Thanks For a Great Year

I have had an aweNye captainsome time introducing Captain Tim to Wilmington and the surrounding areas. I have had the privilege of providing the soundtrack for your weddings, milestone birthdays and some sensational Friday nights. From dancing with the flower girls to singing with the Crabman, I have had a great time.

Because you have chosen me to be your DJ, I have been able to give $800 towards saving our oceans, helped two organizations that support those fighting cancer and spread the message that what we do to our world is important. I have also spent almost $2000 in advertising this business.  As much as I understand that this is the nature of the game, I have a hard time giving that money to put my picture online versus helping to solve the problems that were part of the reason I went into business for.

So, this year I am going to rebalance that equation. I am no longer actively seeking new wedding clients as that takes a large amount of resources to be competitive in that marketplace. I am certainly honoring my current commitments (Don’t worry, Steph!), but I know there is a better way to spend my resources. I’m not going anywhere, but it is time to put my money where my mouth is. Let’s keep rocking this town and making it and our world a better place to live.

Maggie by the sea

My sweet inspiration for making the world a good place for her to grow up.

 

Love is in the air

February is on the other side of the weekend and the Valentine’s Day parties are starting to line up their DJ’s. In preparation for the gig I am playing, I started thinking of some of my fave Karaoke love songs. Some have been in my personal singer queue; others have been nailed by performers who actually know how to sing. Either way, these hold some great memories for me.

love her

Angela and I. 13 years and going strong.

1. You’re The One That I Want – Olivia Newton John and John Travolta-September 9, 2004: My special lady friend and I sang this one together at Don Savino’s in Waldorf, Maryland at the Karaoke Show of my DJ mentor, Johnny Damba. Proposed to her after the song with a cigar band and the rest is history.

2. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra – Always been a personal favorite and ended up being the song I started singing my daughter, Maggie, to sleep with. Have a video of her singing it at around two years old that I am not allowed to share on social media. ( I might have broken that promise. Don’t tell her.)

 

3. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond – Warm touching warm- nothing makes more sense than that, right? Everyone knows exactly when to chime in with “So good, so good, so good.” Three fist pumps with the Bahmp, bahmp, bah and my adrenaline is surging. My son, Sammy wrote a reflection in his Language Arts class about his most embarrassing moment when I danced to this tune at the supermarket. Don’t worry, buddy, therapy co-pays are usually pretty reasonable.

4. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley – We are a karaoke family. My oldest son, Wes, used to sing this one at get togethers starting around the age of 6. The suggestive nature of the tune made it an absolute riot. Okay, so we are not the model parents but we sure ain’t boring.

5. On The Verge – Collin Ray – This one came out in 1995 and it has some of the greatest imagery of  a love at first site encounter. Very catchy two-steppable tune that takes you along on their journey when the “Jukebox turns to a Rainbow”

What are your favorites? Comment below!

The Karaoke Stereotypes

 

The great thing about being a Karaoke DJ is that the show is different every night. Yeah, we have to endure some creative showmanship, but folks love it. When the crowd is really into it, everybody has a great time. Over the past almost 15 years, I have self-cataloged some of my favorite types of singers with their unique moniker. Here, for the first time ever, is my encyclopedia of the Karaoke Stereotypes. Which one are you?

Cherry-O-Ke : Tonight is the night you are going to sing for the first time. You cherryannounce your intention to your friends, the bartender, and the person in the next stall while you are peeing. Maybe if you spend another half an hour with the song list, the perfect one will come to you. You pick a safe tune somewhere between “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Sweet Caroline” and you make your way on stage. The words go too fast at first and then you catch up (almost) at the chorus. With the vocal support of the whole bar, you get on track with about 30 seconds left. Suddenly you have the fever. Your cherry-o-ke has popped and we will see you next week.

Kara-Pro-Ke: You arrive at the same time as the DJ and are setting up your mike stand and grabbing a stool from the bar for you to sit on when it is your turn to sing. pro.2Anticipating the DJ’s readiness, you have three completed song slips with the appropriate tempo and key changes. Regrettably, your Carnegie Hall caliber performance is hampered by a self-perceived buzz in the speaker, the atrocious acoustics of Hank’s Place and your constant adjustment of the sound through hand gestures to the DJ. Someday, these local miscreants will finally recognize you for the talent you are.

Drunk-E-Off-Key: “There’s no way I am getting up there unless I have a couple of drunk.2drinks in me.” This is your weekly promise to the DJ and tonight is the night. Your com padres in inebriation put you in for a song you sing in the car all of the time. Stumbling to the microphone, you have something terribly clever to say before you begin. In your mind, you are Frank Sinatra in all his showmanship and poise. Actually, you are Frank Costanza, George’s father from Seinfeld. Ironically, the crowd begs for Serenity NOW.

Kara-Yuk-Key: “Make ‘em Laugh” is your mantra as you live everyday following yuk.2Donald O’ Connor’s sage advice. You have sunglasses to wear at night when singing Corey Hart’s smash hit from the 80’s. Never mind your corpulent 48 year-old frame; you can “Stand by Your Man” and be “Sexy and I Know It” all in the same night. Your ability to change lyrics on the fly is spot on. Comic effect is the name of the game and you, my friend, are an All-American.

one trick Kara-One Trick Pony: No one said Toby Keith only had one place in mind when he wrote “I Love This Bar.” Heck, you can sing that bad boy everywhere you go! Expanding your repertoire is for amateurs. You sing one song and you do it better than anyone out there.

The Essential Opening Song

It could make or break the night: the ever important first song you play in a set. A lot of my pre-gig inner chatter revolves around this thought. Do I want to ease them into the night or start them with a bang? Either way, you want to let them know that you are not here for a long time, you are here for a good time, an awesome time in fact.

Ecstatic

Fortunately, the music industry has provided us with some amazing firecrackers for just this purpose. Talk to any DJ and they will have their favorites, but some classics just announce themselves as the go to opener. Here are my top 5 starters in no particular order along with a few honorable mentions. Besides the obvious You Shook Me and Don’t Stop Believing (thought they were too obvious to include), What songs am I missing? Please comment below.

September-Earth, Wind and Fire

Slow rolling rhythm blasting out into those amazing horns-whose heart doesn’t start pumping? The action never lets up in this one. Many directions you can transition from here as well.

Let’s Go Crazy- Prince

“In this life, you’re on your own; and, if the elevator tries to bring you down, GO CRAZY!” Okay, class of 1985 here, this was our rally cry. Nothing makes you say fuggedaboudit to your hum drum life like this song.

Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Who doesn’t know this song? Brown-Eyed Girl makes me think “Summer” more than any song out there. Everybody has to sing along on the Sha-la-la-las, you can’t help it.

Hooch-Everything

Get your chill on bring the groove, it’s Friday night and it’s time to move. Everyone’s wife is sick of them singing this song over and over and asking your dog if she has the hooch. If you’re not the one who has the Freshy-Freshy, don’t you want to find out who does?

Dancing Queen – ABBA

Everyone has their opportunity to be dance floor royalty with this song pouring out of the speakers. Groovy Swedish beat brings the party alive. Take that chance if you get it.

Honorable Mention

How Will I Know? – Whitney Houston

You Dropped the Bomb on Me – Gap Band

You Should be Dancin’ – Bee Gees

This Old Heart of Mine – Isley Brothers

A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton

 

Look who blew into town!

Fresh from 15 years of DJ and Karaoke fame in the Washington DC area, Wilmington, North Carolina welcomes the self proclaimed hardest working DJ in the Nation’s Capitol, Tim Murphy (that’s me).

I can’t wait to get started adding to the fun and festive environment of my new home. Wilmingtonians are some of the most fun and interesting folks I have had the opportunity to meet and I already know that we will have a great time together.

banana cafe

About to begin Karaoke Night at one of my favorite joints in Washington DC’s Eastern Market, the Banana Cafe

I am into many different genres of music and chances are I may come across a new favorite song at your event. My equipment is professional grade and I have about 100,000 different songs and karaoke selections in my library. If I don’t have the song you want, I bet I will be able to find it by the next time you see me.

I am also really into taking care of our planet, especially the water that surrounds us. That is why a portion of my profits will be donated to local charities that take care of the big swimming hole to our right. Check out my page on Save our Oceans for more info. It will blow your mind.

Thanks for taking me in, Wilmington. I look forward to a long happy relationship with you folks.

Peace and Light, Tim