Improving School Dances with “Safe Music” and Responsible DJs

Make 2015 the year to expand and improve your School Dance business



Music notes this week.

Some scoop on this 21 year old kid with the big voice, George Ezra. 

His  youthful obsession with Dylan prompted Ezra to seek out earlier American folk and blues artists. “Out of curiosity, I went to find out who he had been listening to,” he says. “That’s when I found Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie and Howlin’ Wolf.” Ezra had heard a Lead Belly compilation and had simply tried to sing like him. “On the back of the record, it said his voice was so big, you had to turn your record player down,” Ezra says. “I liked the idea of singing with a big voice, so I tried it, and I could.”

george ezra   “Budapest”- George Ezra 




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Comments, Concerns, Questions, Complaints

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.15.56 PMDJ Voltron writes:  

Please put Fetty Wap “Trap Queen” on do not play list. Very popular song in the south.
Its all about Sellin Drugs, Using Drugs , Buying Expensive Cars, Stripper Poles, etc
Dj Voltron
 SDN:  Good Call Alan.  It is not getting a lot of play Nationally, but if you’re in the South…Make sure you avoid this one at schools.  Voltron is right on.  It’s being added to the DO NOT PLAY List. 

uptonw funk you up

 Josh Weeden writes:   Not sure why uptown funk is on the safe list? Lot of references to alcohol. 3/18/15

 SDN:  Thanks Josh for your input. We only detected one casual reference to alcohol.  Our goal is to provide a list that is relevant and usable at school dance events.  We look to eliminate songs that overtly promote drugs, alcohol, sex or violence.  Just a reference to “liquor” is not enough for our our panel to flag it as un-playable.  As always though we offer our opinion only as a guide and your judgement takes precedence at your events. Thanks for your input.

Wait a minute
Fill my cup put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign a check
Julio! Get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi
If we show up, we gon’ show out
Smoother than a fresh jar of skippy

dj keith bryan        DJ Keith Bryan from Orlando writes:   Thank you for the awesome work!!!  3/2/15

          SDN:  Thanks Bryan…you made my day!

music-video-banner21Music By Julie  Writes:  Hello, Just wondering if your paid service/listing also provides a safe-listing for music videos? Thanks.


Sorry, Julie.  No we don’t offer an evaluation for music videos.  Our experience has been that even those songs that have acceptable audio tracks and lyrics, many times (most) have videos that are over the top to be played in a school environment.  Sad but true.  2/16/15

jamn car

Keith Bryan Writes:  Dude, you sent an awesome letter and T shirts? You didn’t have tot do that. That was above and beyond and way cool and awesome. Thank you!!! Also, thank you for your efforts in getting the list up and running so that we had them for Friday night’s middle school dance. We had complements on the good clean music from a rep from another school and she took our business cards. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!!!!. YOU DA’ MAN!!!!!!

Thank you,

Keith Bryan

SDN:   THANKS!  Always anxious to help make school dances safe, fun and age-appropriate.  We appreciate quality operators like you, going the extra mile. 2/16/15
BTW…Love your Jam-Mobile

radio editTim Tippins Writes:  I am new to dj-ing school parties, got my first one next week. Can you suggest a place where I can download clean radio versions of songs? Thanks for your help.

SDN: There are a few services that provide clean edited versions of songs…We use Prime Cuts Music, they predictably provide clean and some times what they call “squeaky clean” versions.  If you are serious about doing schools I always recommend signing up for a service to provide the edits, saves a lot of time and grief.  You will find that on our weekly “Safe Songs” list there are several songs are only safe if you are using edits. BTW, you can not count on songs from I-tunes to be edited appropriately, I have had several guys download from I-tunes, only to have an unusable version.  1/23/15

miguel fontMiguel Font from A-1 Entertainment (Florida) Writes:  

Ric,  You really make my events life easier!!
Thank you for all you do!

Micah Birchfield: Bloomburg ISD writes:  

Clean lyrics, subject matter… not so much While some of the “Safe Songs” certainly don’t contain major swear words (though in my neck of the woods, “damn” is still not acceptable, either), it should be pointed out for those not in the know, sometimes the ideas and actions mentioned in the songs may not be appropriate for a school venue. I don’t think this is necessarily stressed strongly enough when listing the weekly songs. This weeks “safe song”, “Uptown Funk” is a prime example. Ignoring the fact that the chorus repeatedly says “hot damn” in the first 40 seconds of the song, there’s a line that says, “Fill my cup put some liquor in it.” I’m not sure about your school, but mine would certainly frown upon me setting that example. So please, folks, be sure and listen to these songs first. This site is an awesome resource, but there’s still no resource like the one between your ears.  November 19 2014

Our guide at the SDN is to eliminate songs that promote or glorify, sex, drugs/alcohol or violence.  Just references to them is not enough to eliminate the song from the “Safe Songs” .  But as Micah states, every school, region and administration has a different  standard.  

bertDJ Bert Lindsay writes:  

Keep up the great work and give us more!!! Ric, I am SO stoked about being a member of SDN. I haven’t had any inquiries from my listing, but the offerings I receive each week for DNPs as well as the Safe Songs Top 30 give me great information. I ALSO utilize much of your content to pass along on social networks or my blog. I would encourage the SDN staff to post MORE of the school dance stories for sharing. Be it stories of DJs who don’t use good judgement in playing for schools or other stories regarding content like twerking, panty checks and etc. — by reposting this via other members, I believe the membership of SDN can help increase awareness of this organization among concerned parents as well as school (& church) leaders and administration. Keep up the fantastic work! — This e-mail was sent from a contact form on school dance network  November 8 2014

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