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Help we need songs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Rickenjosh, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. So my band got a gig where we do multiple sets a night playing all different types of music (rock,country,motown,soul,etc)
    and we have been asked to do a ballroom set?
    this is pretty outside our normal stuff, however we don't wanna loose the gig.

    Can anyone help, maybe suggest some songs to look into?
    Think like formal dinner and dancing type of event.

  2. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    The Ratpack repertoire would work. Depends if you have a male crooner or a female singer, or if you decide to do the ballroom set instrumental.

    Sway -Dean Martin
    Stormy Weather - Billie Holiday
    Strangers in the Night, My Way, I've Got You Under My Skin, etc. - Frank Sinatra

    I don't know if you can cop big band swing with your setup?

    Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Take the A-Train...

    Anything song by Celine Dion? Instrumentally.. with elevator music arrs...

    You can of course arrange pop and rock tunes to a swing feel á la Paul Anka... speaking of whom, his 50s - 60s pop tunes would make great ballroom music. "Diana", for instance.

    There's a lot to research for you in this genre. Good luck!
  3. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    That would be an interesting challenge to say the least. Playing lots of swing should get you through the set. Can you do some Latin stuff - a classic tango or salsa or at least "Girl From Ipanema"? "Sway" can be played with a Latin beat, and it's a fun song too, glad to see it be first in rust_preacher's list.

    And I'm not sure if this would really work so ask somebody who's into ballroom dancing before you play it, but how about stuff like "Smooth Operator" or that "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" song that lots of people will remember from "Pulp Fiction"?

    Avoid: loooong rubato intros (like if doing "I Wish You Love" or "La Vie En Rose", I'd take the safe way out and just do the parts with a steady beat), time signature weirdness ("Golden Brown"), tempo shifts and stops and starts in odd places that the dancers won't expect ("Nao deixe o samba morrer").
  4. http://www.cambridgesocialdanceclub.com/songs.html

    I have no clue what good Ballroom Dance Songs would be, so I just did a search. Some songs stick out though, at least the ones I actually recognize. Kinda confused about the dance-styles some are under. Some songs would be hilarious to cover, but it would take a miracle to convince my bandmates.

    "Copacobana" - Barry Manilow
    "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" - WHAM
    It lists "Breathe", but for a Night Club 2-Step I doubt it's the versions I'm thinking of.

    That list is actually pretty good, now that I looked over it.
  5. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Haha, "Mustang Sally" and "Brown-Eyed Girl" are on that list too. Of course. So's "Never Gonna Give You Up", "Addicted To Love" and "Achy Breaky Heart" and at least three Madonna songs, so it's not all "before the Beatles got big" music. And it looks like I was right about "Smooth Operator" being OK.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    A lot of oldies would work as swing tunes - but you might want to check with the venue first to make sure it fits what they have in mind. Slower ballads often fit a slow fox trot.

    Kansas City
    I Can't Help Falling in Love with You
    Blue Suede Shoes
    I Can't Stop Loving You
    Are You Lonesome Tonight
    Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear
    Love Me Tender
    All Shook Up
    Rock Around the Clock
    (lots of Elvis in there...)