Thursday, June 15, 2006

A song mix certain to please

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Okay, what do these songs have in common?

"When I'm With You," (Sheriff); "The Flame," (Cheap Trick); and "Wind Beneath My Wings," (Bette Midler). If you guessed number one pop singles from the Eighties, you're right.

What about "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," (Charlie Rich); and "Blinded By the Light," (Manfred Mann's Earth Band)? Give yourself a pat on the back if you said number ones from the Seventies.

Now add these to the mix: "Catch Us If You Can," (Dave Clark Five); "Morning Has Broken," (Cat Stevens); "Green River," (Creedence Clearwater Revival); and "Unchained Melody," (Righteous Brothers). Yes, they're top ten hits from the Sixties and Seventies.

Next, contemplate how these songs fit into the equation: "Little Wing," (Jimi Hendrix); "She Belongs to Me," (Bob Dylan); and "100 Years," (Five For Fighting).

While you're at it, think about "The Closer You Get," (Alabama); "Convoy," (C. W. McCall); and "Hot Rod Lincoln," (Commander Cody). Heck, so long as you're at it, you might as well toss in "Rhythm of the Day," (Red Nichols); "I Will Be Here," (Steven Curtis Chapman); and "Fred Bear," (Ted Nugent).

So, got anything on those last nine? Here's a clue: "In Heaven There Is No Beer," (Frankie Yankovic).

Well, I probably gave it away with that last one.

Anyway, take a handful of rock hits, add some oldies, a few country smashes, a couple of slow numbers, a big band standard and a polka and you have the formula for a perfect wedding reception.

Few Upper Peninsula deejays don't have the Yankovic classic in their collection because it gets people dancing and singing along. "In heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here." You can't fail to have fun when that polka's being played.

Music brings people together and that point will be demonstrated on June 17, when my nephew Jason Dunlap marries his fiancee Yvonne Thoune. They thought a great way to get their wedding reception rolling would be to play songs from everyone's hit list.

Yes, this eclectic mix represents the favorite songs of the wedding couple's family and friends. These may have been disparate titles before now, but after this weekend, they'll be remembered as the songs played at Jason and Yvonne's wedding party. The music will help create memories which will last a lifetime.

By the way, the newlyweds will be dancing to "Amazed," a number one smash by Lonestar from their "Lonely Grill" compact disc. This won't be the first time "Amazed," written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo and Chris Lindsey, has been featured in a wedding, of course. The contemporary country tune has been an immensely popular crossover radio staple since being released in 1999.

It's a safe bet, though, Jason and Yvonne won't forget what that song means to them. Whenever they hear it, "Amazed" will bring them back to their wedding day.

You probably have your own wedding reception favorites. Maybe it's "Love Shack," (B52s); or "Mony Mony," (Billy Idol). Or perhaps you have fun with novelty tunes such as "The Hokey Pokey," (Ray Anthony); "The Chicken Dance," (Lawrence Welk) or "Beer Barrel Polka," (Frankie Yankovic, again). He is the polka king, you know.

In the end, though, it's not what the songs have in common, but what we have in common with the music. It's a powerful connection, regardless.

Certainly, music can have no more lasting impact than bringing family and friends together for a memorable day. After all, that's what the wedding ceremony and reception are meant to do.

So, with that in mind, let's polka! Or, maybe not.


CedarElkWoman said...

Steve, As usual, you write one mean chapter/blog. This one made me realize that I have lived away from the U.P. longer than I lived in it. I'm not much on bragging, but I know my music, and I looked at that list again, and again, and again, totally perplexed. When you revealed what it was, it hit me: no one on earth would play a single one of those songs at their wedding...except everyone in the U.P.! (Well, our sweet and quite traditional staff person DID, on a sweltering Nebraska summer evening, in an farm building of some sort, with no A/C, after many, many pitchers of beer had been desperately consumed, have "Hokey Pokey" played, and quite divinely kicked off her shoes and led the dance, to everyone's memorable delight and amazement.) I have two questions. Why did you not mention your own magical musical wedding, which I still remember vividly, for the music (not to mention the temperature, the fun, and the joy)? Well, I probably know the answer to that. Second, who would play Billy Idol's copy of Michigan's own Tommy James' Mony Mony? (I would play them both, myself.) Thanks for another great article/column/chapter/blog. Now, who is going to stop me from singing "In Heaven There is No Beer" where it is not exactly appreciated? Cedar Elk aka Jenn from da UP

Jackie said...

This is the first time I've logged on to rocknrollgraffiti and think this was a great article. Gary was wondering why he didn't get to pick slayer? Where would that fit onto the list? That was great and I hope they love the cd's! Can't wait to do the polka, or mabye I rather be "drinkin' the beer"!