Songs for Summer Fun

July 11, 2015 by Jay Maxwell

summer soundsSchool’s out, the pool is open, and it is time for the summer fun to begin. Every school age child counts down the last days of school in anticipation of the freedom that summer brings. Perhaps there are the thoughts of family vacations, trips to the beach, playing in the pool or water park, or just chilling with friends on many lazy summer days. Summertime for a child means no homework or getting up early to catch the bus. Even when we are adults, the arrival of summer brings back fond memories of our childhood when we played baseball with our friends or went to the summer blockbuster movie. For mobile DJs, the rise in temperature for the summer months means more than just summer weddings, it also gives us the opportunity to share a little music at pool parties, summer gatherings, and corporate picnics.

We will talk about the music for the summer events, but first, a few reminders about safety. We all know that water and electricity do not mix. However, let me remind you to have safety first in mind when you are setting up for a pool party. Remember to place the equipment as far from the water as possible so that it does not get wet. The last thing you want is for somebody’s cannonball dive into the pool to splash onto your equipment. Ensure that when you plug the cord into the socket, that it is not near water. Though it is always important to keep all cords tucked away to avoid anyone tripping on them, it is especially important at a pool since the person would land on hard concrete if they were to fall. Another safety reminder is to keep yourself and the equipment in the shade if at all possible. This will prevent the equipment from overheating and will assist in keeping you cool enough to avoid any heat related issues such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

There is usually not much extra planning involved in a pool party or company picnic as compared to a wedding reception. Another bonus feature is that these events are usually in the daytime and may allow you to do more than one event in a day. Often these events are during the week, which is even sweeter since most of the events DJs perform are on the weekend. With these factors in mind, the price typically charged for pool parties or corporate picnics is not near as high as the typical fee for wedding receptions.

Because these events are usually relatively stress-free, it is also a great idea to place your newest DJ on these events to give him the practice he needs to increase his confidence for the more involved events. Of course, like any event, these may be more involved than expected. Always inquire from the client exactly her expectations in order to plan accordingly. Though the requirement may be to play summertime, upbeat music (see this issue’s list), there may be more that is expected such as helping with any games that may be played at the event.

If there will be games played, make sure that either the client brings the necessary equipment or that you pack the supplies yourself. For example, if you are going to play Diving for Gold you will want to empty your piggy bank of its pennies the night before the event. For this game, you will have all the participants line up on the edge of the pool before you through your pennies into the pool. The swimmers will then dive for the gold (your pennies) and stack them into individual piles on the side of the pool. Give them a time limit, say ten minutes, and then determine the winner by who has collected the most pennies. The Noodle Joust is another fun water game where two players sit on a float in the middle of the pool and using pool noodles attempt to dislodge each other from the raft. The winner of each round gets a new challenger.

It still amazes me how many times someone will come up to the DJ booth and ask me to play a song that everyone wants to hear. Whenever someone finally writes and records that song, I will be delighted to play it. Meanwhile, my response is that I typically give the person a wink and hardy handshake and ask them what they would like to hear. The songs to play at these events need to be fun, upbeat songs that have “family-friendly” lyrics that will enhance the afternoon’s event in the sun. Keep in mind that if the ages of the guests are younger, they will want you to stick with hits that are more current. However, the songs on this list are excellent to begin the show and mix throughout the day. You cannot go wrong with the California surfing sounds of the Beach Boys, the island feel of Bob Marley, or the carefree toes-in-the-sand music of Jimmy Buffett at a summertime event. There will be no need for any slow songs during the show. The music from this list should keep the party hopping and have you making a bigger splash that the dude doing cannonballs off the high dive. Remember that a mobile DJ’s job is to enhance the event with his music, DJ skills, and ability to interact with the crowd. Moreover, it is possible for people to have a fantastic time at an event, even if no one asks you to play something we can dance to!

 


 

SUMMER FUN SOUNDTRACK

SONG TITLE

ARTIST

1

SURFIN’ SAFARI

BEACH BOYS

2

SURF CITY

JAN & DEAN

3

WALKING ON SUNSHINE

KATRINA & THE WAVES

4

HOT HOT HOT

BUSTER POINDEXTER

5

MARGARITAVILLE

JIMMY BUFFETT

6

HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE

7

GOOD DAY SUNSHINE

BEATLES

8

ALL SUMMER LONG

KID ROCK

9

THE TIDEIS HIGH

BLONDIE

10

SOAK UP THE SUN

SHERYL CROW

11

SURFIN’ USA

BEACH BOYS

12

(LOVE IS LIKE A) HEAT WAVE

MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS

13

SUMMER IN THE CITY

LOVIN’ SPOONFUL

14

SUMMER NIGHTS

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & JOHN TRAVOLTA

15

CALIFORNIA GIRLS

DAVID LEE ROTH

16

BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN

COLBIE CAILLAT

17

IN THE SUMMERTIME

MUNGO JERRY

18

RED RED WINE

UB40

19

ISLAND IN THE SUN

WEEZER

20

CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE

JIMMY BUFFETT

21

TOES

ZAC BROWN BAND

22

GOOD VIBRATIONS

BEACH BOYS

23

SUMMERTIME

DJ JAZZY JEFF & FRESH PRINCE

24

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN

CYNDI LAUPER

25

MONTEGO BAY

BOBBY BLOOM

26

PRETTY WOMAN

ROY ORBISON

27

SATURDAY IN THE PARK

CHICAGO

28

JAMMING

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS

29

UNDER THE BOARDWALK

DRIFTERS

30

SUMMERTIME BLUES

EDDIE COCHRAN

31

HAPPY

PHARRELL WILLIAMS

32

HAWAII FIVE-O

VENTURES

33

BEACH BABY

FIRST CLASS

34

IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE

ALAN JACKSON & JIMMY BUFFETT

35

SUMMERTIME’S CALLING ME

GENERAL JOHNSON

36

HOOKED ON A FEELING

BLUE SWEDE

37

KOKOMO

BEACH BOYS

38

ROCK LOBSTER

B-52’S

39

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

BOBBY MCFERRIN

40

SUMMERTIME

KENNY CHESNEY

41

THE SOUND OF SUNSHINE

MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD

42

DANCING IN THE STREET

MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS

43

STIR IT UP

JOHNNY NASH

44

I LIKE TO MOVE IT

WILL.I.AM

45

WONDERFUL WORLD, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

JIMMY CLIFF

46

FINS

JIMMY BUFFETT

47

SWEAT (A LA LA LA LA SONG)

INNER CIRCLE

48

THREE LITTLE BIRDS

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS

49

LA BAMBA

LOS LOBOS

50

WIPEOUT

SURFARIS

 

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Jay Maxwell Jay Maxwell (29 Posts)

Mobile Beat’s resident musicologist since 1992 (issue #11), Jay Maxwell runs the multi-talent entertainment company, Jay Maxwell’s Music by Request, LLC, in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also a professor of Business at Charleston Southern University. His passion for detail and continuous research of clients’ requests can be found not only in this column, but also in his annually updated music guide, Play Something We Can Dance To.


Filed Under: Events, Issue #164, Music, Performing