Celia Cruz – Cuban Musical Legend and Queen of Salsa

For more than half a century, Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa carried her title with class and distinction. Her powerful voice and electrifying rhythm garnered more than 100 worldwide recognitions, multiple platinum and gold records, three GRAMMY awards and four Latin GRAMMY awards, as well as a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Her boundless enthusiasm, genuine warmth, and deep-seated humanitarianism made Celia Cruz the music industry’s most accomplished and revered performer … and the world’s most notable ambassador of Hispanic culture. Celia Cruz Website

On Saturday Night, I was the DJ & MC for a very fun 50th Birthday Party at Iberia Peninsula      Restaurant in Newark, New Jersey. Of course, the music was fabulous with the diverse party guests from New Jersey and New York City from all cultures and walks of life. I find it such a fun challenge to provide music for dancing for diverse audiences that don’t all enjoy the same music. It reminds if my days as a community organizer bringing groups together to create a common positive goal as one.

The playlist we created in advance included lots of Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, 80’s Dance Music, Thrift Shop and a significant chunk of Salsa, Merengue and Flamenco songs. Of course, Celia Cruz La Vida Es Un Carnaval was near the top of the DJ song list, in the “must-play” category, and we did. As usual, the response was great and the dance floor was packed with dancers smiling with joy. I thought it was time for me to pay tribute to Celia Cruz and her greatness, especially since she is somewhat of a local legend living many years in New Jersey.

Celia Cruz – La Vida Es Un Carnaval Music Video

“I feel very fortunate to have called Celia Cruz my friend. She was an inspiration not only as an artist but as a woman and a remarkable human being.” Gloria Estefan

(Celia Cruz) Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad (October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003) was a Cuban-American salsa performer. One of the most popular salsa artists of the 20th century, she earned twenty-three gold albums and was renowned internationally as the “Queen of Salsa” as well as “La Guarachera de Cuba.”

She spent much of her career living in New Jersey, and working in the United States and several Latin American countries. Leila Cobo of Billboard Magazine once said “Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music.”

“Celia Cruz was an absolute pillar as a human being and one of the most unselfish humanitarians I have ever met and am sure I will ever have known.” Marc Anthony

Celia Cruz Legacy

In February 2004, Celia Cruz last album, Regalo del Alma, won a posthumous award at the Premios Lo Nuestro for best Salsa release of the year. It was announced in December 2005 that a musical called “Assuca” would open in Tenerife before touring the world. The name comes from Cruz’s well-known catch phrase of “¡Azúcar!”

Celia Cruz Park Union City New Jersey with Rhode Island Wedding DJ

On June 4, 2004, the heavily Cuban-American community of Union City, New Jersey heralded its annual Cuban Day Parade by dedicating its new Celia Cruz Park (also known as Celia Cruz Plaza), which features a sidewalk star in her honor, at 31st Street and Bergenline Avenue, with Celia Cruz’s widower, Pedro Knight, present. There are four other similar dedications to Cruz around the world. Celia Cruz’s star has expanded into Union City’s “Walk of Fame”, as new marble stars are added each spring to honor Latin entertainment and media personalities, such as merengue singer Joseíto Mateo, salsa singer La India, Cuban musician Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Cuban tenor Beny MoréTito Puente, Spanish language television news anchor Rafael Pineda, salsa pioneer Johnny Pacheco, singer/bandleader Gilberto Santa Rosa and music promoter Ralph Mercado.

Fun Rhode Island Multicultural DJ plays Celia Cruz at Party

On May 18, 2005, the National Museum of American History, administered by the Smithsonian Institution and located in Washington, D.C., opened “¡Azúcar!”, an exhibit celebrating the life and music of Celia Cruz. The exhibit highlights important moments in Cruz’s life and career through photographs, personal documents, costumes, videos, and music.

On September 26, 2007, through May 25, 2008, Celia, a musical based on the life of Celia Cruz, played at the off-Broadway venue, New World Stages. Some performances were in Spanish and some in English. The show won four 2008 HOLA awards from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.

Fun Rhode Island DJ plays Celia Cruz

“I had the honor and pleasure of photographing Celia for twelve years. I’ll never forget her smile and her amazing energy. The biggest thing about Celia is that she never knew how great she truly was. She always made me feel so proud to be Cuban.”

Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ


Fun. Some Nights

Fun. Some Nights, Fun.’s second major hit from their Some Nights album. It is both catchy, pop and self-reflective. How many Pop songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 reach #3 with this being part of the chorus?

“But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…”

Fun. Some Nights Music Video

The lyrics to Fun. Some Nights are very introspective and include a depth and thoughtfulness rarely heard in Pop Music. I am so glad to have come across Fun. Some Nights long before it became a hit. Similar to “We Are Young”, Fun. Some Nights spent several months on the Billboard Hot 100 before it finally climbed into the Top Ten.

Beautiful Rhode Island Wedding Fun. Some Nights Rhode Island DJ

Fun. Some Nights Lyrics

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa oh oh
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa oh oh

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style

And that’s alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I? mmm… mmm…

Well, some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win…

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know… (come on)

So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of God for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?

(Come on)

No. When I see stars, when I see, when I see stars, that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on
Oh, come on. Oh, come on, OH COME ON!

Well, that is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home; Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?

My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she call “love”
When I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible lies…ahhh…

Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh

The other night, you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we’d both agree
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… oh…
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… oh..

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young

One of the marvels of the technological age in the music industry is the various ways a song can become a hit. Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young went from #48 to #3 on Billboard HOT 100 this week, it is the highest ranking yet for the group Fun..  Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young has been featured on TV shows “Chuck” and “Glee” and was still not a hit. It took a Chevy commercial during the Super Bowl with Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young for this song to receive the notoriety it deserves.


I also find it entertaining that folks insult each other over how they found out about the artist or song. To me, the source is not important. If you like a song or found it increased the enjoyment of a TV show, movie or commercial, good for you! Music has the magic of shifting anything into something special with the right song. This is the job of a good professional DJ. We take traditional occasions and turn them into a lasting memory and an event to talk about with excitement. Music can do that.

Fun Wedding Celebration with Bride and Groom with New jersey Wedding DJ Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young

Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young is a fun video and creative in its presentation. I appreciate the unique story they tell in the video, while continuing to hold the energy of the Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young. Have fun.

Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young Music Video

Fun. featuring Janelle Monae We Are Young is a song recorded by American band Fun for their second studio album Some Nights (2012). It was released on September 20, 2011 as the lead single from Some Nights. Musically, “We Are Young” is an anthem that incorporates the genres of indie popalternative rock, and power pop. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, with many noting the song as a breakthrough for the indie genre and praising the song’s catchiness. “We Are Young” has attained commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in several countries.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love was originally planned as a side project from Talking Heads musicians, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, a husband and wife team. It charted high on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance Charts. Tom Tom Club Genius of Love was huge in the clubs for both Dance and early Hip Hop clubs as a professional DJ. Tom Tom Club Genius of Love was one of those songs that was just fun to listen and dance. Previous to the release of their self-titled album and song Tom Tom Club Genius of Love, it was not clear to many how much creative input other Talking Heads members had besides David Byrne.

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love Music Video

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love Sampled

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love is one of the most sampled rhythm tracks of the 1980s, particularly within the rap/R&B/hip-hop genre, with dozens of unsolicited remixes and versions, most notablyDr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde‘s “Genius Rap” in 1981; Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five‘s “It’s Nasty” in 1982; Mariah Carey‘s “Fantasy” in 1995, and The X-Ecutioners‘ “Genius of Love 2002” in 2002.

Other artists have incorporated “Genius of Love” into their works, including Public Enemy‘s “Leave This Off Your Fu*kin Charts“, Redman‘s “Brick City Mashin’“, Cam’ron‘s “Me, My Moms & Jimmy“, 2nd II None‘s “Niggaz Trippin’“, Fresh Kid Ice‘s “Roll Call”, 2Pac‘s “High Speed”, Busta Rhymes‘ “One”, Ant Banks‘ “Roll ‘Em Phat”, P.M. Dawn‘s “Gotta Be… Movin’ On Up”, Annie‘s “Chewing Gum“, Menajahtwa‘s “I Ain’t Nasti”, 50 Cent‘s “When I Get Out”, Erick Sermon‘s “Genius E Dub”, Mac Dre‘s “Chop that Ho”, Dream Warriors‘ “And Now the Legacy Begins”, T.I.‘s “Down Like That”, Mark Morrison‘s “Return of the Mack“, Ice Cube‘s “Bop Gun (One Nation)“, and Warren G‘s “What’s Love Got to Do with It“.

The song’s musical bridge, which contains a repeated chant of “Bohannon”, was one of several theme songs used for many years by a syndicated US talk radio program hosted by Jim Bohannon. However, the chant was intended for record producer and disco pioneer Hamilton Bohannon.

Fun Rhode Island Wedding DJ with Tom Tom Club Genius of Love

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love is a great tune to turn-up and move!

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun is such a great and fun song. Cyndi Lauper is one of those artists that it is hard not to like. She is fun, talented, creative and seems to always be completely herself in whatever she does.  A true unique talent who has not veered from her own style and way of doing things.  She was very loyal to her first band that she recorded with, Blue Angel, not allowing the record companies to break them apart.  She eventually found her way as a solo artist and was the first woman to have four Top 5 hits from the same album.

Wedding Bouquet Toss DJ Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun

“Lauper knew she could write songs, but the record company had a lot of material they wanted her to record. She altered a lot of the songs that were thrown her way, often changing the lyrics to suit her. An example is her Platinum-certified Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun; Lauper says the original lyrics of the song dealt more with a girl pleasing a man, and therefore she changed the lyrics, wanting the song to be more of an anthem as she felt the original song seemed misogynistic.” Wikipedia

 Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun Music Video

There are few songs that are more fun to dance and party to than Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun. The video is hysterical and carries that fun and playful vibe throughout. It is noteworthy that Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want To Have Fun included girls from diverse races and backgrounds in her video, something that was not yet part of the music industry.  It is very common for a professional Wedding DJ play this song during either The Bouquet Toss or Garter during a wedding reception from women of all ages.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Ritchie Valens Sleepwalk

It is hard not to feel the energy and Soul that the great Ritchie Valens Sleepwalk put into every guitar lick in this song. Smooth as silk without being overproduced. I recently had a Groom ask for this song to be the song that he and his mother would dance to for their Mother-Son Dance.  I fought hard to contain the tears that well-up every time I hear this song. I do not remember the scene in the film La Bamba but I remember it was one of the more emotional ones. There are few artists from that era that had a full-length feature film made about their life like Ritchie Valens Sleepwalk. As a professional Wedding DJ, I get requested plenty of his music these days and continue to feel moved by his music.

Ritchie Valens Sleepwalk Music Video

He was born Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes. He was asked by his producer and agent to change his family name to make it sound ‘more american’. Its strange in 2011 to contextually imagine that happening today, where nearly twenty percent of American population is Latino.  His death along with other pop stars Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper is still considered an American tragic story. After the February 2, 1959, performance in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly, Richardson, and Valens flew out of the Mason City airport in a small plane that Holly had chartered. He was on the plane because he won a coin toss. The plane, a four-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza, departed for Fargo, North Dakota, and crashed shortly after takeoff in a snow storm. The crash killed all three passengers and the pilot; at 17, Valens was the youngest to die on the flight. The event inspired singer Don McLean’s popular 1971 ballad “American Pie“, and immortalized February 3 as “The Day the Music Died”.

Ritchie Valens Sleepwalk with Rhode Island Oldies DJ

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

The Bee Gees Stayin Alive

The Bee Gees Stayin Alive. I was in 7th grade when John Travolta was at the peak of his teen icon status with his role as Vinnie Barbarino on the TV show Welcome Back Kotter.  My brother who was four years older than me, met and became friends with him strangely enough at a bar in Miami. They stayed in contact for a little while and  once I answered the phone and sure enough John Travolta was on the other end. My brother wasn’t home and I took a message.

Fun Rhode Island Wedding DJ Dancing Bee Gees Stayin Alive

It wasn’t till I was in high school that Saturday Night Fever and The Bee Gees Stayin Alive came out. My brother liked Disco, at the time I was not as much a fan. I have grown to appreciate how it is so well-made for dancing. As a professional DJ, The Bee Gees Stayin Alive such an effective tool for mixing genres and generations.  It continues to amaze how often I get The Bee Gees Stayin Alive requested by people of all ages from teens, college students, middle-aged and older folks at weddings and parties. There are many remixes of The Bee Gees Stayin Alive out these days that are all fun and great party songs.

The Bee Gees Stayin Alive Music Video

The Bee Gees Stayin Alive is a disco song by the group Bee Gees from the Saturday Night Fever motion picture soundtrack. The song was written by the Bee Gees (BarryRobin and Maurice Gibb) and produced by the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson. It was released on 13 December 1977, as the second single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It is one of their signature songs. “Stayin’ Alive” was placed at number 191 on the list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Upon release, “Stayin’ Alive” climbed the charts to hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of 4 February 1978, remaining there for four weeks. In the process, it became one of the band’s most recognisable tunes, in part because of its place at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever.”

The Bee Gees were an interesting group who made their name originally as a Soft Rock, almost Folk, in the 60’s and early 70’s. They had a completely different sound and energy in their first round as pop stars. They gained international success and lasted nearly forty years as recording and preforming artists.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

ZZ Top Legs

ZZ Top is a unique Rock Band that has strangely had three ‘separate” careers as a group. There were the early years as a touring Texas blues and boogie band that had success in the Rock genre nationally. Then they had massive success as a pop band in the late 70’s and 80’s with hits like ZZ Top Legs and finally returning back to their roots again later. Their mainstream success was so fast and unexpected it surprised the music industry at the time. I listened to ZZ Top from the early days and when they changed their style and became pop stars, I had mixed feelings but loved playing their songs as a professional DJ, especially ZZ Top Legs!

Beautiful Woman Dancing at Wedding ZZ Top Legs with Rhode Island DJ

“By the mid-1970s, they were among the most popular touring acts in the United States and broke various concert attendance feats. After years of touring, the band went on a two-year break in 1977, which resulted in Gibbons and Hill growing chest-length beards.

Although they returned in 1979 and the band signed a new deal with Warner Bros Records (taking the rights to their London recordings with them), it was not until the band released 1983’s Eliminator that they reached a new height in popularity, selling over 10 million copies. Throughout the late 1980s, the band made several hits and won several awards for music videos like “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man“. After over 40 years of performing with the same members, the band continues to tour and record music.”

 ZZ Top Legs Music Video

Their videos in the 80’s were fun, sexy and a demonstration of how music videos were shaping the music industry. The trio of hits, ZZ Top Legs, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin” all utilized the red car, the three women, synthesized beats and the band members as ‘angels’ in the videos that commanded major success internationally. The guys were as popular for their beards as their music.

ZZ Top Legs Rankings

  • ZZ Top Legs is listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
  • In 1999, “MTV: 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made” included “Gimme All Your Lovin'” at #43.
  • In 2000, ranked No.44 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists.”
  • In 2001, “VH1: 100 Greatest Videos” included “Legs” at #96.
  • In 2003, Rolling Stone’The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time included Tres Hombres at No.498 and Eliminator at #396.
  • In 2004, ranked No.292 on the “Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years” chart.
  • In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked “La Grange” at No.74 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.
  • In 2009, “VH1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs” ranked “Tush” at #67.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ