Category Archives: music

Why we do what we do (part 2) – music at dances

“The DJ at Jive Junction never plays my favorite song!”

There is a strong possibility that the DJ at Jive Junction would play your favorite song if asked!

Our DJs try their very best to play music that will get the largest number of people dancing, interspersed with more specialized songs that appeal to a smaller group. They try to read the group and respond to the group’s actions – when do people dance, when do people sit down, etc.

But if there’s something you particularly enjoy dancing to, please ask! If we have it, we’ll try to accommodate your request if at all possible!

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Jive Junction

What Kind Of Music Do You Play At Jive Junction?

That’s a question we hear quite a bit.

Why Don’t You Play More Of The Music I Personally Like To Dance To?

That’s another question we hear.

Here are the answers.

At Jive Junction, we play music from the 1910s through the present. Think of it as a bell curve – low on the 1910s, high on the 1940s, low on the present. This is particularly true if you were to categorize the modern-day big band music (George Gee, Bill Elliott) into the 30s and 40s, which is the style that the music is written in.

Recently, some have suggested that Jive Junction is only 1920s and 1930s music, which could not be further from the truth. In reality, most of the music we play comes from the late 30s, the 1940s, and the early 1950s.

Why do we play music mostly from these decades? Because it swings, baby. By the mid-1950s, most rock and roll had lost its “swing,” and music written much before 1920s did not “swing” either. “Swing” dancing definitely goes better with “swing” music, that’s for sure! (Additionally, there are numerous venues around the area that provide the opportunity to dance to “good time oldies” if that is what you are looking for – we try to provide something different, something special, and something truly “swinging.”)

We hope to have a little essay up about early rock and roll and later rock and roll, since we find this era of music to be fascinating – the dances and how they changed, the music and how it changed. But not today!

Now, on to the second question. We play music that most people will dance to, trying to gauge the mood of the crowd, the experience level of the dancers, their comfort with different tempos, etc. We also work from past experience, what has worked at past Jive Junctions.

We offer a “request line” that is always open for requests if there’s something in particular you’d like to dance to.

But the long and the short of it is – we can’t please everybody all the time and, yes, you’ll probably have to listen or dance to something you don’t like during the course of the evening. Even the DJ has to do that!

So please head on out to JJ, bring your requests, and expand your musical horizons!