This article was originally posted in October 2016. I’ve recently updated it with new music.
So where do Modern Jive DJs find their exclusive dance tracks?
So how do Modern Jive DJs find the fresh music tracks that keep the dancers interested? The pop charts will give them a constant supply of new tracks, and there are several sites on the internet and Facebook where tunes are shared, but I’m interested where they find their exclusive finds – the tracks no on else is playing.
Of course many are already implanted in their subconscious and just need a slight memory trigger to reveal themselves again. Others I’m sure are found by trawling through iTunes, YouTube and other places on the internet. I once asked a DJ, who seemed to forever be finding new nuggets of dance music, where she found them. Her reply surprised me somewhat, ‘Radio 2.’
Radio 2 has a surprisingly wide playlist
I’d always thought that radio stations had quite limited playlists, but Radio 2 surprisingly features music from all areas of the dance music vaults. Programmes like Pick of The Pops, where two historic chart run-downs are played is a treasure trove of songs that normally don’t get much air play.
Pop Master, the quiz show conducted by Ken Bruce is another great trigger for reminding us of music that we have almost forgotten. In fact the Ken Bruce show is quite a resource for hearing new dance tracks. I’ve often found myself holding my phone up to the radio and Shazaming unfamiliar tracks, that I think will go down well on the dance floor.
Serious Jockin’ triggers some fabulous dance floor memories
But there is one Radio show that seriously surpasses all the others for triggering (should that be triggerin’ – no G?) memories of dance music, and throwing up a few forgotten gems. Yes – The Jockin’ – Serious Jockin’ (definately no G). Friday afternoons sees the final forty five minutes of The Steve Wright Show turned over to dance music.
Steve puts on a baseball cap – backwards – and morphs in to Silly Boy Wrighty a 1980’s DJ, who cranks up the volume and blasts it out of speakers bigger than a Double Decker Bus. The tunes that follow are serious dance music, bursting with energy and great memories of disco days past.
Wrighty plays some of the best dance music ever
In recent weeks I’ve heard some of the best dance music ever produced – Disco Inferno, Ain’t no stopping us now and the greatest Northern Soul track ever – Frank Wilson’s Do I love you? (Indeed I do). In amongst the classic tracks are long forgotten gems pulled from every decade from the fifties onwards. Two weeks ago Wrighty played The Showstoppers Ain’t nothing but a houseparty and I was back at the school disco.
Let’s do some Serious Jiggin’
Before we go any further lets get in the mood for some Serious Jockin’ hilarity by listening to a track, from last week’s show – the title of which has no G! So Wrighty, let’s get the rig ready. Level 9 should do it. Now blast the speakers’ with Will Smith Gettin’ (no G) jiggy with it. Will’s rap is sung over a sample of Sister Sledge’s He’s the greatest dancer. How great is it to hear the Nile Rogers guitar lick again.
Hey Wrighty, play a ‘Silly Boy’ track please
Last month I visited a modern jive freestyle where the DJ played Baccara’s Yes sir I can boogie. I remember smiling that I was dancing to a shameless piece of seventies Euro Pop, and lovin’ (no G) every second of it. So it seemed did everyone else on the dance floor. This is just the type of track that Silly Boy Wrighty would play.
I love these Silly Boy tracks. They are one of the reasons I try not to miss the show. The thing is these tracks just make me want to dance – don’t they make every one want to dance? I suspect all over the country people are dancing in the kitchen. They get me in the mood for a proper night of dancing and they kick start the weekend – especially a Weekender weekend!
Serious Jammin’ on the way to Southport
Three times a year I make my way up The M6 to the Ceroc Southport Weekender. Sadly the excitement of driving to Southport on a Friday afternoon is tempered by the fact that progress is tediously slow – Serious Traffic Jammin’. But Wrighty’s top dance tracks keep the spirits high. Here’s an excerpt from one of my Southport Diaries:
At 4.15 we tuned in to Serious Jockin’ (no g) on the Steve Wright Show. This show, packed with great dance music, always kick starts the weekend, and it gets me in the mood for some Serious Jivin’ (no g!). I had sent an email earlier hoping that DJ Silly Boy Wrighty would give us all a shout out. ‘Hi Steve. Loving the top dance tunes. Driving to Southport for a dance weekender. There’ll be some Serious Ceroc-in’ (no g!)’.
These Serious puns, with their no G endings are all part of the Friday afternoon fun (more of which later). Sadly we didn’t get a mention, perhaps Steve’s backroom team didn’t know what Ceroc was, but I still loved the music. Here’s one of the Top Tunes he played – Basement Jaxx’s Red Alert. I wonder if DJ Wrighty knew it was a bit of a Ceroc classic?
We’ve got to dance to this Silly Boy tune
A few weeks back Wrighty played a track that has been gathering dust in the dance music vaults for 40 years. Wow! It had me dancing all around the house. As I’m writing this piece it’s pumping out of my big DJ headphones. We’ve got to Modern Jive dance to this.
So please Mr DJ put your baseball cap on backwards, and put it on the decks and watch the smiles on the dancers’ faces. Just hit the play button and imagine you are in The best disco in town. I’ve embedded the long version for you so you can love the next six and a half minutes of your life – Serious Enjoyin’.
A catalogue of ’60s and ’70s dance hits
The joy of The Ritchie Family’s song is that it portrays the disco beat of the 70’s at its best but it has one unique feature as it lists dance hit after dance hit with their accompanying music track. I’ve spent ages trying to identify them all – see how many you can recognise. Get ready – it all kicks off with the lyric ‘The Hit Sound of Motown.’
I’ll give you the first two – The Four Tops Reach out I’ll be there, and The O’Jay’s I love music. One of the best K.C and the Sunshine Band tracks get a plug, as does a Donna Summer one, and I managed to pick out the instrumental intro to TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) by MFSB. This had me downloading the track after the show and more dancing in the kitchen followed. Serious Dishwashin’!
Memories of school day crushes
Many of us have the strongest emotional connection to the music we remember from our school days. It was a time when we first fell in love, but also sadly the first time we got turned down by the person we fancied above any other. School discos saw us venture on to the dance floor for the first time, and dancing was never more fun.
Wrighty and the crew make sure they play something from everybody’s school days and last week Danny and The Juniors gave those who came of age in the 50’s memories with At The Hop. For the 60’s kids it was Stevie Wonder with his disco classic Uptight (Everything’s alright).
A Chic track revived memories of the 80’s and Craig David and Sigala was there for the kids getting it on at school right now. All this was a reminder that our dance music heritage is seemingly endless, and that there is no excuse for DJs playing the same old, same old stuff.
The Serious ‘No G’ puns that make the nation smile
Of course one of the endearing appeals of this show is how the listeners make their requests for shout outs and dedications. The trick is to embroider your request around a Serious Jokin’ (no G) pun. One week a listener informed Steve that he was doing the wages at work. Some people had taken days off so he was doing some Serious Dockin’ (No G).
The puns get cleverer and cleverer. I twittered one week that I was going to a Motown Tribute Night, and that I would be doing some Serious Four Toppin’ (no G). Sadly I didn’t get a shout out, but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the show for re-tweetin’ my little joke.
It’s just great listening to the way Wrighty reads them out. You know the pun is coming, but its the build up that’s just as entertaining. Last week there was one of the best ever. So this guy is stacking cornflake boxes at Sainsburys. He’s doing some – wait for it – Cereal Stockin’ (no G). Next time I’m on the way to Southport I’ll re-send my Serious Cerocin’ pun. Hopefully they’ll get the joke next time.
Wrighty pumps up the jam
Here’s a track that Wrighty played a couple of weeks ago. As always Steve was all over it, the rig was fully cranked and peaking at 11 (what ever that means). The volume was pumped to the max, and so was the jam (I’m just making this up now). Pump up the Jam by Technotronic is a classic House Music track.
It’s a music genre that doesn’t get much airplay on Radio 2 generally. This is why it sounds so fresh, and I love it that Wrighty usually plays at least one track from this genre every week.
Though this particular track isn’t quite right for modern jive, it is an example of the great heritage of dance music that is hidden away in the archives. So time to get the spade, get the boots on, and get down to the music vaults for some Serious Diggin’ (that’s no ‘G’ Wrighty).
A playlist with some cracking tunes
I thought I’d take my own advice and do a bit of diggin’ around the dance music vaults. First I visited the Serious Jockin’ website and found a link to a playlist of two hundred Serious Jockin’ tracks (see link below).
It was like being in a candy store. Many of the tracks I knew, but there were some that I didn’t, and I’ve had a great time checking them out on YouTube. It wasn’t long before I picked out a track that I thought might go down well on the Modern Jive dance floor.
Falling stars by Sunset Trippers is a 2005 reworking of Waiting for a star to fall, the 1988 hit by Boy meets Girl. The original is a very catchy track that will bring back a lot of memories to kids of the ’80s, but it’s sadly too slow for Modern Jive.
This modern reworking is a full on dance track, that will be perfect when a DJ is building a trance like club vibe out on the dance floor. Sorry if that sounded a bit pretentious – I’ve obviously been listening to DJ Silly Boy a little too much.