"Thanks, but no thanks": The Importance of giving your DJ a "Do-Not-Play" list
We have over 70,000 tunes in our music library. To put it into perspective, imagine a DJ's setlist that goes on and on, non-stop, for 191 days, 16 hours, 56 minutes and 20 seconds. That's how long it would take, as of this writing, to play our entire music library, one song at a time. Of course, by the time you read this, our library will have grown even beyond those numbers. But you get the idea.
Compared to what we could play, what we actually do play at your event is going to be infinitessimal. As Miles Davis said, 'It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play". So, for a DJ, it would be the songs you don't play that count. So how do you decide what DOESN'T get played? Apparently it's easier than you would think. In 20 years of deejaying weddings and private parties, I have yet to run into a client or couple who don't have at least one or two "do-not-plays" to impart to me. Sometimes these "banned" tunes are fairly easy to predict. I mean, not everyone wants to hear the chicken dance or the hokey pokey at their wedding, right? In fact, as I have found out over the years, a whole lot of folks don't want to hear those tunes played on their big day. Other (un)popular titles to frequent this list include YMCA, Macarena, Electric Slide, Celebration and "any and all line dances".
Of course one person's garbage is another's treasure and ironically, the songs that often populate the do-not-play-list are just often put on the Must-Play lists that differing clients give us, so I guess you could call them "love-hate" tunes. It really comes down to personal taste. Occasionally, I'll get an unusual do-not-play. Once, a bride made me promise not to play "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)" by Frankie Valle & The Four Seasons. I thought this an odd choice as this is one of those universally popular hits that I couldn't imagine offending anyone. So I pressed her as to why. Turns out that this particular bride had attended a friend's bachelorette party, and a male stripper had made the scene. His theme song? You got it: "Oh What A Night!". Ruined the song for her for life. A tragic turn, in my opinion, as it really is a pretty good tune. I only hope she still is able to enjoy other Four Seasons' hits such as "Can't Take My Eyes Off You".
Bottom line is, if there's a song or style of music that just gets up in your craw, by all means give it the heave-ho. After all, you can't un-ring a bell. So get those "bad" tunes outta there and keep your party on a positive tip!