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    REAL CHARLESTON WEDDINGS

Variety is the spice of life. I like a little variety when it comes to DJing weddings here in lovely Charleston. My aim as a professional wedding DJ has always been to help couples create their own personal soundtrack for their wedding day. This day (which is the biggest of their lives) should include music solely about them. I met Kate with her mom back in June and they introduced me to a new and quiet place to meet clients over in the Mt Pleasant area. Vintage Coffee Cafe During our initial meeting Kate briefly mentioned that her and Jon would want to hear a tropical house playlist during their cocktail hour after their ceremony at Coleman Hall & Chapel in Mt Pleasant. At the time, I took notes, but it wasn't until I met Jon with Kate in early September at one of our consultations that I learned a little more about tropical house. I've always been a big fan of house music, as Charleston used to have a pretty nice house music scene with some great DJs spinning all sorts of house at various areas around downtown Charleston. I knew there were many different sub-genres of house, I am just glad that Kate & Jon allowed me to get more acquainted with the tropical house genre. These are some of the tracks that got played during their Sunday, October 15, 2017 wedding and some I will be adding into my future cocktail hour playlists and receptions.

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If you are a music connoiseur like I am, you probably know that the past 24 months have been extremely difficult in terms of the passing of many iconic musicians. From David Bowie to Glenn Frey to Prince and George Michael, and so many more, the loss has been truly great in the world of music. And now, as we extend our thoughts and prayers to the people of the great city of Las Vegas after their horrific tragedy, another American icon in the world of music has left us way too soon. Tom Petty passed away on October 2,2017 in Los Angeles, just 18 days shy of his 67th birthday. His family and bandmates were by his side. He had just wrapped up his 40th anniversary tour with his legendary band the Heartbreakers. His influence is VERY far reaching. John Mayer tweeted. "I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly. "you belong somewhere you feel free"

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The inspiration for this blog post came to me as I was listening to some old radio airchecks (shows) from an all request Totally 80s show that I did at various stations around Charleston. I remember it, it was actually an 80s Girl Power weekend way back when and the 80s were jam-packed with a huge amount of female talent, both from a solo artist standpoint, as well as all-girl bands. The ladies of the 80s that show up on this post are women of rock, women who showed up on the Top 40 and R&B charts, as well as new wave and alternative genres. Some of the women that appear on this list were some of the most influential ever and extended well past the 80s into the 90s and beyond.

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Charleston wedding vendors, as well as brides and grooms who have had their wedding planned for this weekend and in the coming weeks can breathe a sigh of relief. Throughout the past week, I know I have personally lost some sleep in regards to the track of this incredibly catastrophic hurricane. For a few days there, it looked like one of the top wedding destinations in the country and world (Charleston) was going to be in the crosshairs of a major strike by the incredible power of Category 5 Hurricane Irma. No Category 5 has hit the United States since Hurricane Andrew did in August 1992 when it ravaged the Miami, Florida area. As I write this post, the South Carolina coast is out of the danger of catastrophe that we could have been looking at had this track not changed. Tropical storm conditions are looking to move into the greater Charleston area with heavy rains and coastal flooding possible. My thoughts are down in the great state of Florida as Irma sets her sights on the southwestern coast of the state near Naples and Key West. The storm looks to move up the entire Florida peninsula, with major cities like Tampa and Orlando in it's path. Let us keep the people of Florida in our prayers over the coming days. 

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Your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you, I promise. That's right you read it properly. "The perfect 80s "Rock" Cocktail Hour Playlist. Before settling down into dinner and after the ceremony, this is another cocktail hour playlist designed to loosen your guests up rather nicely and what better way to do that than with some of the best 80s rock on the planet. Mike Bills Entertainment is the one DJ company in Charleston who has a strong affinity to the 80s music genre and it's many sub-genres. From the hard rock and glam metal scene to 80s alternative rock to just straight up classic rock, this version of cocktail hour playlist has all of that and then some more. Remember, this 80s Rock Cocktail Hour playlist is just one of the many avenues you could go for the cocktail hour playlist at your Charleston wedding.

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Here we are now in the latter part of August and if you stand on your tiptoes, you can see the Labor Day weekend right around the corner, which of course is the unofficial ending of the summer season.  And when Labor Day passes, cooler weather is generally not too far behind. I've been enjoying some downtime through out the month of August and are now preparing for the upcoming Fall wedding season here in Charleston. I'm looking forward to some shorter days and cooler temperatures in the coming weeks. I wanted to share with you an absolutely excellent video making the rounds on Facebook that has gone viral having received over 60 million views at last check.  The video shows the song of each summer for the past 60 years, spanning from 1958 - 2017. As a professional wedding DJ, we're always looking out for what "the song" of the summer might be and "Despacito" was definitely that song and has set the record for the most streamed song of all time. But as I write this blog post for you, people are still digesting the eagerly anticipated new single from Taylor Swift's forthcoming album "Reputation". The album will not be officially released until November 10th, but the opening single "Look What You Made Me Do" just broke a You Tube record. It was posted late on Thursday night (August 24th) and received over 19 million views within a 24 hour period. "Reputation" the much anticpated follow-up to her mega-selling "19989", which was released nearly 3 years ago. 

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The Great American Eclipse of 2017 has been quite the historical day all throughout the United States, especially in those cities and states that were in the path of 100% totality, as was my hometown of Charleston, SC. Estimates of 5 million people visited South Carolina alone to see the "once in a lifetime" eclipse event. From the battery of Charleston up to the greater Georgetown area, there were also couples who wanted to use the Charleston area and it's 100% totality as the backdrop to exchange their vows. Congratulations to all the couples who came to Charleston to tie the knot. I was actually sitting in my house eager anticipating the arrival of the eclipse that we have been talking about all summer and came across a milestone for one of the classic movies of the 1980s and a generation. Having sold over 32 million copies, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack went on to become one of the biggest selling movie soundtracks of all time. It was a hot summer "Friday night" on August 21, 1987 when Dirty Dancing hit movie theaters across America. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, the film was an instant hit capturing the hearts of so many, most of which were women of all ages.

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The special solar eclipse glasses have been purchased. An extremely unusual event is set to take place in the top city (Charleston, SC) in the country on Monday, August 21, 2017. For the first time since 1979, the lower 48 of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. As anticipation has been building throughout the spring and summer, thousands and thousands of people have punched their plane tickets and secured their hotels in the Holy City Of Charleston for this awesome event.  Locals are even taking off and adjusting their schedules to make sure they don't miss what looks to be nearly 2 minutes of total darkness in the middle of a hot August afternoon. This is a once in a lifetime event for all states in it's path. 

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The music you choose to play at your Charleston wedding should be a personal soundtrack to the most important and most special day of your life. The music you choose should also create lasting memories that allow you to crack a smile randomly about your amazing night that you had with your family and guests while you sit in your office or at your home ten years later.  Over the years, there are certain songs that have become overplayed and "cliche" for weddings. Major wedding websites often spotlight the "Top 200 Wedding Songs" each and every year. If you look closely at these lists, they really don't change much. They might have on them some "seasonal" songs that broke during the year that had wings and were catchy, but for the most part you see a lot of the same songs over and over again. One of the big reasons for this are a lot of the newer Top 40 tracks have a short shelf life and are recycled in and out very quickly.

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Where do I start? The first dance song. So many choices come to mind. The spotlight is on the bride and groom. Cameras are flashing. Video is rolling on every single smartphone at your wedding reception. They ALL want a glimpse of one of the most special moments of the biggest day of your life. I've blogged about first dance songs plenty of times before, but I thought I would employ my sister company, Mike Bills Productions into the mix (no pun intended) and produce a more interactive sampling of some of my picks for your first dance song. Some of the songs selected here today have been very popular choices by past Charleston brides and grooms and some are not so popular and don't even appear in any of the major song lists on the major wedding sites like The Knot or Weddingwire. Please, get your headphones ready and take a listen. Take some notes and at the end of the day, choose a song that is all about you and your love for each other. Down below are a listing of the songs in order as they appear on the audio.

 

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Highly Recommend

DJ Mike delivered well organized and orchestrated results that made for a great wedding and reception! Couldn't have picked a better DJ to cover our event and truly appreciated his availability to pick up the job and execute in such a short time period. I highly recommend his services, overall great quality.

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Made Our Wedding Perfect

Before choosing Mike Bills as our wedding DJ, we looked at several companies and DJs and looked over the reviews for all of them. We chose Mike Bills because of the overwhelmingly great reviews he got and I am so glad we did! They were all spot on! Mike was great to work with, quick to respond, came to our rehearsal to do a run through with us.

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Professional and Creative

Mike was kind, courteous, professional, and creative! We thoroughly enjoyed working with him for our destination wedding at Folly Beach. We gave Mike minimal guidance and he caught on to our "style" quickly and efficiently. Our guests are still raving about the music selections, and how they were a great balance of new tracks and standards for everyone to enjoy.

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