Fabulous cover songs that blew away the original

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fabulous cover song

Fabulous cover songs that blew away the original

Our last blogpost talked about a bad cover song that ruined the first dance for a bride. Sometimes, though, a great artist builds on the legacy of the original version of a song and surpasses it with a fabulous cover song of his or her own.

As wedding DJs, Crestline Entertainment gets requests all the time for songs that aren’t performed by the original artist. We can play any version you want.

You know how subjective this can all be. Some brides and grooms, or their parents, simply love the original artist, and nothing can touch that version. 


But then they hear a younger artists breathe new life into a masterpiece, leaving them awestruck that maybe, just maybe, that’s a little better than Sinatra or Elton John performed it.

A few fabulous cover songs

Speaking of Elton John, let’s look at a few fabulous cover songs that surpassed the original. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was one of Sir Elton’s greatest hits, both artistically and commercially. It’s a tough song to sing because of its broad range, so not many artists cover it.

Sara Bareilles took on the challenge and simply made the song her own. Her re-harmonized piano chords are haunting, and her vocal stylings simply soar, releasing all the emotion packed into Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. Even Elton John was blown away by her interpretation of his soft rock ballad! This is a simply fabulous cover song of a masterpiece:

And speaking of Sinatra, one of his all-time biggest hits was Cole Porter’s “I’ve got you under my skin.” With a virtuosic arrangement by Nelson Riddle coupled with the ‘Chairman of the Board’s’ impeccable vocal phrasings, no one could touch Sinatra’s version. That is, until Diana Krall came along.

Ms. Krall knew that no one could make that song swing better than Ol’ Blue Eyes, so she performs it the exact opposite: nice and slow. Experience a fabulous cover song performed by an artist at the top of her game:

One of the all-time greats

Some songs are so good that they just beg to be sung by scores of different vocal artists. One such song is the beautiful, “I Will Always Love You,” written by Dolly Parton. This song is so good, that Dolly’s vocal version hit #1 on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs not once, but twice! Could anyone possibly top Dolly? Yes. Whitney Houston recorded one of the most electrifying songs ever with her take on this classic. She sang it in the 1992 movie, “The Bodyguard.” It’s so good, it is one of the best-selling singles. EVER.

Here is a fabulous cover song for the ages:

Chicagoland wedding receptions rely on the art of the song to express what you’re feeling on your wedding day. Joy. Love. Peace. Hope. Each bride, each groom is unique. What songs define you and love story?

Music connects us. Crestline Entertainment will play the version YOU want. Do you have a fabulous cover song you want us to play for your first dance? Don’t worry, we probably already have it … or we’ll get it.

The timelessness of your first dance is defined by this song. Let’s start planning the music for your celebration of a lifetime. Our client planning tools are the best!

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bad cover song

The day Julie’s wedding reception was ruined

Never had a bride anticipated her first dance more than Julie (I changed the name to protect the innocent). She and her fiancée, Wally, had diligently, even feverishly, worked on their dance technique to pull off the perfect first dance. And then it all fell apart, leaving them victims of a bad cover song.

Their band had never heard of the song Julie requested for her first dance. They said “not to worry” because they were good musicians with a ‘good ear’ for music. They said they’d have it whipped together by Julie’s wedding day, “no problem.”

Sadly, they were mistaken. For starters, the tempo was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally loved was a slow ballad. The band raced through it hoping no one would notice a few missed notes along the way. 

The instrumentation was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally knew and loved featured a keyboard and full orchestra. The band had lead, rhythm, and bass guitars and a drummer. They didn’t have a chance at doing justice to the song with Julie’s high set of expectations.

To top it all off, the version Julie listened to all the time featured a female vocalist with a legendary voice. The local band only had a male vocalist with a pretty decent voice, but again, nothing could meet Julie’s expectations except the actual version of the song itself. A bad cover song was simply a disaster.

Don’t be the victim of a bad cover song!

This situation reminds me of a whole lot of very funny Saturday Night Live skits over the years with cast members relishing in performing a very bad cover song.

Here’s an example featuring Bill Murray from years ago:

Now if you were a fan of the classic song, “Up, Up, and Away” popularized by the Fifth Dimension, you’ll be more partial to their version:

Dig those threads!

Bill Murray totally butchers another golden oldie, “Raindrops keep falling on my head,” and he does it with such relish! For those of you who prefer the original from the classic movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” you’ll be more partial to this version:

Crestline Entertainment knows a lot of bands in the Chicagoland area, and there are some good ones. But let’s face it, each band is limited by instrumentation and personnel. On the other hand, with a professional DJ company like ours, you’re going to hear the exact version of the song you know and love. Your first dance will meet and exceed your dreams with us, whether the song is from today or yesteryear.

We not only have the versions of your favorite songs you prefer, we play it on the best equipment with clear, beautiful sound. And we bathe the dance floor with professional lighting effects to enhance the moment even more.

Don’t be a victim of a bad cover song like Julie to whom I referred above. Let Crestline Entertainment play your music your way. This is your day. You deserve exactly what you want!


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As time goes by

Who sang it best?

Don’t you love the songs written by Herman Hupfeld? Wait … what?! Who the heck is he? He’s simply the guy who wrote one of the most beloved songs in American music history, “As Time Goes By.” This blog ranks it as the #1 first dance song ever, and The Knot has it close behind at #3 on their list.

Some of his hits include the renown “When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba,” “Untitled,” and “A Hut in Hoboken.” Actually, I’ve never heard of any of his songs other than As Time Goes By, and that’s fine with me. What a classic!

Casablanca made it famous

What’s interesting is that he wrote the song way back in 1931, and it became a modest hit. But then it was featured in the timeless 1942 cinema classic, “Casablanca,” and the rest is history.

The opening lyrics are memorable:

You must remember this,
a kiss is still a kiss,
a sigh is still a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As Time Goes By.

Here’s the scene that launched the song

Here’s the scene from Casablanca that launched “As Time Goes By” into the realm of the all time greats:

The song drips with romance. That’s why it may just be perfect for your first dance. But you’re faced with a dilemma: which version is right for you? How about a nice jazzy, sophisticated rendition as offered by the late, great Peggy Lee:

Here’s a version I love by Natalie Cole, because it includes the little-sung verse. Well done, Natalie:

You can always count on Andy Williams to treat a romantic ballad with respect. He doesn’t disappoint! Imagine your first dance to his take on “As Time Goes By:”

Carly Simon imbues the song with her distinctive voice:

Do you like nostalgia? You’ll really make a statement if you go with Jimmy Durante’s version. Totally cool!

Let me leave you with a particularly romantic version of this great song, sung by Harry Nilsson and arranged by Gordon Jenkins featuring a full orchestra:

Do any of these renditions of “As Time Goes By” fit your style? Here’s the thing: the song is nice and short, which makes it a very nice first dance song. After all, your guests are chomping at bit to get on the dance floor (especially if we are DJing your wedding!), so three minutes is just about right.

Crestline Entertainment can play any version you like best

And here’s the other thing: we can play any version of this classic song you like, unlike local bands. (By the way, we love bands … especially the good ones, but they may not know the song, and certainly can’t sing it like Peggy, Natalie, or Andy does!)

I’m in this business because I love music, and I love making brides and grooms happy by playing the perfect songs on their wedding day.

Okay, you’ve listened to the songs above. Who sang it best?

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millennial marriage proposal

Millennial marriage proposal

Poor Millennials. They seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes these days. Our guess is that the older generations are just jealous. On the other, hand the culture and technology have changed enough that the Millennial marriage proposal in the video below has just enough plausibility to elicit a good laugh. What do you think?

Hey, but let’s be honest. The Generation Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation would kill to have their own marriage proposal captured for posterity in a nice video to share on social media with their aging pals. But back in that “horse and buggy era,” dazzling technology just wasn’t available.

The video really is hysterical because the young woman is obsessed with getting her proposal absolutely perfect at the expense of spontaneity. In a way, Crestline Entertainment understands her point. In fact, we love a client like her, because we want everything perfect for her wedding reception.

No surprises with Crestline Entertainment

We’re really, really good at it. We offer planning tools that simplify the whole planning process. There are no surprises. Even more, we connect with your other wedding vendors to be sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to key points in your reception, such as wedding toasts, the first dance, and the cake cutting.

These moments are just as photo/video worthy as your wedding proposal. We’ll MC the event with impeccable timing and tasteful music to enrich your memories for generations to come.

Generational jealousy

You know what else makes all those older generations jealous? The awesome technology we bring to you wedding celebration, including state-of-the art DJing, complete with clear, controlled sound; decor lighting that transforms a plain hall into a palace; and photo booths. They didn’t have it this good, but you do!

So before we poke too much fun at the millennial marriage proposal above, let’s pause and celebrate just how much better off today’s brides are than yesteryear’s.

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Pachebel’s Canon

How Pachebel’s Canon became wedding magic

A lovely little piece of baroque music written more than three centuries ago was resurrected in a Robert Redford movie and somehow became wedding magic. Yes, Johann Pachebel’s repetitive little ditty known as Pachebel’s Canon is one of the most popular wedding ceremony entrance songs for Chicagoland brides.

Robert Redford resurrected Pachebel’s Canon

In his directorial debut, Robert Redford and his music director, Marvin Hamlisch, used a piece of this music in the Academy Award movie, Ordinary People, as you can see and hear in the clip below:

Although this isn’t a wedding scene, brides-to-be loved the regal, simple melody and made it a wedding staple in American weddings. The tune features an eight note melody line that is repeated 27 times in various configurations. Most wedding ceremonies only require a few repeats for the bride to make her entrance and walk down the aisle to her waiting beloved.

Here is what the original arrangement sounds like:

Here is a version for solo piano. Since most weddings have a pianist, they use this arrangement the most:

When you add a full orchestra, the piece is simply majestic. Listen to the Academy of St. Martin’s in the Field orchestra give it the full treatment:

Can’t afford an orchestra? No problem!

Most brides can’t afford an orchestra, or even a string quartet at their wedding ceremonies. No problem. Crestline Entertainment provides ceremony music with clear, controlled sound. Call us  (630-766-9898) if you want exactly the music you love played during your wedding ceremony. There’s no need to settle for a pianist when you can have an orchestra.

To be honest, not everyone loves Pachebel’s Canon. Here is comedian/musician Rob Paravonion’s very funny rant on how much he hates the piece:

But don’t let Mr. Paravonion spoil your fun. He’s simply a frustrated cello player. Three centuries of music lovers keep coming back to Pachebel’s Canon in D.

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popular wedding Bible verses

Popular wedding Bible verses for wedding ceremonies

Millennials are interesting. They by and large have similar beliefs on  heaven, hell, and miracles as previous generations. They pray. But they don’t attend church regularly, because they’re not all that comfortable with organized religion. Nonetheless, when it comes time for planning their wedding ceremonies, they are totally interested in including popular wedding Bible verses.

As you can see in the accompanying chart, the next generation born after 2000 tend to be a little more prayerful than those born in the 80s or 90s. As we pointed out in a previous blogpost [The changing role of religion in modern weddings], even though Millennials are less religious by some metrics, they typically want to include God in their ceremony to honor the solemnity as well as the joy  of the occasion.

Popular wedding Bible verses

We touched upon a few popular verses in a previous post. We barely scratched the surface. For example, savor the logic of this beautiful Jewish scripture from the the Book of Ecclesiastes (4:9)

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

Some believe Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest sages of the ancient world. Here’s another thought provoker from the same book (4:12):

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

So if the first strand is the husband and the second strand is the wife, what is this ‘third’ strand to which Solomon refers? It is God. Couples who invoke this scripture passage are acknowledging that God will be a part of their marriage.

Bible verses for atheists

Suppose you’re an agnostic or an atheist. Does any of this apply to you? Certainly. Wisdom is wisdom, as you can see in this passage written by St. Paul in Romans (13:8):

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Psalm 143:8 tenderly reveals how trust is central to loving another, which is why this is a wonderful Bible verse for your wedding ceremony:

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

The most romantic book in the Bible is Song of Solomon. This passage (4:9) gives you a taste of what is to come:

“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”

I’ve barely scratched the surface. Let me leave you with this beauty written by St. John in 1 John 4:12:

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

God is a mystery to man in so many respects. Religious tradition says that it is through sacred scripture that we get to know Him. That’s why popular wedding Bible verses never grow old. That’s why one of these gems might just be perfect for your wedding ceremony.

The perfect complement to a perfect wedding ceremony is a perfect wedding reception. That’s where we come in. We know how to pack a dance floor with fabulous, customized entertainment. Learn more today without obligation.

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marriage proposal movie scenes

Top 10 Marriage proposal movie scenes

Proposing marriage is an art. Should you do it on your knee? Should it be an intimate experience? Or is your romance one that lends itself to a grand, public proposal? Let’s take a look at how they do it in the movies. Here are the top ten marriage proposal movie scenes according to Ms. Mojo’s Youtube channel:

Marriage proposal movie scenes

‘Magical’ marriage proposals

Youtube showcases some interesting proposals, like the one below which features a magic trick. Why not! Love is magical:

Public marriage proposals

Should you propose in public? Only if you’re sure your girl is going to say yes!

Intimate marriage proposals

Most couples prefer more private, personal proposals. For pure romance, check out Haley Reinhardt’s tender music video of her cover of “Fools Rush In.” Beautiful.

Marriage proposal movie scenes are nice, but real life is much better when it comes to creative wedding proposals.

Crestline Entertainment has a proposal for you. When she says YES, take your Chicagoland wedding celebration to the next level with dance-floor packing wedding entertainment. Entertainment. Makes. The. Event.

Check our availability and our package pricing. Check out if you like us. It’s so easy. Simply click here.

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wedding etiquette mistake

Avoid this tacky wedding etiquette mistake

Don’t come across as a “gimme” person when planning your Chicagoland wedding! Don’t put  your registry info on your wedding invitations. I know it’s so very tempting to discreetly list the URL for your registry at the bottom of your invitations. Don’t! It’s tacky. It’s a wedding etiquette mistake you don’t have to make, because modern technology has solved the problem.

The traditional approach

In the past, a bride simply left registry details with her parents, grandparents, and her wedding party and let word-of-mouth do the rest. That still works. Now, however, wedding couples increasingly publish their own wedding website. Voila! The perfect place to post registry details without being tacky.

The wedding website

Okay, what else should you put in on your wedding website?  Tell them a little about you and your fiancée’s love story, how you met, and your background. Everyone’s a sucker for a love story. But don’t go into too much detail, just the major points.

Tell them about your wedding details, where and when with some nice pics. Then you might want to tell them a little about your honeymoon plans, and why you chose the location.

You might include a guest book on your website for your friends to write you a quick note. Your wedding day will seem like a blur, so you’ll cherish the comments friends leave on your website.

So don’t come across as a greedy “gimme” person by listing your registry info on your wedding invitations. That’s a major wedding etiquette mistake. List your wedding website instead.

Speaking of websites, be sure to browse our website for a few minutes. We offer you great wedding advice in our bi-weekly blog. Even more, we offer fabulous, dance-floor-packing wedding entertainment. Check out our availability and package pricing today.

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two essential wedding toast ingredients

The two essential wedding toast ingredients

People attend movies to laugh and cry. In a way, they look for some of the same things in a wedding toast, but in a couple of minutes instead of a couple of hours. So the two essential wedding toast ingredients? Sentiment and humor.

Leave out either and your toast is incomplete. Load up on too much of on one or the other and your toast will be lopsided, and may ignominiously crash and burn in uncomfortable snickering … or silence.

Too many toasters don’t know where they’re going in their toast. A nice technique is to begin with a little silly humor. For example:

“I just saw two nuclear technicians getting married. The bride was radiant and the groom was glowing.”

Then “marry” the quip to a little sentiment:

“And you know, [bride’s name], you truly are radiant today. And as for my friend, [groom’s name], we don’t typically use the word “glowing” to describe a groom. But I’ve noticed something about him. Every time your name comes up, his eyes light up. Every time you walk into the room, his eyes light up. Yes, it’s safe to say you’re glowing today, [groom’s name].”

Here’s a good use of wedding humor, compliments of stand-up comedienne, Rita Rudner:

“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experience pain and bought jewelry.

Then link the humor to a little sentiment.

“[Groom’s name] never got his ear pierced, but I know he’s experienced some pain in his life. And it simply made him stronger. [Bride’s name], you’re marrying a man of character. When life knocked him down, he dusted himself off and got right back up. That’s the kind of guy I like having as a friend. That’s the kind of man who knows how to love, honor, and cherish a wife, through good times and bad. Get ready for a great life.”

Humor and sentiment make a nice one/two punch when delivering a wedding toast.

How long does it take to make a great toast?

How about 65 seconds? That’s all it took for Bill Nighy to knock his toast out of the ballpark in the movie, “About Time,” as you can see in the video clip above.

Nighy uses subtle humor when he references B.B. King, as if everyone in the world should know that’s one of the three men he honors most. And then he links it to his son with quiet tenderness.

The two essential wedding toast ingredients? Humor and sentiment, dispensed in perfect proportions.

Can your Chicagoland wedding toast be more than 65 seconds? Sure, but keep it down to a few minutes at most. After listening to several toasts, your guests will be itching to get onto the dance floor. That’s where we come in. Crestline Entertainment provides the perfect balance of wedding entertainment that knows how to pack a dance floor. And you’ll love the high quality and fabulous value of our package pricing. Learn more without obligation.

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wedding spend

Who should pay for your wedding?

As you plan your wedding spend, you need the answer to a key question: who is going to pay for your Chicagoland wedding?

If it’s your deep-pocketed parents, your wedding spend may be higher than what you and your betrothed  could afford if you’re paying for it alone.

On the other hand, if the two of you are older with well-established careers, you may be comfortable enough to enjoy a wedding spend without scrimping much.

The Knot surveyed 13,000 couples who got married last year to determine who paid for their weddings. Here is what they found out:

√ The bride’s parents paid for 44.5% of the weddings.

√ The bride and groom paid for the wedding themselves 41.1% of the time.

√ The groom’s parents paid the wedding 12.7% of the time.

√ Other persons paid for their wedding in 1.79% of these weddings.

Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to having parents handle the wedding spend. On the pro side, they may have deeper pockets which allows you to more fully indulge your wedding dreams.

On the other hand, parents can then exercise more control over who gets invited. You’ve heard about these conflicts dozens of times. The daughter has to cut some of her friends from the guest list to accommodate Mom and Dad’s old friends and business associates.

As you plan your wedding spend, keep this in mind.

Traditional wedding protocols have evolved over the years as to whom should pay for your wedding.  For example, here are items and services the bride and her family typically pay for:

  • church/synagogue/ceremony location
  • organist and musicians
  • wedding gown, veil, accessories, trousseau
  • flowers, bouquets, corsages for attendants
  • photography and videography
  • engagement party
  • professional wedding services
  • groom’s ring
  • stationary
  • transportation

Here are the items and services the groom and his family typically pay for:

  • marriage license and officiant fee
  • groom’s attire
  • bride’s bouquet
  • boutonnieres for men
  • corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • honeymoon
  • rehearsal dinner
  • DJ and/or band
  • liquor
  • bride’s rings

Miscellaneous expenses

And then there are some miscellaneous expenses others pay for such as:

√ your attendants pay for their own clothing and shoes

√ your maid or matron of honor hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette party

√ by the same token, the best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party

Who is responsible for your wedding spend? As you can see above, tradition and reality don’t always align. Your situation is unique, except for one single factor: entertainment makes the event. Don’t ever scrimp there!

And for dance floor-packing entertainment, Crestline Entertainment is your go-to Chicagoland DJ entertainment company specializing in weddings. Learn more without obligation. Or give us a call at 630-766-9898. We love questions!

[Popular wedding dates book fast, so don’t mess around! Call to check on availability today at 630-766-9898! Thank-you.]

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