And This Request Goes Out To…

MJ-CoverAt a wedding or other special event there are certain songs that are benchmarks in the DJ industry. “A Song for Momma” by Boyz II Men and “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle are examples of perfect “Mother-Son” and “Father-Daughter” dances, while the “Mission Impossible Theme” is popular for the groom’s garter retrieval antics.

As a headlining Emcee and Mobile DJ it’s my job to not only know these benchmarks, but to also adjust to the crowd and keep the party going throughout the reception. There are certain songs that are played at just about every event. And no, I’m not talking about the “Electric Slide” and “Chicken Dance,” I’m talking about songs that you may not initially think of, such as “PYT” and “Billie Jean.”

These songs from the King of Pop are probably two of the most requested songs at events outside of the latest Justin Bieber or Pitbull song. The sheer ability to cross the generational gap with songs like these is second to none. There are only a handful of artists that seem to hold that kind of clout. Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Kool and the Gang, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble are a few of these artists.

Playing songs like “PYT,” “Twist and Shout,” or “Celebration are always crowd pleasers and typically get the dance floor packed with an up-tempo, family-friendly tune. While songs like “The Way You Look Tonight” or “Save the Last Dance for Me” are also great ways for everyone from 12 to 112 to pack the dance floor with their special someone. For me, nothing compares to the feeling of seeing three or even four generations of a family sharing in a special song on a bride’s special day.

It takes a combination of energy, enthusiasm, planning, and musical knowledge to keep the feet on the dance floor but there are some songs that a DJ knows will make his or her job just a little bit easier. It doesn’t guarantee results in every crowd, but playing one of those songs will quickly give you a good temperature reading of the room, and reading the room is half the battle.


Twitter: @mhannaford

Matt Hannaford works as a headlining emcee/DJ for Klock Entertainment in addition to his full-time position in the radio industry.

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