Hello &


to my blog...

If you are newly engaged, planning a birthday, anniversary or special occasion party or dance, you'll want to add some music to your day and that's where I come in. Since 1979, I have been performing at weddings & functions along South Shore Boston, Massachusetts, Cape Cod and throughout New England.

As a highly experienced broadcast DJ/MC, I work with you to create a truly memorable event.

From Miller to Madonna or Armstrong to GaGa, I play a wide variety of the Latest & Greatest Hits plus I have a top of the line digital sound system that sounds great no matter what level the music is played at.

Visit djChrisPickett.com & see why Chris Pickett Disc Jockey Service is the Soundtrack To Your Next Event!

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Review

2010 was a great year for pop music! In recent years, top 40 has seemed uneven but this year, the mix was much smoother.  So many genres of music seemingly merged into the realm of pop whether it was through collaboration like Taio Cruz & Ludacris on Break Your Heart or via consternation, as with the Taylor Swift / Kanye West-fest at the MTV Music Awards early in 2010. 

Yet, despite the audacity and heartbreak of that televised event, the careers of both Swift & West continued to flourish during 2010 as Taylor Swift endured and released the acceptable & respectable follow-up Mine while Kanye continued to keep his name in the headlines and history books during a self-imposed sabbatical that concluded with the release of his ambitious My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a Rolling Stone magazine year-end top pick.  On the Billboard 200 however, Swift gets the last jab as her Speak Now album sits comfortably atop that chart at year’s end.

At year’s start, Kesha Rose Sebert aka Ke$ha had already TiK ToK-ed her way to the top of the charts in 2009 and held on for many more weeks into 2010, resulting in the #1 song of this year. 

Meanwhile, Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady GaGa is well on her way to becoming the next Madonna. GaGa’s 2008 debut Fame LP and 2009 stop-gap Fame Monster EP were, respectively, the #1 & #2 dance albums on the Billboard chart, collectively yielding more than a half-dozen chart-toppers & floor-fillers that will stand the test of time.  2010’s releases included Telephone f/ Beyonce, Alejandro and Bad Romance. Her highly anticipated follow-up LP Born This Way is due in early 2011.

At weddings and parties everywhere, I came to dance with Dynamite, another Taio Cruz hit and Hey Soul Sister by Train gave us the catchiest and perhaps most over-used song in commercials, resulting in an (unsuccessful) Internet petition requesting a cease & desist for such purposes. 

Lady Antebellum crossed over the Mason-Dixon into pop territory with Need You Now and Michael Posner proved he was Cooler Than Me (even though I played his record a number of times.)

Alicia Keys hit it big with Jay-Z in 2009 and again on her own in 2010 with the rap & pop versions of the same song - Empire State Of Mind, not to mention her corresponding Element Of Freedom album going #1 this year.

Elsewhere, rappers continued to find creative ways to bridge the worlds of Pop & Hip-Hop to the point where the melding has virtually formed into its own nameless genre (I’d go with ‘Hip-Pop.’)  Eminem was Not Afraid to ride to the top of the charts and did it again when he teamed with Rihanna for Love The Way You Lie, the first of the 2-part drama, which concludes (?) in 2011.  Rihanna also redeemed herself on the dance floor quite nicely since 2008’s Disturbia with Only Girl In The World.

Side-stepping 9/11 implications, B.o.B. and Hayley Williams flew us in Airplanes while Pitbull revived Enrique Iglesias’ chart life with I Like It (which also offers a tip of the hat to Lionel Richie’s All Night Long in the lyric.)

Bruno Mars revealed himself to be not only a talented songwriter with hits like Travie McCoy’s Billionaire and Cee-Lo Green’s unspeakable yet humorous ode to love lost (aka entitled) Forget You but he also became a solid performer in his own right.  Bruno is responsible for the best romantic ballad of 2010 with the performance of his own chart-topping composition entitled Just The Way You Are and is poised to take over the #1 spot again in January with his follow-up Grenade.  Bruno hails from Hawaii and seems well schooled in the classic pop-song writing tradition. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from him in the years to come.

But it is Katy Perry who ultimately had the best year ever as she continued to prove herself an enduring force by dominating the summertime airwaves with the #1 hits California Gurls (f/ Snoop Dogg) and Teenage Dream.  Mrs. Russell Brand also got married this year and is rumored to be changing her professional name to Katy Perry-Brand in 2011.  KP also had other catchy hits with If We Ever Meet Again, a collaboration with Timbaland and she also sews up the charts in the final week of the first year of this new decade with her third #1 single of 2010 - Firework

Finally, let us not forget what will be perhaps the most enduring dance floor anthem for many years to come: I Gotta Feeling by Black-Eyed Peas holds this year’s distinction of charting on two consecutive year-end charts (2009 & 10) and subsequently, in two different decades. 

So, just before midnight tonight, Raise Your Glass to Pink's anthem and ring in the new year - I gotta feeling the best is yet to come!

Soundtrack For TodayAuld Lang Syne & Rock Around The Clock

Happy New Year from djChrisPickett.comSoundtrack To Your Next Event!

Prediction for 2011:  There will be a song that references and/or entitles itself about living your life out on Facebook. Most likely a country song.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter #1s

Here's a century-back look at #1 songs on the 1st day of winter:

2010 Firework • Katy Perry
2000 Independent Women Part I Destiny's Child
1990 Because I Love You (The Postman Song) • Stevie B
1980 (Just Like) Starting Over • John Lennon
1970 My Sweet Lord / Isn't It a Pity • George Harrison
1960 Are You Lonesome Tonight • Elvis Presley
1950 The Thing • Phil Harris
1940 Frenesi  Artie Shaw
1930 You're Driving Me Crazy! (What Did I Do?) • Guy Lombardo
1920 Whispering • Paul Whiteman
1910 Meet Me To-Night in Dreamland • Henry Burr

What a difference 100 years makes!  How many titles/artists do you recognize? 

Soundtrack For Today:  djChrisPickett.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame - 2011

Singer, songwriter, actor, performer.  Congratulations to Neil Diamond for his long overdue induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame!

Soundtrack For Today:  Neil Diamond: His 12 Greatest Hits

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's That Time Of Year

If you are newly engaged, Fall is the start of a wedding planning process that can at times feel both fun & frustrating.  There’s much to coordinate but a key portion of your search is finding the right DJ to make your big day a fun & memorable experience – and this is where I come in.

As your disc jockey, I consider myself to be an authoritative resource on music from many different styles and eras.  This is important because your wedding reception will include guests whose musical tastes span across many generations and it is vital to have an experienced professional who intuitively knows how to play to this dynamic.

Additionally, I fulfill the duties of Master Of Ceremonies at your reception, which is perhaps the most crucial role of the day.  As such, I work with you throughout the planning process to coordinate formalities and express your musical tastes so that from your introduction to your final dance, all you have to do is have the time of your life!

This is your big day. All of the stress you go through during the planning process should culminate in a happy and enjoyable celebration for you both. My experience and references show I know how to make this happen.  So make sure you’re hiring a professional DJ and not an “MP3 player.“

As an MC, I speak on behalf of you to your guests. As an entertainer, I have over 30 years experience that helps you to create a memorable Soundtrack To Your Wedding Day!

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com

I also offer music/microphones for your wedding service!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Just over 30 years ago, Sony introduced us to the cassette player they called the Walkman and it ignited a revolution of music playback not seen since the mid-1950s introduction of the portable transistor radio. 

Not only did the Walkman change overall sound quality, small and comfortable headphones further enhanced the new experience of listening to music on the run with store-bought and custom cassettes – not to mention in stereo!

According to published reports, today marks the end of production for the cassette version of the Walkman by Sony.  Today also celebrates the 9th birthday of one of the Walkman’s technological successors – the iPod.

Soundtrack For TodayLisbon by The Walkmen

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tiger Twist

The New England Patriots beat the Bengals in our season opener - Patriots 38, Bengals 24.

Go Pats!!

Soundtrack For Today:  Armando Sciascia & His Orchestra

Friday, September 10, 2010

California / Dream

Katy Perry created the soundtrack to the summer of 2010!  She began the first day of summer in the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with California Gurls and this coming week, that song sits at #10 while her latest release Teenage Dream, clamps down the top 10 on the other end at #1.  Katy’s album Teenage Dream also rules the charts at #1 this week.

Hear & Now:

Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin with a new album of that title.  It came out last month and captures the rebounding Beach Boy at his most creative.  If you know songs like Rhapsody In Blue, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, or I Got Rhythm, try to re-imagine what they sound like with a “Beach Boy-ish” flair. 

This album makes a bit of history as there are also 2 never-before heard and previously unfinished Gershwin pieces that Brian Wilson completed, courtesy of access granted him to the Gershwin archives.

Currently #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, it's available through Amazon, iTunes and your local record store or visit BrianWilson.com.

Coming Soon:

John Lennon’s 70th birthday would have been next month on Oct. 9 and to celebrate, Yoko Ono has supervised the re-mastering of his solo catalog along with the compilation of a new box set and greatest hits collection.  Of particular note is a special stripped-down version of Double Fantasy, the 1980 comeback album Lennon completed just prior to his murder that December.  All are set for release October 5 on EMI.

Per The Beatles official website: “The Beatles’ original 1973 compilations, 1962-1966 (‘Red’) and 1967-1970 (‘Blue’) have been digitally remastered for worldwide CD release on October 18 (October 19 in North America).” 

The U.S. and British versions of these albums differed slightly in terms of mixes chosen – no word yet if there will be separate versions again and in particular, whether the ‘Red’ album will have the James Bond intro. on Help.

Soundtrack For TodayiPod on shuffle

Update: No 'Bond' intro on the 'Red' album.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's All In The Game

Tommy Edwards was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1922 and eventually grew up to be a talented pianist and singer/songwriter.  Edwards died in 1969 of a brain aneurysm at a young age 47.

His self-penned This Chick’s Too Young To Fry, was popularized by Louis Jordan in 1946 while other better-known solo recordings eventually became bigger hits for other artists, such as A Fool Such As I by Elvis Presley (#2; 1959) and The Morning Side of The Mountain by Donnie & Marie (#8; 1975.) 

But it was Edwards’ recording of a timeless ballad entitled It’s All In The Game, which he originally released and took into the top 20 in 1951, that made him stand out.  By the end of the 1950s, however, Edwards was looking to salvage his sinking career and decided to dust off the old tune one more time. 

With a new arrangement of the song that was geared towards the new rock & roll generation (as well as being an early stereo recording) he once again lent his unique voice & performed it on the Ed Sullivan show in September 1958.  It became his biggest and best known hit. 

It’s All In The Game also has a distinct and distinguished history in that it is the only charted song written by a Vice-President of the United States.  Charles Dawes, 30th VP of the United States to Calvin Coolidge during his 2nd administration in 1925, wrote the song in 1912 when he was an investment banker in Chicago.  Prior to the addition of lyrics by Carl Sigman, the tune was known as Melody In A Major and also Dawes’ Melody.  Dawes died in 1951; the same year the lyrics were added. 

On this day in history, Charles Dawes was born in 1865 while today in 1958, his signature piece It’s All In The Game was in its 2nd week of a 6 week run at #1 on the Billboard charts.  And as this tune approaches its 100th anniversary in 2012, it’s clear by the added lyric that the “game” is always on.

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com – 
                              Soundtrack To Your Next Event!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

O! Say Can You Sing...?

2010 marks the United States’ 234th birthday and throughout the course of Billboard magazine’s chart history, only one patriotic anthem has topped the charts on the 4th of July: My Country ‘Tis of Thee by Jules Levy, which held the honor in 1893.

Our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key and was also a chart-topper. But it missed being #1 on July 4 by just a few weeks when John McCormack’s performance reached the peak during the week of Flag Day, June 14, 1917.

My Country ‘Tis of Thee competed heavily with The Star-Spangled Banner for national anthem status and served as such (unofficially) until an act of Congress proclaimed TSSB as our official national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Interestingly, given that the primary subject matter of each song corresponds more to the respective holidays on which they were #1, one has to wonder if the music charts of those days more accurately reflect which song was popularly considered to be our national anthem. 

Soundtrack For Today: Happy Birthday, America!

Whitney Houston holds a distinctive record with her Superbowl XXV performance of TSSB  charting twice on the Billboard Hot 100 – in 1991 and 2001.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summertime Summertime

Here’s a look back at the songs that were #1 on the first day of summer:

2010: California Gurls - Katy Perry f/ Snoop Dogg

2009 Boom Boom Pow - The Black Eyed Peas
2008 Lollipop - Lil Wayne f/ Static Major
2007 Umbrella - Rihanna f/ Jay-Z
2006 Hips Don't Lie - Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean
2005 We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
2004 Burn - Usher
2003 21 Questions - 50 Cent f/ Nate Dogg
2002 Foolish - Ashanti
2001 Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
2000 Be With You - Enrique Iglesias

1999 If You Had My Love - Jennifer Lopez
1998 The Boy Is Mine - Brandy & Monica
1997 I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy & Faith Evans f/ 112
1996 Tha Crossroads - Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
1995 Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? - Bryan Adams
1994 I Swear - All-4-One
1993 That's The Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson
1992 I'll Be There - Mariah Carey
1991 Rush Rush - Paula Abdul
1990 It Must Have Been Love - Roxette

1989 Satisfied - Richard Marx
1988 Foolish Beat - Debbie Gibson
1987 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
1986 On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
1985 Heaven - Bryan Adams
1984 The Reflex - Duran Duran
1983 Flashdance ... What A Feeling - Irene Cara
1982 Ebony And Ivory - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
1981 Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
1980 Funkytown - Lipps, Inc.

1979 Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
1978 Shadow Dancing - Andy Gibb
1977 Got To Give It Up Pt. 1 - Marvin Gaye
1976 Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings
1975 Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille
1974 Billy, Don't Be A Hero - Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
1973 My Love - Paul McCartney & Wings
1972 Candy Man - Sammy Davis, Jr.
1971 It's Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move - Carole King
1970 The Love You Save - The Jackson 5

1969 Get Back - The Beatles
1968 This Guy's In Love With You - Herb Alpert
1967 Groovin' - The Young Rascals
1966 Paperback Writer - The Beatles
1965 Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds
1964 A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon
1963 Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
1962 I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
1961 Quarter To Three - Gary U.S. Bonds
1960 Everybody's Somebody's Fool - Connie Francis

1959 The Battle Of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
1958 Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
1957 Love Letters In The Sand - Pat Boone
1956 The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
1955 Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
1954 Little Things Mean A Lot - Kitty Kallen
1953 The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart) - Percy Faith
1952 Here In My Heart - Al Martino
1951 Too Young - Nat "King" Cole
1950 'The Third Man' Theme - Anton Karas

1949 Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend) - Vaughn Monroe
1948 Nature Boy - Nat "King" Cole
1947 Peg O' My Heart - The Harmonicats
1946 The Gypsy - The Ink Spots
1945 Sentimental Journey - Les Brown
1944 I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You) - Harry James Orchestra
1943 Taking A Chance On Love - Benny Goodman
1942 Sleepy Lagoon - Harry James Orchestra
1941 Daddy - Sammy Kaye
1940 Tuxedo Junction - Glenn Miller

Good Timing: It took only 4 weeks to go #1 and after 5 weeks on the charts, Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg’s California Gurls is the only summer-themed hit to chart #1 on the first day of summer!

Soundtrack For Today: California Girls / Gurls

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Summer arrives a few days early - at least at Great Woods this weekend with the return of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band.  Jimmy usually wraps up the summer but this year, he's got us all Under The Big Top and back in Summerzcool.  Not a bad place to be.

Check out his new albums that are out now - Buffet Hotel and Encores

Soundtrack For TodayNobody From Nowhere

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Just In -

"Thanks to Chris' DJing, everyone who attended the Dana-Farber Charity event I hosted (Friday, 4/9 @ the W Hotel in Boston) had a fantastic time. He was very responsive to people's requests and had a wide range of music to choose from."

"A true 5-star DJ. Thanks." - Dmitry Linkov

Soundtrack For Today: www.runDFMC.org/2010/DmitryL or www.DanaFarber.org

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where It Began...

Opening Day At Fenway - So Good!!

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox bring back summer with a fitting home opener against the Yankees and a special surprise appearance by Neil Diamond singing Sweet Caroline for the Fenway faithful.  This is Neil’s second time performing our 8th inning anthem at Fenway and the first time he’s done it during a game.

Like Foster's Beautiful Dreamer, Beethoven's ‘Fifth’ or Norworth's Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is cementing it's place in history and will have no problem being remembered more than a hundred years from now because of what is happening today.

In its day, Sweet Caroline’s peak chart position in the U.S. was #4.  Since then, it has broken free of the statistical confinement of the other 3 songs that topped it and has, astonishingly, surpassed a composer's wildest dream of having a #1 hit.  It has taken on a life of it’s own and is the ultimate example of Mr. Diamond’s own view on how ‘new’ songs are “soon…not yours anymore.

Its lyric continues to echo in the hearts of 1969-ers who still hear the soundtrack of their youth underneath the "so-goods" that have been overlaid by the next generations who, inexplicably, can't quite put a finger on why this song does what it does for them.

Perhaps today’s rendition may tire on some. But for now, it comes down to those who love it and have adopted it as an official anthem of Red Sox Nation.

I’d say that Neil is extremely aware of the historic implications that his composition has beyond Fenway Park's walls but is equally grateful that this is where the choir lives.  So, if anything, he is (and we are) taking full advantage in securing his legacy in the annals of the American Popular Song.

Sweet Caroline is just one song of countless Neil Diamond hits but will likely be his most memorable.

Soundtrack For Today:  Go Sox!!
Final Score: Red Sox 9; Yankees 7

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Play-list (part 4): Party Time!

During dance time it is important that your DJ have latitude to play varied styles and content based upon requests and also the DJ’s instinct and response to crowd reaction.  If a particular song or music style is not working with your guests, the DJ’s role is to sense and react accordingly to the mood of the crowd. The last thing any DJ wants to see is the actual dance floor itself – it’s always better populated!

Also consider creating a “no-play” list of those songs you really don’t care for. Your DJ should always be willing to work with such a list but you should also advise under what circumstances, if at all, a song on this list may or may not be played.  For example, sometimes a “no-play” list contains songs such as the Electric Slide or the Chicken Dance but often, such songs can become overwhelming requests upon the DJ by your guests. So, potential exceptions from the “no-play” list are circumstantial aspects to consider and advise your DJ on during preliminary discussions.

In the end, if you are insistent about not wanting a particular song, your DJ should indicate readiness to advise requesting guests accordingly.

Soundtrack For TodaydjChrisPickett.com

You can download a song list from my website which demonstrates the diversity of my library.  The list is  a general representation as I have so much more & what I don’t have, I can usually find!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dr. Who?

Mr. Theordore R. Geisel was once caught drinking alcohol with fellow college students during the period of time in the early 20th century known as Prohibition, which constitutionally forbade alcohol consumption in the U.S. (and was eventually repealed in 1933.)

As a result and in order to stay in school, college officials ordered that he cease all his extracurricular activities, which included writing for a campus humor magazine.  To sidestep this mandate, he began signing the name “Seuss” to his submissions and the rest, they say, is Seuss-story.

The late, great Dr. Seuss continues to make an impact on kids today as witnessed by this past weekend’s performance by the Quincy Drama Club’s production of Seussical The Musical.

To sum up the all-Seuss plot: Horton heard a Who and didn’t know what to do when the people that he knew would not believe he heard a Who.  I can’t tell you much more beyond that except the who-le thing’s told by The Cat In The Hat.

Olivia Herman was the Who that brought me there too. Following the grand finale, she and the cast zoomed their way through the audience to the back-stage corridor and the pride felt in their collective shriek of excitement as they ran down that hallway could not help but rub off on any Who who heard them.

This was a very well-rehearsed and superbly choreographed production by 60 + students (and faculty) of all grade levels at Quincy Public Schools. To everyone involved both young and both old & both near and both far, a tip of my hat to how lucky you are!

Soundtrack For Today:  Think Of Seuss!

And keep abuzz for Gertrude McFuzz - Emily Hajjar is going to be a star.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Play-List (part 3): Party Time!

A wedding reception is one of the few life events where you invite friends and relatives whose musical tastes span across many generations. Everyone knows hundreds of songs so your entertainment choice should have the ability to provide you and your guests with a large selection of the original hits that they remember.

A wedding reception is also a fluid event – especially during dance time, which typically lasts up to 3 hours during a 5-hour reception. The mood of a crowd and what motivates them to dance are beyond any one blueprint. So, as far as how many selections to choose, remember this: “so many songs, so little time.”

What that means is there’s so much good music that you’ll want to hear but it’s nearly impossible to play them all! Still, I suggest that you choose more songs than necessary and bullet the must-plays. Doing so paints a good picture of where you want to go musically to help create the perfect Soundtrack To Your Wedding Day! 

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There's A Spot In My Heart...

It's St. Paddy's Day!  Celebration of this some-places holiday has evolved since its inception in pre-1600s Ireland but it is always punctuated by the Irish songs we’ve come to know & love. And by alcohol.  Which helps with the singing.

Throughout the years you have to figure that at least one of those now traditional Irish songs would have made it to the top o’ the charts and sure and begorrah, one did:  Mother Machree by Will Oakland was #1 in the U.S. on this date 99 years ago in 1911.

Oakland’s high-tenor voice was discovered by Thomas Edison in 1908.  He soon became a very successful recording artist for both Edison and Victor (early mfr. of records and players) as well as the top-billed member of the equally successful barber shop group The Heidelberg Quintet.

The song’s composer, Cleveland-born Ernest R. Ball, collaborated with lyricist Chauncey Olcott and wrote the ballad in 1910.  Two years later, Ball composed another Irish standard that would go on to live in infamy – When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

Soundtrack For Today: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Play-List (part 2): Wedding Reception Cocktail Hour & Dinner

Cocktail hour tends to be the one part of the day you both miss because of photographs but you should still use this time and also dinner hour to be very specific in music style and selection.  This can set an underlying tone for the day that usually originates from your own collection of favorite artists.

For dinner, music tends to be more subdued in volume level to allow for conversation but still loud enough for those who just can’t wait to get on the dance floor!

If your DJ has a wide variety of music along with years of experience, then accommodation of your desires should not be a problem and your DJ should be willing to work with you to meet your goals.  (That sounds like me!)

Soundtrack For TodaydjChrisPickett.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh, What A Night

late December back in '63...

If you recognize this lyric, you'll know it's from a song called December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) by The Four Seasons.

It remains a popular dance floor favorite that reached #1 on the charts on this date in 1976.  The original title was December 5, 1933 and it's lyric spoke about the repeal of (U.S.) alcohol prohibition on that date but was changed to the lyric we know now at the behest of lead singer Frankie Valli and the group's then lyricist Judy Parker (wife of keyboard player & song composer Bob Gaudio.)

In a rarity, Valli shared lead vocals on this tune with the group's drummer Gerry Polci and bassist Don Ciccone.  A remixed version was released & re-charted in 1994 and with the combined number of weeks each release spent on the charts totaling 54, December 1963 is the longest charting single in the history of Billboard's Hot 100.

Soundtrack For Today:  68 'RKO  (What a very special time for me!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Play-List (part 1): Wedding Ceremony

From your introduction to your final dance, music virtually permeates your entire wedding day.

For your ceremony, classical music is a popular favorite that creates a formal, almost majestic feel but there are also instrumental versions of today’s popular songs played by string quartets, harpists, bagpipes and orchestras that are appropriate wherever you see fit.  Original versions of pop hits are also en vogue and are often used for either the processional or recessional theme.

Whether traditional or customized, when you hire me to provide music for your ceremony, I not only can provide a discreet sound system complete with microphone for your officiate, but I also help you to create the perfect soundtrack of the music that you want for your ceremony. 

Soundtrack For TodaydjChrisPickett.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

'March' Forward

Time may march forward but we can still take a walk down memory lane:
#1 On This Date
  • 2010 Imma Be The Black Eyed Peas
(Time finally ran out for Ke$ha’s 9-week reign at the top with TiK ToK)
  • 2009 Right Round  - Flo Rida
  • 2008 Low - Flo Rida f/ T-Pain
  • 2007 What Goes Around ... Comes Around - Justin Timberlake
  • 2006 Check On It  - Beyoncé f/ Slim Thug
  • 2005 Candy Shop  - 50 Cent f/ Olivia
  • 2004 Yeah! - Usher f/ Ludacris & Lil Jon
  • 2003 In Da Club - 50 Cent
  • 2002 Always On Time - Ja Rule f/ Ashanti
  • 2001 Stutter - Joe f/ Mystikal
  • 2000 Amazed - Lonestar
  • 1999 Angel Of Mine -  Monica
  • 1998 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  • 1997 Wannabe - Spice Girls
  • 1996 One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
  • 1995 Take A Bow - Madonna
  • 1994 The Power Of Love -  Celine Dion
  • 1993 A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme) - Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle
  • 1992 To Be With You - Mr. Big
  • 1991 All The Man That I Need - Whitney Houston
  • 1990 Escapade - Janet Jackson
  • 1989 Lost In Your Eyes - Debbie Gibson
  • 1988 Father Figure - George Michael
  • 1987 Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi
  • 1986 Kyrie - Mr. Mister
  • 1985 Careless Whisper - Wham!
  • 1984 Jump - Van Halen
  • 1983 Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  • 1982 Centerfold - J. Geils Band
  • 1981 I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
  • 1980 Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
  • 1979 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? - Rod Stewart
  • 1978 (Love Is) Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
  • 1977 Love Theme From 'A Star Is Born' (Evergreen) - Barbra Streisand
  • 1976 Love Machine - The Miracles
  • 1975 Have You Never Been Mellow - Olivia Newton-John
  • 1974 Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks
  • 1973 Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack
  • 1972 Without You -  Nilsson
  • 1971 One Bad Apple - The Osmonds
  • 1970 Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
  • 1969 Everyday People - Sly & the Family Stone
  • 1968 Love Is Blue - Paul Mauriat
  • 1967 Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones
  • 1966 The Ballad Of The Green Berets -  SSgt. Barry Sadler
  • 1965 My Girl - The Temptations
  • 1964 I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
  • 1963 Walk Like A Man - The Four Seasons
  • 1962 Duke Of Earl - Gene Chandler
  • 1961 Pony Time - Chubby Checker
  • 1960 Theme From 'A Summer Place' - Percy Faith
  • 1959 Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
  • 1958 Don't / I Beg of You - Elvis Presley
  • 1957 Young Love - Tab Hunter
  • 1956 Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
  • 1955 Sincerely - The McGuire Sisters
  • 1954 Secret Love - Doris Day
  • 1953 Till I Waltz Again With You - Teresa Brewer
  • 1952 Cry - Johnnie Ray & The Four Lads
  • 1951 If - Perry Como
  • 1950 Chattanoogie Shoeshine Boy - Red Foley
  • 1949 A Little Bird Told Me - Evelyn Knight
  • 1948 I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover - Art Mooney
  • 1947 Managua, Nicaragua - Freddy Martin
  • 1946 Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief - Betty Hutton
  • 1945 Rum and Coca-Cola - The Andrews Sisters
  • 1944 Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much) -  Jimmy Dorsey
  • 1943 I've Heard That Song Before - Harry James
  • 1942 Moonlight Cocktail - Glenn Miller
  • 1941 Frenesi - Artie Shaw
  • 1940 In the Mood - Glenn Miller 

Soundtrack For Today:  iPod on shuffle

For my Tuesday friends, the highlighted selections are the answers from today’s game.

Monday, February 22, 2010

DJ Personality

Establishing a good rapport with your DJ is very important. Initial contact via e-mail can go only so far at conveying what your needs are and most importantly, in establishing a confidence level that you are looking at a viable candidate.

So, if you like what you see on a web site, make that call to hear if what you’ve seen matches up. If so, set up a meeting with the DJ in person. If all parties are local, this should be easy. If not, then a telephone or Skype conference should occur.

Either way, get to know your prospective DJ – it’s the one part of the process that if missed, could truly make or break your wedding reception.

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com • 781-337-8187

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wedding Reception DJ Planning

As I’m sure you’re finding out, planning a wedding reception is time consuming and expensive. And with the economy still having an impact on us all, the old adage that you get what you pay for is truer now more than ever. This is especially the case when you look to find a DJ for your big day.  

DJs continue to be your most economical entertainment choice but you should do your research carefully and approach this process with an open mind before an open wallet.

Think about this for a minute: The reception is the centerpiece of your wedding day! You’ve sought out the nicest setting and the best caterer, so why not hire the best DJ? After all, you’re inviting everyone you know to celebrate this milestone in your life and ultimately, it’s your DJ who makes this happen for you! Throughout the years to come, you and your guests will probably best remember your reception based upon how much fun all had dancing the day away. 

Soundtrack For Today:  djChrisPickett.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All-American Girl(s)

Patty Andrews, the sole surviving member of the WWII era group, The Andrews Sisters turns 91 today. 

The Andrews Sisters originated from Minnesota and were a unique harmonizing group due to their ability to vocalize their singing at volume levels that could compete with big band brass sections and not be drowned out by them. 

This was an extremely challenging thing to do and because they did it so well (not to mention they sounded great regardless) they became just as popular an act as the instrument-driven big bands. So much so that they were viewed as competition by some big band leaders of the era but became so popular that they eventually performed with virtually all of them.

Along with older sisters Laverne and Maxine, Patty Andrews, who was only 7 years old when they started, became lead singer.  Before their career as a group ended in the late 1960s,  the Andrews Sisters secured numerous records yet unbroken in the annals of pop music.

Inclusive are:

  • Sales at or potentially exceeding 100 million records (out of only 600 songs)
  • 113 charted singles of which 46 reached the top 10
  • 47 songs recorded with Bing Crosby (making them #2 behind Bing by 1949)
  • First female group to sell 1 million records (1937) earning them a gold record
  • Appearances in 17 Hollywood films
  • Sales exceeding chart stats of Elvis Presley and The Beatles 
In 1937, their first million-selling record Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (To Me, You Are Beautiful) had even gained popularity with the Nazis who managed to smuggle their records into Germany during World War II.

As if that wasn’t enough, these “Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service” helped many a GI get through the turbulence of World War II by constantly performing on-air and live at bases, in war zones and at ‘stage door canteens’ around the world. Through their singing in radio commercials, they also encouraged America to buy bonds to help fund the war effort.

Their biggest hits include:
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  • I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time
  • Shoo-Shoo Baby
  • Don’t Fence Me In (w/ Bing Crosby)
  • South America, Take It Away (w/ Bing Crosby)
  • Here Comes The Navy (Beer Barrel Polka) (w/ Bing Crosby)
  • Pistol Packin’ Mama (w/ Bing Crosby)
  • I Can Dream, Can’t I?
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame
  • Rum And Coca-Cola
The Andrews Sisters left a lasting impact on generations of imitators and singers to come, including The McGuire Sisters, The Pointer Sisters, Bette Midler (who made Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy her own in 1972) and most recently, inspiring Christina Aguilera’s 2007 hit Candyman, which she performed in WWII fashion live in New York’s Times Square on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year’s Eve.   

Soundtrack For Today: Rum & Coca-Cola by The Andrews Sisters 
(either/or both song & drink and #1 on this date in 1945 – cheers, Patty!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

R.I.P. Doug Fieger

Just over 30 years ago, the song My Sharona pounded the summer airwaves and charts to become a #1 song for 6 weeks and subsequently, the #1 song of the year 1979. A poll of the class of ’79 for a high school reunion I did also named it their #1 song. The tune, written about an intense relationship with an ex-girlfriend, briefly re-charted in 1994 after appearing in the movie Reality Bites.
Yesterday, Doug Fieger, the composer of My Sharona and lead vocalist of the L.A. – based band The Knack, became the second founding member of that group to pass away, after drummer Bruce Gary in 2006. Both succumbed to cancer and Fieger, whose brother is attorney Geoffrey Fieger (defender of Dr. Jack Kevorkian) was only 57.

Soundtrack For Today: Get The Knack (Again)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Songs

Being it is Valentine’s Day, here are some love songs that were #1 on this date throughout the years:
  • 2005: Let Me Love You – Mario  
  • 2000: Thank God I Found You – Mariah Carey w/ Joe & 98 Degrees 
  • 1996: One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men 
  • 1994: The Power Of Love – Celine Dion 
  • 1993: I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston 
  • 1983: Baby, Come To Me – Patti Austin & James Ingram
  • 1980: Do That To Me One More Time – The Captain & Tennille 
  • 1972: Without You – Nilsson 
  • 1964: I Want To Hold Your Hand – Beatles 
  • 1963: Hey Paula – Paul & Paula 
  • 1955: Sincerely – McGuire Sisters 
  • 1953: Til I Waltz Again With You – Teresa Brewer 
  • 1947: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons – The (Nat) King Cole Trio 
  • 1946: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Vaughn Monroe 
  • 1943: I Had The Craziest Dream – Harry James 
  • 1940: In The Mood – Glenn Miller 
Stretching the concept a bit are:  
  • 2009: My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson  
  • 1992: I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred 
  • 1979: Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart 
And for the opposing view, here are 2 from the cynical 70s:  
  • 1976: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon  
  • 1975: You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt

Soundtrack For Today: Happy Valentine’s Day!

As Your Wedding DJ

As a professional DJ since 1979, I have invested well over 30 years of my time, money & skill doing something that I have truly enjoyed ever since I relentlessly bothered famed radio DJ Joe Martelle for a chance to talk on the radio when he did a remote broadcast from a resort I vacationed at. That eventually led to my entry into the broadcast world and of course, the business I have today.

My role as your DJ on your wedding day goes beyond just showing up at the appointed hour. I make sure that we get to know each other long beforehand and during the interim, I provide the necessary tools and access that helps you to advance-plan all the scheduled formalities and music to your satisfaction. Venues and companies that provide you with a DJ not of your choosing and who meet you only on or just before your wedding day won’t provide this type of personal service that all couples should have on this, the most important day of your lives.

The way I look at it is that when I am your DJ/MC, I am not only your entertainment; I am also speaking on your behalf to your guests. With an eye on detail and a focus on fun – all you need to do is have the time of your life!  

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

Your Wedding Ceremony

Lately, a popular service I offer is providing music and microphones for the wedding ceremony as many couples are choosing to get married at the reception venue or at a nearby locale.

Quite often, this takes place outside. But I’ve even set up shop behind the altar at a church, providing microphone amplification for officiates, soloists & combos, customized music selections for prelude music, the seating of the mothers, bride’s processional, ceremonial themes such as the candle-lighting and of course, the grand recessional!

This service is very affordable and best of all you get to pick the music you want! It’s really special to be able to do this in a very unobtrusive manner and where extreme attention is paid to detail and appropriately regulated volume levels.

It gives me an opportunity to go that extra mile at being the Soundtrack To Your Wedding Day!  

Soundtrack For Today: djChrisPickett.com

Remind me to tell you about the time one couple chose the Star Wars throne room anthem as their recessional…

Mary Had A Little Lamb

Happy birthday to Thomas Alva Edison (1887-1931)

Nicknamed "The Wizard Of Menlo Park" which was where he lived in the now re-named Edison, New Jersey, Edison is one of the most celebrated and influential inventors of all time. With a total of 1093 patents awarded, here are some of the most important devices he is credited as inventing: 
  • Electricity Distribution 
  • X-Ray Machine 
  • Motion Picture Camera 
  • Kinetoscope (Viewer) 
  • Quadruplex Telegraph 
  • Two-Way Telegraph 
  • Incandescent Light Bulb 
  • Carbon Microphone 
  • Phonograph
The phonograph, along with the microphone, are the very foundation of my profession and are just two of his many inventions that made life as we know it today, possible.

Soundtrack For Today: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Alva Edison, Harper’s Monthly (Published Sept. 1932)

Words to live by and the blog entry title refers to the first words recorded by Edison on his first invention - the phonograph.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nat & Natalie

Happy 60th to singer Natalie Cole.
Natalie has a long string of hits in her own right but one of her most unforgettable hits is the 1991 “duet” Unforgettable, which, with a bit of studio wizardry, she recorded both with and as a tribute to her late father, Nat “King” Cole.

Nat King Cole’s original version charted at #12 in 1952. It became one of many signature songs over a career that began when he was 17 and was still climbing when his unexpected and untimely death from lung cancer in 1965 at the age of 45, left a stunned nation with only echoes of those lazy, hazy, crazy days they were in the midst of at the time.

Natalie’s decision to record an album of her father’s standards was a departure from her R&B flight path. But it turned out to be a phenomenal success, showcasing that she not only had the chops to cover her father’s work, but that she made them her own as well.

The album itself, entitled Unforgettable: With Love went to the top of the charts, giving Natalie her first and only #1 album to date (for 5 weeks) and it also won her 2 Grammy Awards for traditional pop vocal and album of the year. 

As for the duet with her father, his vocal track originated from his 1961 version and the finished single climbed almost as high as the 1952 version, reaching #14 during the summer of 1991.

The seamless hand-off and mixing of verses rekindled the fond memories that 1960s America had for Nat King Cole and cemented a bridge between generations that still stands today every time Unforgettable fills a dance floor.  

Soundtrack For Today: Unforgettable: With Love by Natalie Cole 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Would You Believe 109 Years Ago?

How far back in time do songs we know go? I’m going to bet you know this one. You probably even have your own schoolyard lyrics to it.

Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom Der E was composed in 1891 by Missouri-born Henry Sayers and popularized by recording artist Len Spencer, who held the #1 spot on the charts with his recording on this date in 1892.

Now, just try and get this song out of your head over the next few days. 

Soundtrack For Today: Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom Der E   (however you remember it I say!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yesterday Once More

  • Ticket To Ride
  • (They Long To Be) Close To You
  • We’ve Only Just Begun
  • Superstar
  • Rainy Days And Mondays
  • For All We Know
  • Bless The Beasts And The Children
  • Goodbye To Love
  • Hurting Each Other
  • Sing
  • Top Of The World
  • I Won’t Last A Day Without You
  • Only Yesterday
  • Please, Mr. Postman
  • I Need To Be In Love
  • There’s A Kind Of Hush
  • Calling Occupants
  • Sweet, Sweet Smile
  • Touch Me When We’re Dancing
  • Make Believe It’s Your First Time
  • Merry Christmas Darling
  • Karen’s Theme
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are better known eating disorders today largely due to the unfortunate and untimely passing of Karen Carpenter, who succumbed to the former on this date in 1983 at the age of 32.  The subsequent formation of the Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation (now called the Carpenter Family Foundation) has since raised money and awareness for treatment of this once misunderstood affliction.  

Karen, sister to Richard, who together formed the ‘70s group The Carpenters, had an unmistakable voice and a largely unknown passion and talent for drumming.  In a 13-year period, they left a legacy of 30 chart hits that include most of the above listed.  Karen’s Theme is a beautiful piano tribute from Richard’s 1997 self-titled album that includes many other instrumental versions of Carpenters hits. 

We’ve Only Just Begun continues to be a timeless wedding theme for either the ceremony or first dance.

Soundtrack For Today: Carpenters on shuffle

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We Are The World 2

The best of the music biz and movie stars gathered 2 nights ago out in Hollywood to re-record the 1985 charity anthem "We Are The World" for a 25th anniversary celebration that is timely in both its meaning and purpose.

The accompanying video filmed that night stars many veterans and a new generation of participants including Natalie Cole, Jordin Sparks, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Lil' Wayne, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Hudson, Vince Vaughn, Rob Thomas and Janet Jackson (singing her brother Michael's original part.)  Behind the scenes are Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and the video will premiere in 3D during the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics,  Friday Feb. 12 on NBC.
According to Billboard.com: "Proceeds from the contemporary recording and the accompanying video will go directly to Haitian relief efforts through the We Are The World Foundation, a newly created not-for-profit organization comprised of board members Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Paul Haggis, AEG Live president/CEO Randy Phillips and Ambassador Louis Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank."

Soundtrack For Todaywww.redcross.org

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today!  Keep your snow blower ready just in case.

In the 1993 Groundhog Day movie, it's estimated that Bill Murray's character Phil Connors stayed stuck in the same-day time loop for 8-10 years.

Soundtrack For TodayI Got You, Babe by Sonny & Cher (just once!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grammy Awards

Tonight was the 52nd Grammy Awards broadcast on the 52nd Street network, CBS.

Good show, great performers. I especially enjoyed Dave Matthews' performance of You And Me. The appearance by Michael Jackson's children was genuine and must have been hard for them to accept a lifetime achievement award on his behalf, knowing he won't be around to see the rest of theirs. 

Beyonce won song of the year for Single Ladies but I thought it should have been Black-Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling. 

Lady GaGa was all the 3D I could tolerate tonight (and that is with or without the glasses.)
  • Be My Baby
  • Da Doo Ron Ron
  • Leader Of The Pack
  • River Deep, Mountain High
  • Do Wah Diddy Diddy
  • Tell Laura I Love Her
  • Baby, I Love You
  • Then He Kissed Me
  • Hanky Panky
  • I Can Hear Music
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  • Neil Diamond
How many of the above do you recognize? Even ‘if you can’t recall the singer, you can still recall the tune.” And if you do recognize any or most, you probably had no idea that one person was entirely or largely responsible for creating these masterpieces of the American Popular Song.

Ellie Greenwich, a Tin-Pan Alley alum who died of a heart attack in August 2009 at the age of 69, was noted as passing during the tributes tonight. Greenwich either wrote or co-wrote them all and, in 1966 along with husband at the time Jeff Barry, discovered and launched the career of one Neil Diamond.
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Eric Clapton
  • Jimmy Page
  • Slash
  • Ace Frehley
  • Billy Gibbons
  • Jeff Beck
How many of the above do you recognize? None of the above would have careers and Rock & Roll as we know it would not exist if it weren’t for another American icon who also passed away in 2009 – Les Paul, the inventor of the electric guitar back in 1950. Several of the artists above also have the honor of special edition Les Paul guitars named after them. Les was also responsible for many technological advances in recording, including overdubbing and multi-track recording.

And finally, Taylor Swift won album of the year – a well-deserved award for a fearless artist who just had the best day ever.

Soundtrack For Today: Bridge Over Troubled Water – Andrea Bocelli & Mary J. Blige
The song was performed at tonight’s Grammy Awards. Download now available at iTunes where it is noted: “Apple, the label, and the artists are donating their proceeds to American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund.”