Musicology, The Beatles
It was back in June of 2014 that I read a write-up/review in Billboard Magazine about a new book about Paul McCartney titled Man On The Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s authored by Q Magazine’s contributing editor Tom Doyle. Having read somewhat extensively about Paul McCartney and The Beatles, this book seemed unique in that it focused specifically on McCartney’s life and career in the ten years following The Beatles breakup.
The author, is no stranger to Paul McCartney, having interviewed him on numerous occasions, and certainly having direct access to Sir Paul helped to give this book the depth of information that it has in abundance.
The Beatles, both individually and as a group, are easily the most written about music artists of all time, and finding a niche angle for a book is no easy task, yet, to the best of my knowledge, Tom Doyle has done just that by focusing his lens on Paul McCartney in the decade after the demise of the Fab Four.
The book picks up as if it were the morning after the breakup if such a thing could be so specifically pinpointed, and continues on with McCartney finding his sea legs and attempting to re-invent and begin again, as if such a thing could be done. Doyle does an outstanding job of interjecting the other three Beatles when necessary, without getting bogged down in too much back-and-forth covered in so many other books. The author aptly stays the course, telling the story of Paul, Linda, and the ever changing lineup of the band known as Wings, and although this is clearly a book about a former Beatle, Mr. Doyle skillfully makes “Man On The Run” a story unto itself, and this book a treasure for any fan of Paul McCartney; the Beatle, the Wing or the solo artist.
As for my own personal and humble opinion, regardless of the personal turbulence that McCartney clearly went through during this period, his output in the 1970s – whether with Wings or solo – make up some of the most endearing work of McCartney’s career. Whether he was a lost millionaire hippie outlaw or a wounded artist on a soul-searching quest, he was still Paul McCartney, and songs like “Band On The Run”, “Live and Let Die” and “Another Day” stand up to any Beatles song in composition, musicianship and timelessness… Again, in my humble opinion.
I give this book five stars, two thumbs up and a smiley face, and highly recommend it to both Wings fans and 70s era fans alike. At just under 250 pages from index to discography it’s an easy and entertaining read while not getting lost in facts, dates, and irrelevant gobbledygook. It’s apparent that the author loves his subject, and while being respectful to McCartney, he delivers a candid and honest biography well worth the read.
Cutting Edge @ September 19, 2014
On Friday afternoon, July 4th of 2014 I had the opportunity once again to MC a wedding at one of my absolute favorite venues, the Cairnwood Mansion in Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County. We have been a part of many wedding celebrations at Cairnwood, and although I have even written other blog posts about weddings I have done there, this wedding ranks amongst my favorites, and for very good reason.
Kortney and Stephen – the bride and groom – were out on the dance floor nearly the entire night. With the bride and groom on the dance floor and participating in the celebration, it makes my job as a Wedding DJ that much easier. Their energy and joy were contagious, and before I knew it, all of the guests were out there dancing and having a blast! Wedding guests always follow the lead of the bride and groom, and when the bride and groom are at the center of the action, the guests, friends and family members are sure to follow.
My assistant and I had a great time at this reception however it would not have been as great if not for Karen, along with the rest of the terrific staff at Karen Spire Catering. The food was amazing, and put everybody in a great mood. Working together with the caterer and coordinating the time line flawlessly helped the party achieve a smooth flow. The photographer for the night was the very talented Nicole Leigh. Over the past few years I have gotten to know Nicole – an awesome photographer – and someone I consider a good friend.
This was truly a great wedding, and one of the highlights of my summer 2014. I thank you for having myself and Cutting Edge Entertainment involved in your party, and I look forward to keeping in touch with you both. Wishing you all the best.
Images courtesy of Nicole Leigh Photography
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ September 17, 2014
Wedding DJ Rich Abrams and Wedding Photographer Nicole Leigh were caught on hidden camera at the Cairnwood Estate doing what seems to be some ritualistic celebratory dance prior to a wedding reception. Experts have evaluated these captured images, and are still yet uncertain as to the specific reason and/or meaning for the ritual. While many suggest it may be some sort of superstitious “success dance”, done to ensure a fun and festive reception with great music and photographs for all, Professor Wilfred E. Goldsteinbergman of the University of America theorizes that it is simply the way they express the love of their job, a joy and happiness that cannot be contained as they await the guests arrival.
An initiative has been launched where hidden cameras will be installed at other unspecified wedding venues in order to further examine this unique phenomenon. In the meantime, there is certainly no denying that these two wedding professionals are ready to party, and from looking at the hidden camera photos from throughout the night, this wedding reception was fun for all who attended.
More on this story as it develops.
Nicole Leigh Photography
Cutting Edge Entertainment
Cutting Edge @ September 12, 2014
Summer 2014 is almost over, but before it turns to Fall, I wanted to post a blog about a July Wedding I had the opportunity to DJ at the Pearl S. Buck Estate in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Stephanie and Matthan – the bride and groom – first contacted us after being referred to us by their photographer. We always recommend to all of our clients that they meet us in person before they make a final decision. Cutting Edge wedding clients have the option of locking in their personnel for no additional fee. It makes sense to us, that if you meet a DJ or see an individual perform at another event, you can lock in that specific Wedding DJ for no additional charge. There is no guessing who you will be matched up with for your wedding, instead, the name of that DJ is on the contract.
Stephanie and Matthan were a really fun couple to work with, and we had a blast at our wrap up meeting a couple weeks prior to the wedding. The meeting we had lasted about two hours and I believe it was good for the bride and groom to get to know me better and gain confidence in my ability to rock out their wedding. For me, getting to know them was more like making new friends than working with a client, and as it turned out we had so much in common.
Their wedding was one of the highlights of my month, and by the pictures featured here you can tell this was one great crowd. Of course when I DJ a wedding I consider it a team effort, and the wedding can not be successful unless all of the wedding professionals work in sync. The photographers for the wedding were Aaron and Bryan from Aaron Mitchell Photography. They did an awesome job capturing the images of the event. Finally, a successful wedding can’t be complete without the bride and groom, and Stephanie and Matthan were perfect.
Images courtesy of Aaron Mitchell Photography
Pearl S. Buck Estate
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ September 3, 2014
Client Testimonials, Weddings
On Saturday August 9, 2014 I had the pleasure of working with two friends of mine, Nick and Haley. These high school sweethearts were a pleasure to work with, and could not have been more excited for the special day. I was also given the opportunity to work with Linda and the rest of her incredible staff at the Manufacturers Golf and Country Club; they provided for a flawless evening, and from the perspective of a Wedding DJ were a pleasure to work with!
Although the 90’s took over most of the airways, the dance floor was packed with adults throughout the entire evening. For a couple that claims they are not huge dancers, Nick and Haley surprised even themselves by spending the entire evening on the floor surrounded by their family and friends. The couple was even able to share a special dance with their grandparents to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton later on in the evening. By the end of the night, the crowd broke out the “one more song” chant at least twice. This was one of the most energetic crowds, and it was with great joy I got to keep them on the floor all night playing some of my favorite songs. It is rare that my taste in music mirrors that of the bride and groom, but it certainly added to the energy of the evening.
Jennifer Childress was the photographer for the wedding. She was absolutely amazing and a terrific to work with. One of the most challenging parts of my job is to make sure all the components of the event are working cohesively, and she – along with the great folks at Manufacturers’ Country Club – made it incredibly easy for me to do that, and made the night run seamlessly without a hitch.
I cannot thank this very special bride and groom enough for allowing me to be a part of their special day. This one will hold a special place in my heart for quite some time, and I am so humbled by sharing this night with such great people! Congrats Nick and Haley, and I wish you the best of luck in your journey together as husband and wife!
I also want to thank Nick and Haley for taking the time to post this fantastic review on WeddingWire and Google only a week after their wedding reception:
My groom and I chose Cutting Edge Entertainment to provide the music, MC’ing, and fun on our wedding day. Without a doubt, they delivered on all accounts in a professional yet intimate fashion. Cutting Edge Entertainment’s DJ Steve acted as the DJ/MC extraordinaire throughout our top notch experience. About six months prior to our wedding we met with Steve and he immediately began addressing our questions and requests without problem (and continued to do so up until the last minute of the night!). From the get go it was clear that Steve was not a DJ who was out to boost his own ego by playing music of his own liking (a big fear of mine) but one who was able to adapt and personalize the entertainment so that we (and the guests) were the stars of the show. From the cocktail hour to first dances to a full-dance floor, Steve was able match the energy through his song choices (while also incorporating the songs that we requested be played in the appropriate spots). As far as his work as a master of ceremony, Steve made sure that everything went smoothly and timely according to the itinerary that was checked not only with us but also the caterer at the venue. His interaction with the bridal and groom parties and ourselves was sincere, meaningful, and most importantly fun! One tidbit that should reveal just how high quality of a DJ Steve actually was is the fact that both my husband and I label ourselves as non-dancers, danced from beginning to end (along with 75% of our guests). Multiple guests have already asked for information on Steve so clearly a positive impression was made on everyone who attended. If you choose to go with a DJ for your wedding, it would be a mistake not to book Cutting Entertainment’s DJ Steve Foltz.
Images Courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography
Manufacturers’ Golf and Country Club
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ August 20, 2014
In May 2014 I was the Wedding DJ for Michelle and Marc’s wedding reception. The party was held at the Abington Art Center, in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and Michelle and Marc were a fun, outgoing couple, whom I had a blast working with. As a Wedding DJ it’s important to play all sorts of music from all different genres and eras including many diverse artists. Many brides and grooms are concerned with making sure we play a little bit of something for everyone. In my opinion four to five hours is more than enough time to keep everyone happy, whether it be with Big Band, Jazz, Motown, Rock and Roll, or Top 40, I have no problem fitting it all in. This was very important to Michelle and Marc, simply because as in most wedding receptions, their guests varied in both age and musical taste.
This was a wedding that I was anticipating for months, because I knew it was going to be a blast. We have been working at the Abington Art Center for many years and it’s always nice to work at a familiar place. Once cocktail hour ended, we brought everyone in to the pavilion and began our introductions. The parents, bridal party, and bride and groom each had came out and the guests were cheering so hard it almost overpowered the music. Once the first dance and toasts were finished, everyone enjoyed an amazing meal courtesy of the staff at Joshua’s Catering. Once dinner ended, we quickly got everyone out on the dance floor. I played everything from “Land of a 1000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett to “Turn Down For What” by Lil Jon as well as tons of other great party hits in between. The bride and groom were out on the dance floor nearly the entire night, along with their roughly one hundred and twenty-five guests. It was a great time for all.
Michelle and Marc are amazing, and I enjoyed getting to know them before the wedding and it was awesome to be a part of their celebration. I look forward to staying in touch with them, as they begin their lives together as husband and wife. I also had the opportunity to work Karmapants Photography, they did a great job. The pictures came out great and I appreciate Jenn for letting me feature them on the blog.
Images courtesy of Karmapants Photography
Abington Art Center
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ August 20, 2014
Client Testimonials, Videos, Weddings
Every once in a while I have the honor of being the DJ for a good friend’s wedding. That was the case on May 4th, when I packed my gear up and headed to Blue Bell, PA for Joe and Rachel’s wedding. I have known for Joe for many years, ever since college at Temple University. In fact we were in the same fraternity together, although Joe was a few years ahead of me, we became good friends. Even after all these years we still keep in touch through Facebook and the occasional get together. When he mentioned to me that he was getting married and wanted me to DJ, I was thrilled. Before they signed a contract, I met with Joe and Rachel. We had a great meeting, not only did we go over the wedding details, but got a chance to catch up, and I had the opportunity to get to know Rachel. I was ecstatic to see that such a great guy, was able to land such an amazing girl.
This was a wedding that I had anticipated for months, just because I knew it was going to be blast. The wedding was held at The Meadowlands Country Club, which is a venue I have worked at countless times. Once cocktail hour ended, we brought everyone in to the ballroom and began our introductions. The parents, bridal party, and bride and groom each had came out and the guests were cheering so hard it almost overpowered the music. Once the first dance and toasts were finished, everyone enjoyed an amazing meal courtesy of the staff of the club. Once dinner ended, we quickly got everyone out on the dance floor. I played everything from “Ain’t To Proud To Beg” by the Temptations to “Yeah” by Usher as well as tons of other great party hits in between. The bride and groom were out on the dance floor nearly the entire party, along with their roughly two hundred guests. It was a great time for all.
This wedding is the first blog post I’ve had the opportunity to feature from a reception I’ve done at the Meadowlands Country Club, and I am excited to finally do just that. I also had a great time working with Gabe and his staff from Philip Gabriel Photography, and want to thank them for letting me feature the images from the wedding on our blog. I also had the opportunity to work with Tim and his staff from Allure Films for the first time, and I am grateful that he took the time to edit some footage from the wedding for us to share on our blog.
Most importantly, I want to thank Rachel and Joe for choosing me as their Wedding DJ and allowing me to rock their wedding. Wish you all the best.
A few weeks after the wedding the bride and groom were kind enough to post the following testimonial on Wedding Wire…
Richie Abrams with Cutting Edge Entertainment was our DJ/MC for our wedding reception 2 weeks ago. He provided music for both our ceremony and reception. We were extremely happy with how smoothly everything went! Not only did we have people of all ages on the dance floor all night, but we got many compliments from our guests after the wedding about the variety of music..there was truly something for everyone. He had the ability to feel out the crowd and cater song selection to keep everyone on the dance floor, while at the same time ensuring all the songs we requested were played. Richie was also very knowledgeable about the Jewish traditions, which allowed us to seamlessly incorporate the hora and Jewish blessings into our reception. He also checked in frequently throughout the night to make sure everything ran according to schedule.
We highly recommend Richie and Cutting Edge Entertainment!
Images courtesy of Philip Gabriel Photography
Video courtesy of Allure Films
Meadowlands Country Club
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ August 13, 2014
One of my favorite couples I had the opportunity work with this spring were Jessica and Carey. I enjoyed working with them because they were so excited for their wedding reception (which makes for a great party), and also because they were very easy to get along with so it was a lot of fun getting to know both of them. This wedding was held at the Manor House at Commonwealth, and I had the chance to work with the very awesome Richard, Cristy, and the rest of the incredible staff at this awesome venue. It is important that there be plenty of communication between the kitchen and the DJ, to ensure that the event runs smoothly, and the folks at Commonwealth excel at this. At this wedding, I knew that once guests were seated, they would be immediately served their meals. The best run weddings are the ones where there is no stop in the action, everybody is either watching (or participating in) a formality (such as the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc.), eating, or on the dance floor doing their thing.
This was a great crowd to DJ for, as the dance floor was packed from the moment dinner ended. I usually start my first dance set with music geared to older guests, and play some oldies, Motown, Disco, and Funk, then later on in the night I segue into some of the more current hits. The reason I do it this way is because older guests are the ones that tend to leave earlier in the night, and I have found that younger people – for the most part – will dance to music from older generations, while many older guests are hesitant to dance to popular music of today. As the Wedding DJ, it is my job to play music and get guests of all generations out there during the course of the reception. Jessica and Carey were dancing most of the night, and their family and friends were right out there with them. It was truly a celebration.
The photographer for this event was Tara from Silver Orchid Photography. She had her work cut out for her, as the dance floor was filled with guests dancing and partying. I had a great time at this wedding, because I was able to play a lot of different music from different genres, eras, and artists. Everything was played from The Beatles to the Black Eyed Peas. I love my job and it is especially fun for me when the bride and groom along with their guests are open to many different types of music, and don’t hesitate to just have fun,
Thank you again Jessica and Carey, and the best of luck to you in your lives as husband and wife.
Images courtesy of Silver Orchid Photography
The Manor House at Commonwealth
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ August 6, 2014
Musicology, Song Lists
The last year of the 70s decade introduced us to the Nickelodeon cable television network, the Compact Disc, the McDonalds Happy Meal, the Sony Walkman and the Ayatollah Khomeini. 1978 gave us a second Rocky movie, a Muppet Movie, and reunited the original cast of Star Trek for their first motion picture, while in sports, the City of Pittsburgh won both a Super Bowl and a World Series.
In music, American Bandstand featured the debut of the “Y.M.C.A. Dance”, Godfather of Soul James Brown performed at the Grand Ole Opry, and the biggest hit single of the year 1979 was “Heart of Glass” by Blondie.
The love songs of 1979 were eclectic, and admittedly this was the hardest list to compile of all the years of that decade. Surprisingly, this interesting mix of eight great love songs is musically more of an echo of the 1970s than a glimpse into the 1980s, but all are great love songs just the same. Scroll down, press play, and love the love of 1979.
“Stumblin’ In” by Suzi Quatro (and Chris Norman)
The only Top 40 hit for rockin’ Bass player and songstress Suzi Quatro, this one-hit-wonder of a love duet reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and its cutesy back and forth lyrics poke fun at the recklessness of love. Suzi was likely best known in the U.S. as the character Leather Tuscadero from the hit show Happy Days.
“Reunited” by Peaches and Herb
This ballad is almost not a “good love” song, in that it sings of a breakup. Yet, the lyrics of this duet reveal they stayed true (“I can’t go cheating, I can’t play – I found it very hard to stay away””) with both partners rejoicing at being “Reunited” This was a mega-hit in 1979, holding the #1 spot on both the Pop and R&B charts for four weeks, going Platinum as well.
“You Take My Breath Away” by Rex Smith
In the 1970s, Rex Smith was a teen idol with dashing good looks and a cult following, yet “You Take My Breath Away” was his highest chart hit reaching #10 in 1979, with his only other Top 40 appearance in 1981 with a remake of “Everlasting Love”. Regardless, this great love song is a beautiful and sincere love ballad.
“You Can’t Change That” by Raydio
Written by Raydio singer Ray Parker Jr. (Ray-dio), “You Can’t Chance That” is a declaration of love, which suggests that no matter what she changes, they can’t change how strong his feelings of love are. This love song broke the Top 10 in 1979, clocking in at #9 on the Pop chart, and #3 on the R&B.
“I Was Made For Lovin’ You” by KISS
The first single to be released from the otherwise-known-as-a-rock-band KISS was either as rocking as a Disco song could be, or the other way around. Reaching a peak position of #11 on the Billboard charts, the chorus of this tune sings of reciprocal love, with verses repeating “I can’t get enough”. The laser sound effects over the latter part of this love song were probably added to enhance the band’s stage pyrotechnics.
“Heaven Must Have Sent You” by Bonnie Pointer
And the beat goes on… Yet another Disco love song, this 1979 Bonnie Pointer hit was originally recorded by another Motown act – The Elgins – in 1966, missing the Pop Top 40. This Pointer sister’s version reached #11, and the title pretty much sums up the sentiment.
“Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” by Robert Palmer
Quasi-Disco, this rocker from semi-newcomer Robert Palmer would be his last Top 40 hit until his short-lived comeback in the late 1980s, but in 1979, this tune reached #14 on the Billboard charts, making the comparison of love as an illness, albeit the good kind if there ever were such a thing.
“You Decorated My Life” by Kenny Rogers
A great love song, but a bit of a snoozer, “You Decorated My Life” reached the #1 spot on both the U.S. and Canadian Country charts, but stalled at #7 on the Billboard Pop Top 40. The familiar theme of “I was lost and nowhere until you came along” is always a favorite, and in 1979 – amidst a Disco boom – Kenny Rogers was in all his glory.
Only one of the love songs on this list reached #1, and it’s the song barely made it. It isn’t so much that love was fading, but instead that the 1970s ended with a bit of a musical thud. It wasn’t until I concluded my lists for each year that I realized the last of the decade was the least remarkable, although there are a few gems on the list that give it a bit of redemption.
Each song on this list has been vetted for proper nouns (girls/guys names), or any hint of bad love like breakups, infidelity and/or done-me-wrong themes (with the slight exception of “Reunited”). Otherwise, the 1970s came to an otherwise unremarkable love song end.
Be sure to check out our other love song lists of the 1970s.
Love the love…
Sources: The Billboard Book of Top 40 [Pop] Hits and The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn and Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits by Fred Bronson.
Cutting Edge @ August 4, 2014
March was a great month full of amazing events for us at Cutting Edge Entertainment. One of those events was the wedding reception of Michelle and Gavin, a couple I had an awesome time working with. The best part of working as a DJ is that I have fun at my job. At the office, at a party, meeting clients, or behind the mixer, most of the time I am having a blast. I have a great time meeting with brides and grooms and talking about their wedding, going through a timeline, finding out about the music they like to dance to and just visualizing the day with them. I feel that many folks choose to book Cutting Edge Entertainment because they have a good time meeting with myself and our staff, and if we can have fun in a meeting for an hour, it’s likely that we will have a great time at a four or five hour reception. I am confident that is why Michelle and Gavin chose Cutting Edge Entertainment as their Wedding DJ.
Michelle happens to be one of the best kinds of brides… the party animal. She and Gavin were definitely the stars of this show, and played up the role of bride and groom to the max. They were out their on the dance floor celebrating the entire time, and when I played a song like “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, Michelle and her guests had no problem singing along. I played music that spanned all different genres and eras at this party. The guests partied to everything from “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, but the song of the night was definitely “The Cupid Shuffle”. As you can see by the images here in the blog post, this was an awesome crowd.
This was my second time working with photographer Michelle Evans and she is the consummate professional, as well as a very talented photographer. She took some great shots and I appreciate her letting me feature these fun-filled images here on the blog post. Then, there are the bride and groom Michelle and Gavin. You guys are awesome and I hoped you liked working with me as much as I enjoyed working with you. I wish you all of the best in your future together as husband and wife.
Thanks for reading!!
Chief of Customer Happiness
Cutting Edge Entertainment
Images courtesy of Michelle Evans Photography
Cutting Edge @ August 1, 2014