EDITORIAL NOTE: Welcome to a new feature of the Luther Register in which we will showcase Luther personalities, businesses and history. Special thanks to Jacob Factor for the write-up of one of Luther’s favorite sons, DJ Shorty B.
Story by Jacob Factor
“Many years ago, I hurt my foot right before a friend’s birthday party and he wanted me to sit back and play the music. We had a little radio; that’s when cassettes were real big. So I sat back and I was playing the cassettes and people were coming up to me and requesting songs for me to play, and I really liked it. I’ve always loved music.”
This is how Luther native Joshua Smith, aka DJ Shorty B, was introduced to the entertainment industry. He’s been spinning tunes since he was 20-years-old as a part-timer. But went out on his own just a year later. His entrepreneurial spirit is paying off, and we love cheering him on via social media and at the gigs he works in Luther.
DJ Shorty B provides entertainment for weddings, birthday parties, dances, you name it. He brings the party: music lights, hosting duties … and a knack for getting a group dance going and for a crowd to have a great time. After moving back home to Luther, we’ve seen him and his equipment at several town events, including dances at the school, and last fall’s Trunk or Treat event downtown.
Last September, Joshua saw a need for the fire department, so he put on a fundraiser; a foam party at the park.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “We wanted to bring something local for the kids. It helped them too because they don’t get out very much because it’s 30 miles to the nearest attraction.”
At the Halloween event, Shorty B brought a fun energy to Main Street after a very difficult week in our town.
“We had music playing in front of town hall and we would make the announcements. We did that because there was a lot going on around Halloween and we knew that the parents wouldn’t feel safe sending their kids to go walk around so we wanted to do something to where the kids could come and have a good time. It wasn’t anything they had done so why should that ruin their holiday.”
Sadly, we remember last October, when we lost beloved neighbors Ron and Kay Wilkson in a brutal double-murder. Their killer, Michael Vance, was at large for a week, putting the area on a sort-of lockdown with extra police presence in the area. Vance was killed in Western Oklahoma on October 30.
Joshua went to Luther schools until eighth grade, when his family moved to Wellston. That didn’t stop him coming back over to Lion territory. “When I had days off at Wellston, I would come here and since everyone knew me, teachers included, they’d let me sit in on classes.” He’s always loved Luther schools, and even as an adult still cares about it and the students. “I didn’t have a lot of financial support starting out at all actually. I was on free lunches growing up. I want to show every kid that it doesn’t matter where you start or how, it just matters what’s in your head, your dream, and that you work for it.”
Joshua and his wife, Stephanie, have two little girls: Nevaeh, which is spelled “heaven” backwards, and Amilliya. He says they both love music and want to be DJs when they grow up. “Neveah even calls herself DJ Bunny.”
Joshua says his family is very close. He was on the road for a few years and would only be home for the weekends. Those years were hard, but they never gave up on each other. Joshua and Stephanie will celebrate ten years of marriage this year. “That’s why I think its so important to not give up,” he said.
And that’s his message to kids with dreams, dream big and never give up.
Follow him on his Facebook page, where you can book him for your next event.