That being said, there is no better way to bring your family and friends down to Charleston from New Jersey than an early start in creating your wedding playlist. As one of the top wedding DJs in the Charleston, SC area, music is my passion and will be my sole focus in making sure you and your guests coming down to this beautiful city from the Garden State has the best party ever. There are lots of my couples who come to Charleston to get married who add some "geographical" flavor to their wedding playlists. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the great musicians who have their origins from the Garden State of New Jersey, You'll see that some of these artists are in heavy rotation and show up on many Charleston wedding playlists.
1. Bruce Springsteen
Born in 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey, you can find him on Broadway in 2018. He achieved superstar status in the mid 1970s with his "Born To Run" album, and "Born In The USA" in 1984. "The Boss" as he is called has seen many notable songs added to wedding playlists including "Hungry Heart" and "Dancing In The Dark". I've actually used "Born To Run" as a recessional song at one of my wedding ceremonies over the years. "When You Need Me" has also been an excellent choice by The Boss for the father / daughter dance song.
2. Frank Sinatra
They are pretty rare, but a Charleston wedding reception playlist without Sinatra could be described as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter. Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey back in 1915 and became one of the greatest musical artists of all time. His music is still very popular during cocktail hours and dinner time at Charleston weddings.
3. Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is the pride of Sayreville, New Jersey. He formed his band Bon Jovi in 1983 which became one of the biggest rock bands of all time. In 1986, the band would release their multi-platinum album "Slippery When Wet", which would have the song below on it and become their first Number 1 on the rock charts.
4. Whitney Houston
Before we get into the 4th musicial artist on this post, take a look at those first 3: Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, and Jon Bon Jovi. It's pretty what I said up above about some of the biggest musicians from New Jersey on wedding playlists in Charleston. Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey back in 1963. I still remember when Whitney Houston broke on the radio back in the mid 80s. Her self titled album released in 1985 started a storied career for her becoming one of the greatest female singers of all time. She would be the only artists to have 7 straight Number 1 songs. She died way too soon in 2012 at the age of 48, but her music will live on.
5. Nancy Sinatra
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1940, Nancy Sinatra is the oldest daughter of the great Frank Sinatra. Her biggest hit came in 1966 with "These Boots Are Made For Walking", but you might consider this classic from 1962 released on her father's Reprise Record label.
6. Paul Simon
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1941, Paul Simon began his musical career in one of the most popular duo's; Simon & Garfunkel. After they broke up in the early 70s, Paul Simon started a very successful solo career and released "Graceland" in 1986. The song you see down below has been a popular choice at Charleston weddings over the years for a mother / son dance.
7. Frankie Valli
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1934, Frankie Valli had a very successful career with the Four Seasons beginning in 1960. In 1967, he had one of his biggest hits (as a solo artist). Take a listen to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" down below, and you'll see why it's still in heavy rotation at Charleston weddings.
8. Fugees / Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill was born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1975 and was an integral member of The Fugees. I listed her right after Frankie Valli because she happened to do an amazing cover of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". In 1998, she released "The MIseducation Of Lauryn Hill", which featured the song you see down below.
9. Sugarhill Gang
Originating from Englewood, New Jersey, the Sugarhill Gang is still showing up on request lists from brides and grooms at Charleston weddings. Their song "Rapper's Delight" was the first song by a rap artist to be featured on the Hot 100 charts. The full version to the song is just under 15 minutes, so I posted the edited version that will keep you on the dance floor for just over 7 minutes.
10. Kool & The Gang
Kool & The Gang came from Jersey City, New Jersey and reached the height of their commercial success in the early - mid 80s. While "Celebration" has waned in it's popularity over the past several years, "Get Down It" and "Jungle Boogie" are still heavy requests.
11. Donald Fagen
Donald Fagen was co-founder of the band Steely Dan. Steely Dan was rated Number 82 on VH1's greatest musicians of all time. Steely Dan has constantly showed up on cocktail hour and dinner music playlists over the years. Born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1948, Fagen is the only remaining member, after the passing of Walter Becker in 2017.
12. The Shirelles
The Shirelles were also from Passaic, New Jersey and took a song written by Carole King in 1960 all the way to Number 1. They were the first all-black female group to accomplish that feat. Carole King would release a version of the song in 1971.
13. PM Dawn
There was some great R&B and hip hop coming out of Jersey City, New Jersey back in the late 80s. Back in late November 1991, PM Dawn would have the Number 1 song in America. Take a listen to it down below.
14. Blues Traveler
Formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987, the music of Blues Traveler would be a great addition to a cocktail hour that is in need of a little splash of 90s rock.
15. Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers were a pop band out of Wyckoff, New Jersey that were formed back in 2005.
Gloria Gaynor also was a famous musical artist from New Jersey, but I have always felt that "I Will Survive" is a not a song worthy of being played at any wedding. George Clinton also formed Parliament / Funkadelic in Plainfield, New Jersey. Whether you are from the great state of New Jersey or any other location, Charleston, SC will continue to welcome many couples in 2019 and beyond. Hope you enjoyed this exploration of musical artists from one of the most popular states where brides and grooms originate before they are married in beautiful Charleston. Are you recently engaged and looking to begin planning your Charleston wedding? Is music one of the biggest parts of you and your fiance's lives? I love talking to newly engaged couples about what they would like to be on their Charleston wedding playlist. The music you hear on your wedding day should be one of the most important parts of your wedding planning. Click HERE to tell me a little more about your special day.