Don Ferry is a self-proclaimed ambassador of fun.
Ferry, aka D.J. Bullet, finds his passion in spinning compact discs for local dancers and karaoke singers. “This is my passion and if you can make your passion your job, then it’s not a job,” says Ferry, who by day is a fitness consultant. By night, he becomes D.J. Bullet.
Ferry has regular disc jockey gigs at Jimmy’s Southern Pub in Fountain City and at The Hill on Forest Avenue in Fort Sanders. He can be found at Jimmy’s on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and at Jimmy’s Friday Night Dance Party. He’s also at The Hill on Thursdays.
Ferry, 37, became a disc jockey out of high school in 1993 and later founded D-Squared Entertainment. “Honestly, I’ve always had a love of music,” Ferry says. “I started doing this in high school to become popular.”
The Michigan native’s musical roots run deep. He’s an avid musician who began playing early. “I began playing the violin when I was three years old. The violin became a fiddle when my mamma turned me on to country music.”
Ferry was first in the spotlight when he played violin in The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in White Hall, Michigan. He’s found his niche as a D.J. but still yearns to perform with a band. “Being a karaoke D.J. allows me to perform,” he says. “It’s hard for professional singers to get their foot in the door. Once you do, you don’t belong to you anymore. I started as a dance D.J. and I played records, tapes and later [compact] discs. Then, in 1996, I discovered the wonderful world of karaoke.”
That world has allowed Ferry to become part singer, part actor and part stand-up comedian. “It’s very true that truth is stranger than fiction,” he said. “You just can’t believe your eyes when you see what these people do. Every day is a new adventure.”
Ferry truly loves to spin tunes at Jimmy’s and The Hill but he says that it’s the people that make those gigs. “It’s all about fun and dealing with people,” he said. “I love to people watch. I love seeing different people. The people make it a happier experience.”
The two establishments that employ Ferry couldn’t be more diametrically opposite. Jimmy’s is a neighborhood watering hole that caters to a vast and diverse group that includes middle-aged patrons, college students and old-timers. The Hill, on the other hand, is home exclusively to the college crowd.
“I love Jimmy’s,” says Ferry. “The demographic is just crazy. The Hill is almost all college kids and the atmosphere is intense, but Jimmy’s dance party is the biggest I’ve seen in 10 years.”
The eclectic crowd at Fountain City’s most well-known bar makes song selection difficult. But Ferry manages to make everyone feel at home. “Early, I try to play songs for [my] age or a little older. Later in the night, I play more dance music and some of the hotter song on the charts.”
Ferry, who plays guitar and “anything with strings”, has a busy life away from the bar rooms and the gym. He’s a father of four. “My kids are the world to me,” he said. “I try to spend as much time with my kids as I can and not think about the bar. Sometimes, I just get in the car and take off down the highway. I sing with my kids and teach them how to play instruments. I want to pass music on to my kids and I want them to have choices.”
If you’d like to see Ferry play his music be sure to stop by The Hill or Jimmy’s on one of his nights there. It will surely be a good time.