Hey Mister DJ!!
They were the street jocks. The men and women who hauled heavy speakers, turntables, mixers, and crates of vinyl records to the gyms, halls, lodges, clubs, garages, backyards, and anywhere else music lovers would congregate to party to the music. Sometimes they filled skating rinks, bingo halls, or high schools, and sometimes they even packed them into the Norfolk Scope, the Norfolk Arena, the Hampton Coliseum, the Virginia Beach Dome, or even the beaches and drive-in theaters.
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Some of the names were legendary, and there were legendary battles which ensued when a combination of DJ Crews competed for area supremacy. There was Bob Fields and Bob’s Lounge, Scooby Doo, Heart-Attack, Hammerhead, Billy Doo-Wah, The Dome.
There were the DJ’s who helped usher in the Hip-Hop era like The Portsmouth All-Stars with The Master Blaster and Dr. Feel-Good, there was The Controller, Bobby Roscoe (with ET and Shag Nasty), Ron & Twin, and many others.
But then there was Big Bad Base.
Base, aka Keith Little, was a fixture at many events in the Hampton Roads Area and beyond. Big Bad Boss Bold Bodacious Black Beautiful Base (his full title given to him when he played high school football) was the son of a powerful record promoter for Atlantic Records, Leroy Little, Sr., and his brother was also a force in the record industry--Leroy Jr. was VP of Polygram and headed other promotions departments.
Base learned some of the tricks of the trade from his predecessors and friends like Bob Fields and developed a style of his own. Base built his empire from old, discarded speakers and barely belt-driven turntables, with an rusty old microphone which he fed tons of personality and a party atmosphere--and transformed it into a wall of speakers and stack of amps which would make your shirt dance all on its own from 50 yards away.
Base had a constantly revolving crew of DJ’s who helped him pack the clubs, the hole-in-the-walls (like the Game Room in Foundation Park), clubs (like Batman’s Den/Benson’s), the open fields of race tracks, beaches, and drive-ins, and the large venues. Ready Eddie, Boss, King Wolfman, HB, Bo Jack, Casper, DJ Vince, and General Jo were just a few. Base also teamed up with General Jo to record records on the Dangerous Jams label. Some of the songs became hot items in dance halls and club scenes in Europe as well as America.
Base was also the guest MC and intermission entertainment for some of the hottest acts to ever visit the area, Salt & Pepa, Run DMC, LL Cool J, The Fat Boys, Kid-N-Play, The Beastie Boys, MC Shy D, Ready for the World, Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam, and many more. Whether it was at Stars, Fame, Scope, The Norfolk Arena, The Hampton Coliseum, Washington Beach, NC, or any other hot spot in town, Base was popular with promoters because they knew he delivered and would also draw a crowd.
Sometimes Base & Crew would even be flown up to New York or T-Neck, NJ, to DJ for celebrity parties, or spin the music in the hotels for the after-parties. Wherever he went, he was known and loved. Even after a double amputation on his legs, Base would still bring his magic to events at special requests, many people not even realizing the man was standing on prosthetic legs and making audiences leap out of their seats to the dance floor.
Base passed away one recent Thanksgiving, leaving us with a lot of smiling memories, his DJ pioneering spirit, and his constantly hustling mentality to make money for him and the people who worked for him and with him.
Rockin the city
Rockin’ the city
Showing no pity
The Old Killer Keyboards
LIna Brown of Precious Metal (Never Fall in Love Again)
If you have some memories, photos, or memorabilia from "back in the day," you would like to submit, please contact us at
Virginia's Music Soul.
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