Jack Johnson's "Better Together"
"Jack Johnson grew up on the beach in Hawaii and has surfed since he could walk, so his music has a laid-back, beach feel to it," says Russ Messick, "The Wedding DJ." Penned for his wife, "Better Together" mixes the tropical sounds of raw guitar strings with lyrics of love and devotion.
Ziggy Marley's "Beach in Hawaii"
With the breeze flowing and the clouds overhead, Maui DJ Joe Gatto, aka DJ El Gato, relies on reggae to get the party started. "As guests enjoy their mai tais and get warmed up for the festivities, I like to play â€˜Beach in Hawaii' by Ziggy Marley," says Gatto. "It brings their attention to exactly where they are and makes them think of the people who couldn't make the trip."
Jimmy Buffett's "Volcano"
"The song has a universal sound of tropical good times," says Hank Wells, owner of Sam Hill Entertainment. Laid-back crooner Jimmy Buffett is synonymous with the beachside lifestyle. A mainstay on the charts with his summery hits, Buffett's songs have found a following among beach lovers and devoted "Parrotheads" throughout the world.
Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl"
"Beach weddings present a very fun and casual atmosphere, and one of the most popular artists for a beach wedding is Van Morrison," says Mike Sipe, owner of Mike Sipe Entertainment, Events & Productions, Inc. To slow it down, opt for Morrison's ode to romance with "Have I Told You Lately."
The Tams' "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy"
"Some good ol' Carolina beach music is essential if you're getting married anywhere near the ocean in the Southeast," says Wells. The Tams, an Atlanta-born group, have been bringing together rhythm and soul since the 1960s (the era of the beach music explosion). Their song "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" embraces the fun of the sun, the bliss of falling in love, and enjoying yourself while you're young.
Bob Marley's "One Love"
"Tropical or steel drum musicians perform traditional music with a unique calypso sound, or people request that they perform more reggae-style music," says Sipe. Have a beach bash with music from the original "King of Reggae." Bob Marley's "One Love" will add a bit of real island fun to your tropical paradise, especially when it's played by an island musician.
The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby"
"The Beach Boys are always going to be known as a classic beach band," says Messick. "All of their songs have a real beach feel to them." A throwback to the days of summers and surfing, "Don't Worry Baby" brings back memories of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon's run on Beach Party.
James Taylor's "Mexico"
"'Mexico' transports your party to the tropics," says Wells. "Maybe it's a little foreshadowing to your honeymoon too." From heartbreakingly soulful tunes to downright party music, James Taylor has sprinkled the airwaves with his classic hits. In a true homage to the tropics, Taylor's song "Mexico" makes it a place "I guess I'll have to go."
-- Tia Albright