As usual, the DJ’s know something you don’t. And that is that Jimmy Needlz, aka James Lawson, has retired from Shure Incorporated, makers of the turntable cartridges of choice.

Needlz is best known for re-issuing the M44-7 and M44-G cartridges (ie- the thing that holds the needle at the end of the tonearm) for Shure in 1998, after he discovered that DJ’s were going to Asia just to get the things, that had been discontinued in North America. He was the first corporate figure to embrace the scratch culture as a legitimate art form and business client, and even signed the Invisibl Scratch Piklz and X-Ecutioners to endorsement deals.

Needlz served as phonograph business manager as Shure for five years, before changing jobs this year. He officially retired in September for health reasons, but is now doing just fine. Shure was founded in 1925 in Evanston, IL, and also makes microphones and other audio electronics, in addition to its famous cartridges.