A sneak peek at a working DJ’s library
By Vanessa Hundley, aka DJ Audioprism
Entertainment and Life Scrivener
Music has always been a great reflector of the human experience throughout the ages. The musical journey and ideas of the American experience and all the emotions and thoughts it provokes predates the American Revolutionary War, with songs such as Founding Father John Dickinson’s “The Liberty Song” appearing as early as 1768. Creative voices and America’s right to freedom of expression as stated in Article 11 have brought us many tunes that range from fervently patriotic to defiant. Songs that preserve a small moment in a simple part of life or create a bright bubble of celebration, and Some that direct our attention to social or political viewpoints. Here’s a peek inside my library at just a small selection of songs I actually play at a variety of 4th of July related events.
(Skip to the bottom of the article for a full playlist of all these songs!)
The Classic Rock N’ Roll:
Rock n’ roll is an American original, and this music style that first appeared in the 1940’s has consistently brought us voices who questioned authority and the status quo. It gave rise to a chorus of artists who used their music to try to affect changes or just to give voices to people or populations who had no voices of their own, and others who shared the experiences of the working class American and their trials and triumphs in day to day life. There are a ton of great classics that capture American ideas or just rock it out American-style – it was hard to even begin to narrow them down!
Neil Diamond – America Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
Bruce Springsteen – Born In The U.S.A. Kim Wilde – Kids In America
Linda Ronstadt – Back In The U.S.A. Jay & The Americans – Only In America
Tom Petty – American Girl Chicago – Saturday In The Park
John Cougar Mellencamp – Pink Houses David Bowie – Young Americans
The Modern Rock N’ Roll:
Modern rock n’ roll continues to pay respect to its American roots with a mix of artists and groups who carry on rock’s tradition of questioning and stating the facts in varying measures. This mix of tones from breezy, California-style beats and rhythms share the airwaves with tales of nostalgia and loss and high energy infusions of protest and reflection from the 1990’s on that keep us turning it up just a little bit more.
Lenny Kravitz – American Woman* Francis Nunnery – American Life In The Summertime
Kid Rock – American Bad ** Elle King – America’s Sweetheart
Metallica – Don’t Tread On Me 5 Seconds Of Summer – Mrs. All American
Saving Abel – Miss America Mitski – Your Best American Girl
Green Day – Last Of The American Girls Weezer – I Love The U.S.A
The Country Music:
Another American art form that slightly predates the advent of rock n’ roll, country music is at its core all about the human experience. Celebrations and heartbreak abound, but through it all these songs pay homage to their hometown lives, loves and losses with straightforward, timeless tales and shake-it-up sensitivities alike.
Brothers Osborne – American Crazy Dierks Bentley – Home
Brad Paisley – American Saturday Night Brooks & Dunn – Only In America
Sugarland – Everyday America Jason Aldean – Fly Over States
Kenny Chesney – American Kids Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried
Martina McBride – Independence Day Florida Georgia Line – Cruise
Establishing itself in America in the 1950s and ‘60s, soul music evolved from a blend of gospel and rhythm and blues and went on to become a popular phenomenon. It developed in many directions as new sounds and technology became available, including funk, psychedelic soul and neo soul, and continues to share the unique experiences and visions of black Americans in thoughtful and thought-provoking ways.
Martha & The Vandellas – Dancing In The Street DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime
James Brown – Living In America Shea Diamond – American Pie
Estelle ft Kanye West – American Boy Janelle Monae – Americans
Prince & The Revolution – America Childish Gambino – This Is America
Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove Pharrell Williams – Freedom
The Pop and Dance Music:
We do love a great party in the U.S.A! And the 4th of July has a lot to offer, with small neighborhoods and large urban centers alike reveling in music, entertainment, food, and fireworks. Where there are tons of party songs to choose from, these pop hits are a perfect fit for the holiday without losing the party!
Miley Cyrus – Party In The U.S.A. Passion Pit – Take A Walk
Demi Lovato – Made In The U.S.A. Pepper Mashay – I Pledge Pt 2
Bonnie McKee – American Girl KLF – America: What Time Is Love?
Katy Perry – Firework MKTO – American Dream Madonna – American Pie EASYFUN – Be Your USA
The Patriotic Music:
And, as a bonus, get extra patriotic and fly your Stars and Stripes with these covers of American classics plus some amazing original tracks!
Bette Midler – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – This Land Is Your Land
Paul Jabara – Yankee Doodle Dandy Beyonce – God Bless The U.S.A
The 5th Dimension – The Declaration Jim Hendrix – The Star Spangled Banner
Keb’ Mo’ – America The Beautiful Johnny Cash – Ragged Old Flag
Have a fabulously safe 4th of July! Follow or subscribe for more peeks at my actual professional library, more fun articles about everything entertainment, and updates on current and future projects (there are many)!
Vanessa Hundley aka DJ Audioprism is owner of Audioprism Entertainment, is a full time DJ/VJ/KJ/MC, Web and TV Personality, and Wonder Woman who incorporates her love of music and everything entertainment into all facets of her life. She resides in Atlanta, GA, with her amazing daughter, fabulous partner and a variety of fuzzy friends intent on taking over the world one clump of fur at a time. Follow her on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Mixcloud for everything DJ Audioprism!
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