Brides Rave About Bill Howard!!
“Bill Howard” Puts Entertainment Into The Disc Jockey Industry With A Dick Clark-Type Personality! His Fame Started As The Top D.J. At Bobby Mcgees Night Club When People Would Wait In Line For 2 Hours To Get In On Tuesday Nights. He Continued To Gain Popularity By Working At Numerous Radio Stations Like Wkcq, Wxox, And Wcen Until His Touring Schedule Became So Demanding That He Could No Longer Be “On The Air”. Bill Is Now Known As The Premiere D.J. For Wedding Receptions, Night Clubs, High Schools, Colleges, Conventions, Parties, And Company Dinner Dances.
Whether Performing For Over 2000 People At National Conventions, A Small Wedding Reception Of 50 People, Or For Wiog Radio Station’s Annual Christmas Party, He Knows The Right Type Of Music To Keep All Ages Dancing And Having Fun. Bill Uses Hundreds Of Compact Discs, Records, And Tapes Along With State-Of-The-Art Professional Sound Equipment To Deliver The Best And Most Diversified Sound Possible. He Always Welcomes Requests From The Dance Floor. But It’s His Charm And Charismatic Personality That Makes Him The Exceptional D.J.
DJ Bill Howard – Willowbrook Mill Wedding
Photos above courtesy of Dan Stewart Photography
The Congregational Summer Assembly in Frankfort, MI used to hire Bands & DJs from Dean at Rusch Entertainment in the 70s-80s-90s for the Tuesday night teen dances every week in their assembly hall from 7-9 pm The dances ran June-Aug. The CEYX Band would always kick off by performing the first and last dances of the summer. This turned out to be a showcase for the CEYX band, since many of the teens would go back to high school in Livonia, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, etc. and then hire the CEYX band to perform at their homecomings & proms. In the early 90s, Rusch Entertainment started to book DJs for some of the CSA dances. Bill Howard was one of their favorite DJs. In the summer of 2017, Ginanne Brownell Mitic, called Rusch Entertainment to book Bill Howard for their DJ for their 1st Reunion Party called: Adult “Teen” Dance on July 28, 2017. She is now a Journalist in London. After the dance, Dean asked Ginanne: How much FUN was the reunion party? She replied: super fun, we loved it! We may do it again!! Best, Ginanne
The adult “teen” dance Congregational Summer Assembly
By Ginanne Brownell Mitic July 2017
The Tuesday night teen dance memories of my youth have congealed together in my head. I can’t remember one specific night per se but I remember certain distinct moments. Like, I can recall Tim Royle, wearing a green and white Benetton rugby, getting really excited when the opening beats of a Police song—maybe it was the remixed version of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” or maybe it was “King of Pain”—blasted through the speakers. I also remember, years later, grabbing his sister, Megan (Carrella), and our friends Martha Errthum (Evans) Sarah Brown, Molly Bazzani (Campbell) and other friends as we headed for the middle of the dance floor when Moby Disc (aka Bill Howard), popped on a song like Erasure’s “A Little Respect.”
After my freshman year of college, when I should have had one foot vaguely planted into adulthood, I still went to the teen dances partly because my younger friends were still going and also because it still remained the place to get the best gossip for who was dating who and what was going to be happening after the dance. Each week the teen dance was social Mecca for my generation—and for many generations before and after me. “When you’re a teen up north for the summer, you have the occasional bonfire, maybe you’re lucky enough to stay out late and go to the drive in, or tell your parents you’re going to the drive-in just to stay out later, but those Tuesday nights were a great excuse for everyone to be out between 9-11,” recalled Andy Campbell. “And you got to get down too. If you like music and enjoy dancing, which I do, having a once a week venue to do that? Pretty sweet.”
Judy Stewart Rodes recalled that as a 12-year-old, she could not wait to be 13 so she could attend the teen dances back in the early and mid-1960s. “It was super crowded,” she told me in an email, “and I remember it being very hot and swimming in the lake after.” She says the songs she most looked forward to—which were played by local bands—were ones by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, especially “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Judy, like many teen girls and boys from all generations who attended teen dances, also said she remembered taking time deciding what to wear. That was especially important if you had a crush that you knew would also be attending the dance.
Back in the earlier days of the teen dances (post-record players and pre-DJs), it was all about local bands that would come and play. “The teen dances I attended were 1965-1969, and were absolutely mobbed,” recalled Jep Gruman. “Young people from as far as Glen Lake, Torch Lake and Petoskey would come down for them, have picnics on the Crystal beach or in the woods by the ball field. Glenn Schulz would try to discourage beer, but usually to no avail. The State Police parked their cars at the Crystal View. The ball field was filled with cars. The music was VERY loud and kids were dancing out among the cars.” He says he remembers cover songs being played like “Light My Fire” by The Doors, “Summer in the City” by Lovin Spoonful and “Wild Thing” by the Troggs.
Dean Rusch, who owns the Freeland-based Rusch Entertainment (the company that Bill Howard still works for) asked me in an email: “Do you remember Jim Buzzell? He started hiring my band CEYX in the summer of 1971 and we played through the early 1980s, then switched to the DJ format.” It was likely CEYX who would play songs like Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” that Holly Freeburg recalls almost literally bringing the Assembly building down back in the early-1970s. “Everyone was stomping on the floor so hard that there was talk of having to shore it up,” she said. “I can’t hear that song today without smiling and thinking about going to the teen dance.”
Jim Buzzell was a fixture at the teen dances for generations, stamping people’s hands when they came in and he somehow had a sixth sense if people were getting up to something they weren’t supposed to be getting up to. He had some sort of internal honing device and could miraculously track where to find what was not supposed to be happening. In the 1980s and 1990s admission was $2, but often people, if they knew the right people, could sneak in—a teenage version of getting on a VIP list at a popular club. “When I was on the CSA staff I worked at the door to collect the cover charge,” recalls Beth Congbalay. “Two friends (who will remain nameless), always got in for free. I felt a little bad about that but they were CSA kids too and we were very loyal to our friends.”
Over the last few years, some CSA friends and I would joke about setting up an adult “teen” dance, with the two major components being it had to be held when most of our friends be up and finding Bill Howard, who seemingly had his finger on the pulse of 1980s and 1990s music. Molly Bazzani recalled his name and Megan Carrella remembered he was based in Bay City. A few searches on Google later and I found Rusch Entertainment. When contacted, Dean Rusch told me that Bill, when he found out the CSA wanted to hold a nostalgic “teen” dance on Friday July 28, he cancelled the wedding he was booked to DJ that Saturday in Detroit so he could come spin the tunes for us.
Though the dances petered off in the early 2000s when young people wanted to hang out more in the parking lot and chat, the teen dances still had some solid years in the mid and late 1990s as well. “Songs like ‘Feels Good’ by Toni, Toni, Toni, the “Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground, and “Poison” by Bel Biv Devo were mainstays,” recalled Andy Campbell. “Super Sonic” by Salt ‘N Peppa always got Sarah Brown going. In 1993 “Daisy Dukes” was a big jam, and anything by Naughty by Nature was in the mix. ‘Rump Shaker’ by Wreck’n Effect always put me in a good mood. As always Moby Disc would finish with ‘You Spin me Round’ by Dead or Alive. Lots of folks at the CSA don’t like change and somehow he understood that and closed every dance with that song regardless of year.”
Jep recalled that the fun of the dances did not stop when the bands packed up their equipment: “After the dances a bunch of us would go up onto the knoll above the Crystal View and play music (guitars), or go down to the CSA Michigan beach for a bonfire for more guitars and singing and star gazing…we would sing Donovan or Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Tom Rush, Joni Mitchell, not the pop music we’d just been dancing to. Not so much pairing off but rather as a large pile of puppies. Then wandering back to the cottage, darkly, without flashlights because it was not cool to have a flashlight. Somehow we were supposed to find our way without them… lots of stubbed toes!” The songs may have changed over the generations but the fun times that have been had, and the memories made are one of those great continuities of the CSA. Here’s to more memories being made on the 28th!
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It, Read What Past Customers Have Said About “Bill Howard”!
Bill did a great job!! Great music, he played stuff that people wanted.. kept the party going until midnight when we had to shut it down.. My wedding was great💕 I would recommend Rusch Entertainment!! Thank you 😊
Tanyal & Brian
Everything when great…. everyone loved Bill. He was very personal and great with the everyone!!! Man was that photo booth a hit!! I’m very happy we did that and she was great. The book she made was amazing. I keep looking threw it… thank you for everything and I will recommend you guys for anything!!!! Thanks again! (Bill Did my Sister’s wedding, too and was great with the names and knew what to play) We Loved it!
Jeanette& Jacob, Merrill MI – The wedding of my dreams – Jonesfield Township Hall
Dean, Bill was the DJ for our wedding reception, and he was fantastic. He played “Let it Go” for our flower girls while everyone else was eating dinner…twice… and they loved it. He chose great music and really played to the crowd, and a lot of people told us what a great job he did. Bill was professional, funny, and great to work with. We felt that we got a great value for our money, and I would recommend Bill and Rusch Entertainment to anyone for their wedding reception.
Laura and Matt Maiers – Dow Diamond, Midland
Party was awesome. Our DJ did a great job. We were very happy with everything and he was very professional. Awesome experience. Over 120 people!
Samantha & Chas – Outside wedding in Kawkawlin, MI
Bill was just the best! He interacted well with all ages and really got the kids out there for all of the games. We look forward to another event with him.
Bill did a great job he was very personable and played great songs for the kids to dance to. Played a lot of up tempo songs which kept the kids dancing.
Bill did an excellent job. he played the music we selected and had the crowd out on the dance floor all night. I had compliments from our floor all night. I still have compliments from our guests saying what a great job our DJ did.
Wedding at V.F.W.
Bill was great. He was recommended from the Miller Wedding. He did an outstanding job- very personable and great support. We will certainly recommend him to our friends.
Wedding Reception Horizons
Bill Howard did an excellent job. We were very happy with everything he did.
Wedding – Valley Plaza
Bill was absolutely amazing and did a great job in Alpena! When we had a couple curve balls thrown in he figured them out and made sure I was calm and knew it was all going to work out!! He had everyone dancing and took a lot of requests as well! He was wonderful to have around! Would recommend him! Thank you for everything!!
Thank you!! And he was wonderful!!! Made the party fantastic! I have a survey at home I will try and remember to return ASAP! Thanks for all of your help with my DJ and photobooth- it wouldn’t of been as perfect of a night w/o you guys!!!
Hi Bill! Our Staff Sure Enjoyed You! Heard Several Nice Comments From Them And One Even Said, He’s The Best D.J. I’ve Ever Heard! Thanks Again.
Carla, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth
Dear Sir: Bill Howard Was Fantastic! He Was Personable, Cooperative And Very Professional. His Selection Of Music Was Just What We Had Requested And More People Danced At This Years Party Than In The Past. Thank You For Recommending Him.
Jay Gardner, St. Charles Community Education Co-Director
Dear Bill Howard, You Were Great. Thanks So Much For Putting On A Successful Nite. So Many People Were Asking Who You Were And Believe Me We Bragged!!
Thanks Again, Sherll & Gerry Cortal
Dear Mr. Rusch, We Were Very Pleased With Bill Howard. We Had A Profitable Evening And Many Compliments. We Just Wanted To Express Our Appreciation.
Sincerely, Wendy Schneider, Three Rivers High School
Dear Bill: Thanks For Doing Such A Great Job At Our Wedding. I Just Can’t Thank You Enough For For Making Everyone Feel So Comfortable And For Doing Such A Professional Job. If I Can Ever Be Used As A Reference, Please Tell Anyone To Call Me At School.
Dean Richards, Western Intermediate School, Auburn
Bill, You Did A Great Job! We Love To Dance And Dance We Did! We Really Had A High Energy Group. Thank You For Making It A Great Party!
Randy & Sharon
Jim & I Want To Say Thanks For Doing Such A Great Job At Our Wedding. Everyone Thought The Music Was Great! Thanks Again!
Jim & Lisa Goss, Bay City
Bill, I Just Want To Thank You For Doing A Super Job. Everyone Enjoyed The Music You Played. Hope You Had A Good Time!
Tom & Cindy Herman
Dear Bill, Thank You For The Great Job You Did At The Country Club. It Was The Best Party All Year.
Russ & Candy Kelly, Cadillac, Mi
Bill Howard Was Superior. He Was Talked About Long After The Dance Was Over – Great Job – Fun.
Rebecca Brown, Grayling High School
Bill Did An Excellent Job. We Would Recommend Him Anytime
Mr. & Mrs Mark Kushion, Clio, Mi
Keith’s Fraternity & Laurie’s Sorority Really Enjoyed Bill Howard. He Had The Dance Floor Occupied All Evening. The Music Was Enjoyed By All.
Mrs. Bennett, Bay City
The Music Selection Was Excellent And The Bouquet & Toss, Bridal Dances, Etc.. Were Handled In A Professional And Enjoyable Manner. All Of Our Quests Had A Great Time. Bill Howard Has A Great Personality. I Would Definitely Recommend This D.J. To Anyone Who Wants To Make Their Special Occasion – Extra – Special!
Hey….I wanted to tell you what a fantastic job Bill Howard did at Ashleigh & Brandon’s wedding, that I shot. What a great time everyone had…. with him as the DJ. Everyone was on the dance floor tearing it up….he kept the crowd moving and I so appreciated it because of the great photos I got from it!! He kept the music hopping and everyone was entertained by his energy and crowd pleasing comments……what a guy….I loved him as the DJ!! I would love to have him at any of my future weddings…. Here are a few photos, I took: Thanks again for referring him to my bride!!
Kathy Kulhanek, Photos by Kathy Sue
We thought Bill was just great! He played every single song we wanted to hear. I always hate when you go to a wedding and the DJ is talking the whole time! Bill talked when he needed to and kept the dance floor packed with people! He was very fun and also got the crowd involved, which is what I wanted! I like dance and hip-hop music while my husband is the complete opposite. My husband likes rock and alternative music. Bill played the perfect mixture of songs so that we were both happy and also our guests! I even had a CD of my own “elevator music” that I wanted to be played during dinnertime and he made it happen! We were very pleased with Rusch Entertainment!
Jessica/Jonathan Johnston, Wedding at the Temple Theatre
It was very beautiful. He was an awesome DJ, played a mix of music for young and old and kept the crowd going. We were very impressed with him, as were my guests. We have heard many great things, like “it was the most fun we have had at a wedding” and “that DJ was great”! And Kathy’s pictures turned out beautiful, overall the DJ, photographer, and videographer helped make our special day perfect! Thanks for the awesome service, we definitely will recommend RUSCH to anyone we know getting married!
Ashleigh & Brandon Wilga