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June 2024

Getting Your Grandparents on the Dance Floor

Getting Your Grandparents on the Dance Floor 1707 2560 adam Michaels

It’s almost your wedding day and you know exactly what songs will bring you and your friends to the dance floor – it was blowing up on TikTok, you were texting each other Spotify links, someone posted it to their Instagram story. You know exactly what jams will have your parents and aunts and uncles busting out moves you forgot they had – it’s been a few years since the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances of your high school years after all, but you’ll never forget the tunes they’d put on in the car or the living room. 

But there are some special people there for your big day whose musical taste might not be familiar to you – you may not even think of them as people who can dance. However, we here at Around Town can promise you that your grandparents once had a whole lotta shakin’ going on, and with the right songs, they’ll forget all about their aging hips and knees and be right on that dance floor with you. 

For the purposes of these suggestions, we’re focusing our energies on grandparents currently between the ages of 75 and 90, but feel free to take your own grandparent’s ages into account as you read or research! The simple formula we’re using to figure out what music they likely loved dancing to the most goes like this: Take your grandparent’s age, and subtract it from the current year (if you don’t already know what year your grandparent was born); next, add 13 – now you’ve got the year they became a teenager! Take that number and add 17 – this is the year your grandparent turned 30. The years between 13 and 30 tend to be the most musically formative, and indicative of someone’s taste or favorites for the rest of their lives. So, we’ll be focusing on the most popular dance music between 1950 and 1980! 

Now, before we go any further, our first and best suggestion is this: call your grandparents and ask them what their favorite songs to dance to were. Having done this ourselves, we promise it’s a blast of a conversation – the look in their eyes as they remember and recount it is genuinely priceless (topped only by the look on their faces when the song plays at your reception!) Additionally, ask them what song their first dance was to, or if there was a song in their courtship that was “their song” – it might be a classic like Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or something more surprising or obscure like “Cindy Lou” by Dick Penner

…Ok did you do it? Did you call your grandparents? We’ll assume you did! Maybe you didn’t and you want to keep this all a surprise for them – that’s fun too! Without further ado, let’s get into some suggestions, by decade, of songs our award-winning live bands love to play that we think will get your grandparents moving and grooving! 

First Stop: The Fifties! 

Famous for giving birth to Rock n’ Roll, filled with legends like Elvis and Chuck Berry, the 50’s were also what launched R&B – think Ray Charles – and the popular big band and jazzy stylings of artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Perry Como. Our suggestions for fun or touching 50’s songs are: 

 

Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets 

Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley 

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On by Jerry Lee Lewis 

The Twelfth of Never by Johnny Mathis 

Tutti Frutti by Little Richard 

Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley 

The Twist by Chubby Checker 

Put Your Head on my Shoulder by Paul Anka 

I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra 

Swing Into The Sixties! 

Get ready for the British Invasion! The 60’s were a dynamic and transformative decade for music, ushering in Motown, expanding Rock n’ Roll, and giving rise to folk rock. The Beatles stand out as the most dominant sensation, but the 60’s were full of incredible artists who changed the face of music, from Aretha Franklin to Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye to Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles to The Beach Boys. Here are some of our top suggestions for this decade’s most danceable tunes: 

Twist & Shout by The Beatles 

You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 

I’m a Believer by The Monkees 

It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones 

God Only Knows by The Beach Boys 

Stop! In The Name Of Love by The Supremes

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond 

Respect by Aretha Franklin 

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 

Get Groovy, Baby – it’s the Seventies! 

Will your guests have “Saturday Night Fever”? The 1970s was a decade of musical diversity and innovation, with genres like rock, disco, punk, and funk all leaving a significant mark, and singer-songwriters really taking over the more intimate parts of the music scene. Iconic  (if entirely different) bands like Queen, ABBA, and the Bee Gees emerged, alongside acts like the queen of disco herself, Donna Summer, storytellers Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and The Carpenters, as well as the kings of the piano scene, Sir Elton John and the king of Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel. A quick note here, depending on how old your grandparents are, this decade of music may actually speak more to your parents and their peers – still fun to take into consideration when picking your music! Our suggested bops are: 

Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire with the Emotions 

Night Fever by the Bee Gees 

Top of the World by The Carpenters

The Hustle by Van McCoy 

Voulez Vous by ABBA (much of ABBA’s catalogue is extremely danceable, you can’t generally go wrong with one of their many smash hits)

September by Earth, Wind & Fire 

Boogie Shoes by KC & The Sunshine Band 

Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel 

Crocodile Rock by Elton John 

Turn the Beat Around by Vickie Sue Robinson

While we didn’t touch on this decade this time, if your grandparents are well into their 90’s or perhaps liked “oldies” even when they were younger, don’t forget to take a look into the bold, brassy, big band, jazzy, crooning songs of the 1940s! Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Glenn Miller & His Orchestra are great places to start!

Song of the Summer? We’ve Got You Covered!

Song of the Summer? We’ve Got You Covered! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, we’re pretty sure you’ve had some pretty incredible earworms stuck in your head for the past month or so. It’s the start of the summer, which means our favorite artists are dropping new songs left and right – and the songs of the 2024 summer are as hot as the weather is predicted to be! Since you and your partner have already proven you’re cool and have great taste (you booked Around Town after all), we’re sure some of the following songs are already on your list of bops you can’t wait to dance to on your big day. 

 

So to put your minds at ease – or to inspire you – here are a few of our award-winning live musician’s favorites!  

 

A Bar Song (Tipsy) by Shaboozey

 

Someone pour me up a double shot of whiskey

They know me and Jack Daniels got a history

There’s a party downtown near Fifth Street

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy… 

Some country flavor, a hint of hip hop, some easy-to-remember lyrics that sum up the mood… it’s no wonder this one is a wedding reception smash hit! We know you and your guests will happily be singing and bouncing along to this fun number that just invites a call and response! 

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM by Beyoncé 

This ain’t Texas (woo), ain’t no hold ’em (hey)

So lay your cards down, down, down, down

So park your Lexus (woo) and throw your keys up (hey)

Stick around, ’round, ’round, ’round, ’round (stick around)

And I’ll be damned if I can’t slow dance with you

Come pour some sugar on me, honey too

It’s a real life boogie and a real life hoedown

Don’t be a b*tch, come take it to the floor now, woo, huh (woo)

This one has been all over TikTok since the Super Bowl, but that hasn’t diminished its catchy power. Fun for all ages, Beyoncé always knows how to bring the party, no matter what genre she’s tackling. 

Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter 

Now he’s thinkin’ ’bout me every night, oh

Is it that sweet? I guess so

Say you can’t sleep, baby, I know

That’s that me, espresso

Move it up, down, left, right, oh

Switch it up like Nintendo

Say you can’t sleep, baby, I know

That’s that me, espresso

Currently the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the number one song on Spotify’s Global rankings, no one seems to be able to get these lyrics out of their head – it’s like the song is just as addictive as the caffeine it alludes to. Danceable, fun, this one is guaranteed to have your guests running to the dance floor

HOT TO GO! by Chappell Roan 

H-O-T-T-O-G-O, snap and clap and touch your toes

Raise your hands, now body roll, dance it out, you’re hot to go

H-O-T-T-O-G-O, snap and clap and touch your toes

Raise your hands, now body roll, H-O-T-T-O-G-O

H-O-T-T-O-G-O

You can take me hot to go

H-O-T-T-O-G-O

You can take me hot to go

It’s Pride Month! And Chappell Roan is the hottest new thing in the LGBTQ+ music scene, with a new album positively STACKED with bops. HOT TO GO! is one the most fun and danceable though, without having any lyrics that will give your grandma a heart attack. 

Lovin’ on Me by Jack Harlow 

I don’t like no whips and chains

And you can’t tie me down

But you can whip your lovin’ on me, baby

Whip your lovin’ on me, baby

A hip hop jam you can really sink your teeth into, this one speaks to the same part of our souls as some of our classic favorites from high school dances. While it might not be perfect for the older members of your crowd, we know it’s a perfect song to keep the energy going as the older folks head out. 

We Can’t Be Friends by Ariana Grande 

We can’t be friends

But I’d like to just pretend

You cling to your papers and pens

Wait until you like me again

Catchy from the moment it debuted, Ariana Grande once again knocks it out of the park with this upbeat jam – a red herring that hides its somewhat sad lyrics about an unrequited love. While you’re celebrating having found the love of your life, this song is too fun not to sing along with! 

Don’t see your hot new favorite song listed above? Not to worry! The Around Town Entertainment bands are pros for a reason – just include whatever song you can’t stop dancing to in your “Top 3 Song Requests” and we’ll make sure to bring the house down with it on your big day!

Spot(ify) the Similarities: Using Spotify to Help Find the Perfect Blend for Your Big Day!

Spot(ify) the Similarities: Using Spotify to Help Find the Perfect Blend for Your Big Day! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

It’s a tale as old as time, really: Indie-Acoustica Girl meets EDM Bro; Classic Rock Chick meets R&B Babe; Country Gal meets Latin Lad;  Bossanova Boy meets Death Metal Dude; Chappell Roan They meets Sammy Rae & The Friends Them. You love your partner to death and there are so many wonderfully compatible things about the two of you – it’s why you’re getting married! But what if your musical tastes could not be more different? Great news, your music tastes don’t have to be compatible for the two of you to be! Strong marriages are also built on your differences, not just your similarities, so don’t fret if your musical vibes are polar opposites! Even better news, you made the phenomenal choice to hire Around Town to handle the music for your special day – and we’re as versatile as your tastes! 

You may have noticed from watching clips of our fabulous bands or from checking out our song list, we have a pretty extensive and broad catalogue under our belts! Which means you and your partner don’t need to worry about limiting yourselves when highlighting the songs and genres you like. (Please note that not all genres are in the song list – for example, we don’t perform rap numbers. Also important to note, an additional vocalist may need to be contracted if you’re requesting songs sung in languages that are not English). You can trust our award-winning bands to pay attention to everything you tell us about your taste, as well as read the crowd; we’ll be playing songs that keep your guests dancing all night long

But what if you’re worried that your differing tastes in music will make it difficult to select songs that are perfect for your special moments? Or maybe they already are? Have no fear – we’re here to help! Let us start by saying that choosing these songs doesn’t need to be something you sit down in a single night and decide. While we do have our “30 days prior” deadline, that still gives you lots of time to really think about and find your perfect songs. Which is where this series of hot tips is about to come in! 

Spotify has really been focused on honing and improving their platform, algorithm, and, in particular, collaborative features in the last several years. And it’s these collaborative features that we’re gonna reveal and recommend using to help you and your partner find your perfect blend! 

Let’s start broadly: Spotify has a phenomenal feature called “Blends.” This is a fantastic way to get a constantly updated playlist that will have a fun mix of whatever you and your partner are currently listening to. Creating a Blend on Spotify is as easy as making instant noodles, and a fun way to mix your musical tastes with your partner! First things first, both you and your partner need to have Spotify accounts—free or premium, either works. Open up the Spotify app and head over to the “Search” tab. Type in “Blend” and you’ll see the option to create one. Tap on it, then hit “Invite” to send a link to your partner. Once they accept, Spotify will work its magic, combining your favorite tunes into a single, harmonious (and sometimes eclectic) playlist that reflects both of your styles. It’s like a musical marriage, perfectly blending your unique vibes! Whether it’s Coffeehouse Jazz meeting Hip-Hop, or Top 40 jamming with Motown, your Blend will be the fun and informative soundtrack to your tastes. Even more helpfully, each song will have one of your profile pictures next to it, depending on whose current listening the song came from; most helpfully of all, if there’s a song you’re both listening to, both of your profile pictures will appear next to the song! And with that, we’re off to the races. 

Taking our “Blends” idea a step further – welcome to shared or collaborative playlists! Once you’ve started to notice songs that both of you are listening to – or maybe you always had a song or two that you both agreed on, or you each have a few songs that are really important to you – it’s time for a shared playlist. 

Creating a shared playlist on Spotify is a breeze and a fantastic way to bond over, or sift through and narrow down, your favorite tunes with your partner! Start by opening the Spotify app and heading to the “Your Library” tab. Tap on the “Create Playlist” button and give your new playlist a catchy name that’s meaningful to both of you. Once your playlist is set up, hit the “Add Songs” button to start curating your mix. Now, for the magic: tap on the three dots at the top of the playlist, select “Invite collaborators,” and send the link to your partner. Voilà! They can now add, remove, and reorder songs just like you can. Whether you’re blending Folk with Broadway, Disco with Punk Rock, or any other combination of your totally different but equally fabulous tastes, your shared playlist will be the perfect musical expression of your unique connection. It’s also a great way to streamline your choices and figure out the perfect combination of songs for your special moments on your big day!

The Perfect Processional – Tips from Professionals!

The Perfect Processional – Tips from Professionals! 2560 1709 adam Michaels

This is it. Your final moments as an unmarried person. All eyes are on you as you process down the aisle on the arm of whomever is “giving you away,” but the most important eyes are, of course, your partner’s. Your soon-to-be spouse is there, waiting for you at the other end of the aisle. Let’s face it, there are some who’ve dreamed about this moment their whole lives and can tell you immediately exactly what song is playing in their minds when they close their eyes and picture it. And kudos to them! We applaud the clarity of their vision!! But what if you close your eyes and you see the moment and you know how you want the music to make you feel or contribute to the ambiance, but you have no idea what song to actually pick for it? That’s where we come in! 

Around Town Entertainment isn’t just here to make sure your reception is the fun-filled dance party of your dreams, we’re here to help ensure that every part of your big day sounds the way you always dreamed it would. So if you’re feeling stuck trying to choose your processional song, we’re here to help make that decision a little easier. 

We’ll kick it off with some fun questions to get the ball rolling on your own creative juices first – after all, the best way to guarantee your day feels as personal as possible for you and your partner is to pick music that’s important and meaningful to you both! But of course, since a game of 20 Questions doesn’t always lead to total consensus, or sometimes just a dead end, we’ve listed a few of our favorite classics at the end. 

So, without further ado, let’s play! 

  • When did you and your partner meet? Was there a song that seemed to play all the time around the time you were falling in love? 
  • Do you and your partner have a favorite movie? Is there a song or part of the soundtrack you particularly love?
  • What about a favorite tv show? Is there a moment in the show that’s perfectly underscored that you both love?
  • Do the two of you have a favorite band or musical artist? Have you been to a concert together? 
  • Is there a song that your partner has told you makes them think of you? 
  • Is there a song that makes you think of your partner? 
  • Do you two just have a song that’s “yours”? Keep in mind that even if the song isn’t originally in a style you think is appropriate for a wedding processional, you have one of our award-winning live musicians – which means that the style of the song can be adjusted so the vibe more closely matches what you’re looking for, all while keeping the emotional impact of a song that’s important to the two of you! 
  • Were you ever in the car together and a certain song came on and you both just belted your faces off to it? Was there a song that brought you so much inexpressible joy to sing (potentially well, potentially horribly) together? 

Admittedly, that wasn’t technically 20 questions, but we hope that it got the ball rolling and some creative juices flowing for you and your partner! Even if nothing is coming to you right this minute, that’s ok – our brains are mysterious places, so don’t be afraid to just take a few days to let these questions simmer in the back of your mind. Play your favorite playlists (even better if you have a shared playlist) and just go about your life – the right song has a funny way of coming up on shuffle when you least expect it. 

Of course, sometimes our own playlists and memories aren’t the answer, or it’s crunch time and you don’t have a few days to think this one over. So the rest of this post is devoted to giving you a quick list of some of our favorite processional songs that consistently knock it out of the park – we promise they’ll have you and your guests feeling all the right emotions as you walk down the aisle! 

“Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles 

“Over the Rainbow,” by Israel Kamakawiwo’

“I Choose You,” by Sarah Bareilles

“Rhythm of Love,” by Plain White T’s

“Dawn,” by Jean-Yves Thibaudet (You’ll know this one from 2005’s Pride & Prejudice) 

“A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri 

“Your Song,” by Elton John

“The Luckiest” by Ben Folds

“Clair de Lune,” by Claude Debussy

“Canon in D,” by Pachelbel (A true classic in the wedding world) 

“Can’t Help Falling in Love,” by Elvis Presley 

“Falling Slowly,” by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Iconically from Once – the film or the Broadway musical) 

“L-O-V-E,” by Nat King Cole