History of Christmas Carols the first Mobile Music :)

From: www.WhyChristmas.com

Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles (The word carol originally meant to dance to something). The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, usually taking place around the 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.

Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In AD 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called “Angel’s Hymn” should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written in 760AD, by Comas of Jerusalem, for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write ‘Christmas carols’. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the normal people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.

This was changed by St. Francis of Assisi when, in 1223, he started hisNativity Plays in Italy. The people in the plays sang songs or ‘canticles’ that told the story during the plays. Sometimes, the choruses of these new carols were in Latin; but normally they were all in a language that the people watching the play could understand and join in! The new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany and other European countries.

The earliest carol, like this, was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting different people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time and the Elizabethan period are untrue stories, very loosely based on the Christmas story, about the holy family and were seen as entertaining rather than religious songs. They were usually sung in homes rather than in churches! Traveling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were traveling. One carols that changed like this is ‘I Saw Three Ships’.

When Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans came to power in England in 1647, the celebration of Christmas and singing carols was stopped. However, the carols survived as people still sang them in secret. Carols remained mainly unsung until Victorian times, when two men called William Sandys and Davis Gilbert collected lots of old Christmas music from villages in England.

Before carol singing in public became popular, there were sometimes official carol singers called ‘Waits’. These were bands of people led by important local leaders (such as council leaders) who had the only power in the towns and villages to take money from the public (if others did this, they were sometimes charged as beggars!). They were called ‘Waits’ because they only sang on Christmas Eve (This was sometimes known as ‘watchnight’ or ‘waitnight’ because of the shepherds were watching their sheep when the angels appeared to them.), when the Christmas celebrations began.

Also, at this time, many orchestras and choirs were being set up in the cities of England and people wanted Christmas songs to sing, so carols once again became popular. Many new carols, such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’, were also written in the Victorian period.

New carols services were created and became popular, as did the custom of singing carols in the streets. Both of these customs are still popular today! One of the most popular types of Carols services are Carols by Candlelight services. At this service, the church is only lit by candlelight and it feels very Christmassy! Carols by Candlelight services are held in countries all over the world.

Perhaps the most famous carol service, is the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College in Cambridge, UK. This service takes place on Christmas Eve and is broadcast live on BBC Radio (and all over the world). In my house, we listen to it and it means Christmas has really started! The Service was first performed in 1918 as a way of the college celebrating the end of the First World War. It is always started with a single choir boy singing a solo of the first verse of the Carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. Sing along to Once in Royal David’s City! (on a different site) A service of Nine Lessons and Carols has nine bible readings (or lessons), that tell the Christmas story, with one or two carols between each lesson. Sometimes you get carol services which are a combination of nine lessons and carols and carols by candlelight! So you have nine lessons and carols by candlelight!

Now you know :

Information provided by: http://www.whychristmas.com


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Scenic Helicopter Tours for your Honeymoon

While you are getting married in the Smoky Mountain you will want to take advantage of Scenic Helicopter Rides honeymoon package. This allows you to fly over the most visited National Park in the nation with simply you and your sweetie as you marvel over God’s country right in my back yard. It is beautiful and there is no better way to view the Smoky Mountains than through a birds eye view.  Their flights are a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be missed and will create a memory you both will never forget. Experience the magic and comfort of a helicopter sightseeing tour and fly over areas where few men or women have set foot.

Make sure you look for the Black and Yellow Helicopters when you in town!

Call them today at (865) 453-6342

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ATHfgbag5Sw 

Google Map Link: https://plus.google.com/108339945323745649926/about?gl=us&hl=en


Posted in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Tennessee, Things to do in Pigeon Forge, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While you are in the Area for Winterfest

Soon to be Brides and Grooms as you plan to get “hitched” in the Smoky Mountains you should know what there is to in the area while you are making your plans. The previous blog was about our Winterfest that happens every year from the beginning of November through the end of February. While this is all happening we have several parades. One of the biggest parades in this area is the Fantasy Lights Christmas Parade! Is is a massive parade with bands, large floats, characters, and of coarse SANTA! Checkout the link below to learn more.


You may not be able to make it this year, however you  may want to make plans for next year! It is always beautiful in the mountains, but there is something about the Winterfest  lights and activities that make these mountain come to life! Don’t take my word for it come on over and see for yourself! It will make your honeymoon just a little more special.

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Smoky Mountain Winterfest (Hometown Sevier)

During the winter months, Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountains area sparkle with millions of twinkling lights during Smoky Mountain Winterfest (Nov. 5 – Feb. 28). Celebrating its 23rd year, Smoky Mountain Winterfest has become a holiday tradition for many visitors who return year after year to enjoy the lights, shopping, shows and attractions.http://www.hometownsevier.com/events/2012/11/05/sevierville-winterfest-kickoff/



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Where to Eat in The Smokies

There are a lot of places to choose from in this area to eat. I will be including several restaurants in the next few weeks on my website that are unique to our area which I fell you should try while here. The restaurants are not paying me for the endorsement, I simply want you and your family to have a great experience while you are in the area.

The first place I want to mention is the Bistro 109 in Sevierville TN located in the downtown section of the city. It is adjacent to the court house and resides on Bruce street. This place has amazing food, a great romantic ambiance, the serves is impeccable, and it will be one of your best memories (other than your wedding day) of your trip. Trust me on this one it is worth the try, ask my fiance’, I like some good food…but who doesn’t? Check this one of a kind restaurant and as always tell them DJ TRAXX in the Smokies sent you!

Independent Company Reviews: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/68/1570115/restaurant/Knoxville/Bistro-109-Sevierville 


Restaurant Link


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The Smoky Mountain Opry Christmas Show

I want to start to make my page helpful to all the Brides, Grooms, and their family members coming into town who are getting married and still have a few days to play in the Great Smoky Mountains. I have seen the regular show of The Smoky Mountain Opry located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at traffic light #0. All the Lights are numbered in our area to help find the places you are looking for easier to find.

This show is amazing and I happen to see the Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry opening night. Without a doubt it is a MUST see this and every Christmas trip you make to the Smoky Mountains! It will be your next family tradition. It has it all! The music is amazing which is supported by amazing singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians. Plus the effects are great with lasers, smoke machine, snow machines, they have hundreds of moving head LED lights, the band cart is all LEDS (oh and it moves during the show), angels are flying on rigs and there has to be three or four in the air at one time, and it surpasses any show in this area! It’s a MUST see for anytime of the year and especially for the Christmas season!

Great Music, Great Sound, and Great visual effects what more could anyone ask for, plus they wrap up the show with the true meaning of Christmas – the Birth of Christ! Man is it powerful! No show in town can touch this show and I have seen a lot of the shows around town . I even had a friend of mine, who works at a local theater in town say, “We can’t hold a candle to this show even if we tried.” Go see Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry you’ll be so happy you took my advise. www.SmokyMtnOpry.com

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Disc Jockey 101

To all those wanting to be a wedding DJ or an event Disc Jockey there are a few things you must keep in mind before you book your first DJ gig.

1. Be professional. That is from your appearance before, during, and after the event! Make sure not only the client thinks your professional, so does the vendor you are playing music for.

2. Always make sure your set up is clean. Wires should be all in clean lines, your set up should complement itself by matching, and if you have equipment that needs TLC you should give it TLC. A little maintenance will go along way.

3. Social media like facebook, twitter, Google plus, and any other social media are good ways to reach out to possible clients to remind them you are in the area.

4. Have a personality! It is a big one. If you lack a good personality you should possibly look into something else. A DJ can make or break an event, which means your personality is a huge part of the business.

5. Always be early to meetings, networking functions, and the events you are entertaining. You want to be the DJ that is reliable, not the DJ that no one can count on. To build up your business quick you should always make it a point to be on time.

Gatlinburg DJ, Smoky Mountain DJ, Pigeon Forge Disc Jockey, Knoxville DJs.


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Hiring a Great DJ Takes the Worry Out of Your Event

Have you ever been to a reception where the Disc Jockey  was not at all what you thought they should be and yet no one wanted to say anything to the Bride and Groom because it was their special day, even though they were thinking the same thing and wanted to make the best of a bad situation. This happen more than anyone thinks and it happens in my area as well.

Hiring a  great DJ will take the worry out of your reception from start to finish. It’s not even so much about how many years they have been a DJ (although helpful) it is if they “Get It”. If the Disc Jockey gets that they are there at your service to provide the best music for your event and to keep things moving in smooth direction then you have nothing to worry about.

If you are heading into the event concerned about your DJ and if they will be great for your guests, it is normally to late to change your mind and hire a new DJ. However, it is not too late to take the DJ by the headphones and make sure they “GET IT” before your event starts. This is normally a good thing to do two weeks before your event.

Make sure they understand what music you want, make sure they know how the event is suppose to go, make sure they are going to dress professional, make sure they know where they are going, make sure they understand your standards and can meet them. Now if you have hired a great DJ then none of this will be a concern of yours because they will have handled everything and put your mind at ease.

Bottom line go with your Grandpas advise a trust your gut. If your gut is not comfortable with your DJ you need to make a phone call and make sure your gut is comfortable with your DJ. If you hire a great DJ then they will be the least of your worries when it comes to your special day or event.  – Kevin Griffin – DJ TRAXX in the Smokies

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What DJs Should Do During the Reception

1. Look Professional – A DJ should always dress professionally by wearing a suit or tuxedo…no If ands or buts. Also the set up should be clean and not cluttered. Most weddings are elegant and classy and there is nothing like a unsuited DJ and wires showing everywhere to change the attended look.

2. Play your music – The DJ should play the type of music you favor along with a few songs that they know work for your group of guests.

3. Keep your reception going – Whether the DJ plays the right music, leads a few line dances, or has games your DJ needs to know how to keep the reception going from start to finish.

4. Have FUN – It’s okay for the DJ to look like they are having fun because a sad DJ is a poor DJ in my opinion.

5. LOOK out for you… the Bride and Groom – DJs should always look out for the best interest of the Bride and Groom, if they are not happy no one is going to be happy. The DJ should check in every now and then to see if there is anything they need. They should not bother the Bride and Groom constantly, however touching base doesn’t hurt either.

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Helpful Tips on Hiring a Wedding Disc Jockey

Wow! There are so many DJs out there that have great prices, tell Brides they are the best, and want to have your business before you even know what you want. Here are a few things to think about when you are wanting to hire a Disc Jockey at a Wedding Reception or Party event!

1. How do you know the DJ you are hiring is a professional and the DJ for you will make sure you actually talk to the DJ that will be performing at your event before you hire the Disc Jockey services. Many times you will talk to the head DJ who can sell water to a dolphin and may have the skills to DJ your event. The problem comes he/she may not be the one actually DJing your event. make sure you feel good about the DJ you talk to and that they seem to be a great fit for your event!

2. If you seem more knowledgeable than the DJ you are talking to about the event it will not matter the savings they might be able to save you because your event will NOT go well and YES I can guarantee it! Nothing is worse than hearing time and time again how bad a DJ was at an event and then finding out they got the cheapest one. Sometimes over a fifty dollar difference.

Look your guests deserve better as well as you do. Make sure that the DJ is one that can share professional ideas to enhance your event. That $50 or $100 you think you are saving at the time, yet are not completely sold the DJ is the one for your event, will seem like money you wish you would have spent on a better DJ. By that time it is way too late and EVERYBODY suffers.

Look at it this way. The extra money you are spending ($50 to $100) will be acting as an insurance policy on your event going off without a hitch. DO NOT get sucked into high priced DJ’s that offer a lot of bells and whistles that you may not even want, however it is what comes with their “package deal.” Do not get the cheapest DJ and don’t go with the most expensive. Go with your instinct and gut. If you feel awesome about the DJ then go with that DJ over trying to save a few measly bucks.

3. There are other things to think about, however the top 3 things to always think about when hiring a DJ is to find out if the company is reliable. What is their back up plan if they do not show or cannot make it. Get referrals. See what their word of mouth is. While I am typing this blog a great thought is to call around the area you are getting married and ask the event coordinator of that location who do they recommend.

Bottom line you want to gather enough information before you make your final decision and send in your deposit with the contract. Most events are a once in a lifetime event and you want it be an amazing experience.

If you have any other questions or need some help in your area call 865 207 6579 and I will be more than willing to help you out! Good luck with your event and have a wonderful day!

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