DJ Robbie Leslie
One of the First Generation DJs, Robbie Leslie was born in Maine on November 19, 1955 as e youngest of three sons of American father and a Russian mother. His parents had a small retail business in Maine with a satellite business in Florida, and the family was so called snow birds. Which made them spend winters in Florida and summers in Maine. The family was not very musical and the radio or record player was seldom used, and it wasn’t until Robbie got his first car that music started to come into his life through the car radio. It opened a new world to him, and the interest in music , mainly the Motown sound grew stronger and stronger. In 1973 he had his first nightclub experience at the Cabaret After Dark in Boston. The music played in the club was mainly the Philadelphia sound and Robbie loved it. He was hooked, and began driving from Maine to Boston on a weekly basis to go clubbing. They did not serve liquor and he was underage, but it was his first exposure to people dancing to disco music, and he loved the music right off. Still unsure of what he was to become he started working in a local bar in Maine where he was responsible for making sure the jukebox had all the hottest 7 inches of the time, which allowed him to drive all the way down to Colony Records in NYC to pick up new records. He moved onto waiting tables and when the winter came he moved down to Fort Lauderdale Florida and found a job waitering. One night just by chance he waited on an elderly couple who were so impressed by Robbie that they recommended him to their son Gene Smith who happened to own a nightclub/ restaurant called the Sandpiper on Fire Island. There Gene offered him the job as a waiter right off. He moved to NYC in off season and in 1976 was promoted to bartender. His career began then and there on Fire Island at the Sandpiper (now the Pavilion) in 1975… an auspicious beginning.
From there he moved on to New York City, where the list of clubs at which he regularly performed reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Big Apple nightspots: The Saint (and subsequently the Saint-At-Large), Studio 54, Underground, Private Eyes, Palladium, the Red Parrot, 12 West and the Ice Palace. Over the years, he has made numerous guest appearances at Trocadero Transfer and Dreamland in San Francisco; Axis, Probe, Circus, and Studio 1 in Los Angeles; Tracks, Numbers, and Lost & Found in Washington D.C.; Numbers and Heaven in Houston; Club St. John in San José; the Pavilion, Botel, Ice Palace, Island Club, and Sip & Twirl on Fire Island; Santos, XL, Splash, SeaTea, Roxy, and Octagon in New York; Heaven in London, and clubs in Dubai, Berlin, Moscow, Sydney, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Toronto, St. Maarten, and San Juan. For nineteen years he has been the Resident DJ for RSVP Cruises and Vacations. Other notable residencies include the Copa of Fort Lauderdale and Key West and Twist in South Beach.
Leslie is considered the prototype of the modern Circuit Party DJ. He began spinning at special events worldwide long before the term ‘circuit’ was in the gay vernacular. Events of note include the Saint-at-Large, the White Party at Vizcaya in Miami, The Red Party in Columbus, A.P.L.A. Garden Parties in Griffith Park and at Universal Studios Backlot, Spring to Life at the Post Office Pavilion in Washington D.C., the March On Washington, All That Glitters in San Diego, the Hotlanta River Expo in Atlanta, Pride at The Pier in Ft. Lauderdale, Fantasy Fest in Key West, One Magical Weekend in Orlando, Heritage of Pride Pier Dance in New York City, Winter Party in Miami, Saturday Night Fever in New Orleans, Remember the Party in San Francisco, One Night Only in Hollywood, Souvenirs and Trippin’ On The Moon in New York, and a wide variety of major events in venues such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Opera House in Boston, the Mayan Theatre and Stock Exchange in Los Angeles, and the Civic Center and Galleria in San Francisco. He has also appeared at events in Long Beach, Maui, Boston, Houston, Aspen, Tampa, Philadelphia, Laguna Beach, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Portland, Rehoboth Beach, Hartford and Charleston. In 1988 he was honored by being selected to play the final set at The Saint’s forty hour closing, The Last Party.
As the disc jockey for New York City’s Pier Dance of 1989 and 2004, Leslie played to a record breaking crowd of over 12,000. He topped that number in 1997 while playing the post-parade celebration at San Francisco’s Embarkadero – 20,000! Recently he was honored by the industry and his peers with the National Hi-Energy D.J. of the Year Award, sponsored by Dance Music Report. He received the Dixie Award for D.J. of the Year in 1993. In October 1999 Leslie was presented with the third annual DJ Music Award for his lifetime contribution to the world of dance music. And in 2013 he received the FIP Historical Preservation Society’s inaugural History Maker Award. Robbie can now be found on the airwaves with his weekly SiriusXM Satellite Radio broadcast of “Robbie Leslie Presents:”