This Episode was brought to you by
Denver Baxter is The Party Touch entertainment service in Atlanta since 1986. With over 35 years of ‘proven’ experience, he can provide you and your guests with Atlanta’s most experienced entertainment service!
As the owner of The Party Touch entertainment services in metro Atlanta, Denver primarily provides professional disc jockey services for ALL types of “Special Events”. He provides entertainment for ‘corporate events’, ‘holiday parties’, ‘wedding receptions’, ‘birthday parties’, ‘Bar & Bat Mitzvah’s’, ‘sweet sixteen’, ‘retirement parties’, and any event that needs great music!
He has even done 3 ‘Celebration of Life’ ….funerals? Also a few ‘Divorce Parties’. For those of you that want to be sure your ‘location’ is seen, he has some LARGE ‘Bubble Machines’. Way better than the ‘fan blowing ‘Stick Men’! All of his reference letters are available upon request. He is “full time” and has been in this business in Atlanta since 1986. He actually started in 1976 in Daytona Beach Florida. A copy of a newspaper article that was done in 1977 when he was working as the “full time”, seven days a week D.J. in the largest, most popular nightclub in Daytona Beach.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:23] Welcome to Cherokee Business Radio Stone Payton here with you this morning. And today’s episode is brought to you in part by Elma Coffee. Sustainably grown, veteran, owned and direct trade, which means, of course, from seed to cup, there are no middlemen. Please go check them out at my Alma coffee and go visit their Roastery Cafe at 3448 Holly Springs Parkway in Canton. As for Harry or the brains of the outfit Leticia and please tell them that Stone sent you. You guys are in for a real treat this morning. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with the party touch. Mr. Denver Baxter. Good morning, sir.
Denver Baxter: [00:01:06] Good morning, Stone. Good to be.
Stone Payton: [00:01:08] Here. Oh, it’s a delight to have you in the studio, man. Okay. The party touch. Mission purpose. What are you guys out there trying to do for folks, ma’am?
Denver Baxter: [00:01:16] Well, just trying to get out there and play some music. I’ve been doing this for quite a long time here. I’ve been doing this since 1986, full time, believe it or not, here in Georgia.
Stone Payton: [00:01:27] Wow. So what’s the back story, man? How did you find yourself in this line of work?
Denver Baxter: [00:01:31] Well, I just kind of fell into it. I was in the corporate world doing world, doing sales and all kinds of other assorted things for a long time. And I finally just decided to let’s do something that I like to do and just kind of started the business back then and been doing it ever since, playing music for money.
Stone Payton: [00:01:52] So it was the first gig a little bit nerve racking, was it? I’m sure there was plenty you didn’t have figured out at that point.
Denver Baxter: [00:01:59] You know, I can’t remember that far back. I have no clue. But it’s never really been hard for me to get out there and do a little talking and other things.
Stone Payton: [00:02:09] Now, I suspect you are playing music that that particular crowd wants to hear. But as for you personally, is is there a genre that you’re really more fond of.
Denver Baxter: [00:02:18] Than definitely seventies classic rock? Yeah. Yeah, pretty much. Or before that, even as long as you can tell what there are here, what they’re saying. Right. And have instrumentation. And as long as it’s just good, good music, I’m not into rap. So don’t send me a rap gig, please. Although I can do it if I have to and I have done it. And you got to mix in everything because you never know what kind of crowd you’re going to get, so you’ve got to be able to read the crowd. And then on top of that, you’ve got to know like what music to, you know, what’s out there. I mean, I’ll never I’ll never forget the guy at the time, one of the young men I took out there. He came out to check me out. And I was thinking about working him into the fold, so to speak, to be one of my guys back in the day. And it was at the Cherokee Town Club, and he’s sitting there writing something down on a pad while I’m playing the music. You know, we’re in a, you know, Cherokee Town and Country Club. That’s nice.
Stone Payton: [00:03:16] Yeah. Yeah.
Denver Baxter: [00:03:17] And so he’s saying, wow, what’s that song?
Stone Payton: [00:03:19] What’s that song?
Denver Baxter: [00:03:21] And I said, You don’t know what this song is. He says, No, I never heard it. And it was, chances are, by Johnny Mathis, which, you know, maybe not everybody knows that song, of course. I mean. Right, right. But it’s just a story that I tell you. You’ve got to know music and you got to know all different types of music if you’re going to pull off a gig like that or any type of gig in front of people.
Stone Payton: [00:03:41] So I’m sure it’s a lot of fun. It is the work and I suspect like most things, including producing radio shows and running a network, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that most of us really don’t know or or understand it. It takes a while to to master that.
Denver Baxter: [00:03:59] No, just I don’t know. It just never was. It didn’t seem to be difficult for me to do it. I don’t know. I just kind of just do it.
Stone Payton: [00:04:06] So how do you prep for a gig? What do you if you know you’ve got a gig tomorrow night or the things that you do today and tomorrow to get ready?
Denver Baxter: [00:04:13] It depends on what the type what type of an event it is. If it’s a wedding gig. I always like to get the information at least a month before the wedding date, such as song list people who are going to make toast.
Stone Payton: [00:04:27] Oh, that’s.
Denver Baxter: [00:04:28] Right. Yeah. And whether or not you’re going to do the specific dances, father, daughter, all those kind of things, you got to prep that. You can’t just. Well, you can. I’ve done. Yeah, you can. But it’s not the best way to approach it. Does it go in cold? You need to have all that information written down. So I have forums and things and I talk with the brides and try to work with them to make sure that I’m doing what they want to do. Like if they give me a list of the last wedding I did, they had a long, long list of food for 4 hours and 15 was it 6 hours is a long list of music and we’re only there for 4 hours. I said this. This amount of songs will not fit in the time that you’re having me here. So sometimes you got to give them a little bit of a reality check there for weddings especially. But the most gigs, I just kind of go out and just play it by ear and I’ve been doing it so long, I just read the crowd and take requests and just make it happen.
Stone Payton: [00:05:22] You’ve got to build all that in. Right. And they’re counting on you. They’re looking to you for your expertize and managing the flow of things and when to do the requests. And you’ve got to work in that. The father daughter dance. And you’re staying on top of all that because they’re they’re busy enjoying the day.
Denver Baxter: [00:05:37] Right. Exactly. Pretty much. I’m like a wedding coordinator now. There are specific people out there that do do a good job as wedding coordinators. But I kind of do it like that because back in the back, in the day when I started out, there weren’t a lot of real wedding coordinators. Not a lot of them out there like there are now and so on. The facilities, usually the facilities would do their own coordination and to make things happen behind the scene. But they started to like me a lot because I’d go in there and I’d already have my own format that I made up. Nice, which the bride is welcome to follow or not follow. But I’d go in there and everybody would know what was going on and I’d kind of make the flow happen. When do we cut the cake? I needed the bouquet toss, blah, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff. So I’m kind of like coordinated and.
Stone Payton: [00:06:24] Dj So what’s the most rewarding part, man? What do you enjoy the most?
Denver Baxter: [00:06:29] I haven’t seen people have fun.
Stone Payton: [00:06:31] Yeah.
Denver Baxter: [00:06:32] Have fun. Listen to good music. That’s you. That’s the most rewarding part, especially now with the seniors that I do. A lot of the seniors.
Stone Payton: [00:06:39] Oh, okay. Yeah. Say more about.
Denver Baxter: [00:06:41] That. Yeah. Doing a lot of the senior assisted. Well I hate to say it’s not assisted just senior facilities, senior residences which are all different levels of that as you probably know.
Stone Payton: [00:06:53] Right.
Denver Baxter: [00:06:54] And so, you know, we go in there and we make them happy, make them smile. Sometimes we make them dance. I don’t make them dance. I don’t make I don’t get out there with the prod and say you’re going to dance or anything like that. But just by playing the right music and again knowing what music to play and what’s going to work, and sometimes taking requests, although they’re not really big into request most of the time, but just knowing what to play, reading the crowd, asking them where they’re from, just little tricks. And I’m not going to say on the air, I’ve learned over the.
Stone Payton: [00:07:26] Years trade secrets.
Denver Baxter: [00:07:27] Trade secrets. So I’m not telling you any of those trade secrets.
Stone Payton: [00:07:30] You have to. By the book.
Denver Baxter: [00:07:31] Yes, by the book. The book’s available for $199.95 free shipping.
Stone Payton: [00:07:39] All right. So all right. So weddings, these these senior facilities. And then I’m operating under the impression if I wanted to throw a big party for all of our studio partners and the business radio network.
Denver Baxter: [00:07:51] I could do it today.
Stone Payton: [00:07:52] We could do it. I could hire you and you do your thing.
Denver Baxter: [00:07:55] I’ll be back in 20 minutes with the equipment. What would you use? Yours.
Stone Payton: [00:08:00] All right, so everything I know about hiring a professional deejay service, you could stick in your eye and still see out. Okay, so help. Help me and the other laypeople out there. What are some considerations? What are some things we should be thinking about? What are some questions maybe that we should ask someone that we’re considering engaging for this?
Denver Baxter: [00:08:22] Well, you know, I’ll tell you one thing. I’m a big kick off. I got a big thing. And how you want to phrase I don’t know if I’m using the right terminology, but a lot of a lot of people that are out there doing DJ thing, like I’m doing this type of DJ thing that I’m doing is that I don’t think that they have the proper insurance and I think I’m losing a lot of gigs because a lot of people are asking, you know, they’re on their they’re on these pages on Facebook, look who’s the DJ, who’s a DJ. And I’m looking at these guys. I mean, some of them don’t even they don’t even look professional in their setups or anything when I go to their if they have a web page, but they certainly don’t have a Coai certificate of insurance, which is very, very important. You need to be insured doing this business. Most of the facilities require it. But a lot of these guys, I’d be willing to bet that if any of the people that are looking to hire a DJ, they should always ask, first of all, do you have a certificate of insurance and take it a step beyond because the insurance companies that you’re insured with are supposed to and will send you out to Coai in an email basis. So you know that they’re not just taking somebody else’s COI paperwork and redoing it. So that’s very important to to know that the person has insurance. And then, of course, you have to see if the person has references. And a lot of times I see in websites on my competitor’s websites you see on there, we danced all night, had a great time. And then you see Susie and Harry. Well, let’s see. Wonder who Susie and Harry are. You know, it’s stone. I’ve got over 150 reference letters that go back. Yes, I’m old or older, but I have a letter that goes back to some of your listeners out there. May remember this Eastern Airlines. I don’t know. Have you ever heard of Eastern Airlines?
Stone Payton: [00:10:23] Yeah. I’m older, too. Too, so, yes, I do.
Denver Baxter: [00:10:26] So back in the day, that was one of the big players, Eastern Airlines. And, you know, I’ve got a letter that goes back to that time, and this is actually a typed full letter and signed by a person, not a made up quote on letterhead. So a lot of my reference reference letters are on letterhead. And yes, competitors out there, yes, they’re older reference letters. But I do have the experience and that proves it there. And then it goes back to prove that. And there are over 150 of those available. So if somebody wants to see them, I can certainly provide that. So it’s good to check the references and see I don’t know. What am I forgetting? I don’t know.
Stone Payton: [00:11:06] Well, no, I think I’m might have had the presence of mind to ask for some references or at least go look on the on the website. It would have never occurred to me to ask about insurance, right? It would never have even occurred to me.
Denver Baxter: [00:11:19] To most people that don’t doesn’t. And I don’t think most of the competitors out there actually push that.
Stone Payton: [00:11:25] Right. Well not have it.
Denver Baxter: [00:11:27] I you think maybe. Could that possibly be the reason. I don’t.
Stone Payton: [00:11:32] Know. Well so it sounds like it can be kind of what’s the word kind of a crowded space. A lot of folks out there purporting to deliver this service. How does the whole sales and marketing thing work for a guy like you? How do you how do you get the new business?
Denver Baxter: [00:11:50] Well, I most of my business has, as always, been primarily word of mouth from people that have used my service in the past, just developing it up up from that. And it still continues to be that way. Unfortunately, it’s not as effective these days, but that’s how it’s generally been. I’ve tried to write in publications and I didn’t work lots of money out the window. Yeah, back in the day when they actually had, you know, paper magazines. I remember those.
Stone Payton: [00:12:24] Days.
Intro: [00:12:25] Yeah.
Denver Baxter: [00:12:26] So but now it’s word of mouth and we’re just trying to get out there and get the word out. And people see me at events and they like what I do. And it’s like other DJs too. Sometimes they like the other styles of other DJs and you know, so.
Intro: [00:12:39] Yeah.
Denver Baxter: [00:12:39] I’m not the only one out there doing.
Stone Payton: [00:12:41] It right.
Denver Baxter: [00:12:42] But I’m the best.
Stone Payton: [00:12:43] There you go. But no, I mean, you’ve stood the test of time. Obviously, you’ve been a successful businessperson. So let’s shift gears here a little bit. You talk about being in business in general. A lot of our listenership, the people who tap into to our content, they’re either entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs. So I’d love to hear a little bit about in the early going, getting this thing off the ground. And any counsel that you might have about just just running a small business and, you know, keeping keeping things afloat and and even prosperous, you know, lessons lessons learned or, you know, maybe there’s Denver’s three dudes and three don’ts when it comes to to to run a business. Or maybe you’ve made a mistake or two that you felt like.
Denver Baxter: [00:13:31] You really never, never, never, never. Maybe not any of those happen. Ever. Never.
Intro: [00:13:37] I’m perfect.
Stone Payton: [00:13:39] But are there some disciplines that you live by or something? Everything from the way you manage the the money and to, you know, how you how you do try to present yourself to the. To the community.
Denver Baxter: [00:13:53] Hmm. I’d have to think about that. You’re stumping me.
Stone Payton: [00:13:59] That’s all.
Denver Baxter: [00:13:59] Right. It’s too early.
Stone Payton: [00:14:02] But surely there are some things that you do to make sure that you do have consistent flow of business, and that when you do get the business, you’re managing properly and you’re you’re keeping the client happy.
Denver Baxter: [00:14:11] I just try to, you know, keep in touch with the client as best as possible. And when they, you know, sometimes they don’t return phone calls or or get forms back to me when they need to, especially especially for like, let’s say, wedding market. We like to get forms back, at least in information back from brides and grooms, whoever, parents, whatever. Usually it’s the bride. Get things back from them at least a month before their wedding date. Oh, well, sometimes we get the brides out there that don’t adhere to that, and sometimes we get it, you know, a week before, and sometimes we don’t get it at all. Sometimes we get it a day before. We just try to keep on and on top of things. From the experience that I’ve had, you know, doing this so long, does it keep keep track of what’s going on and make sure that things happen the way that they’re they should happen? I guess is is the biggest thing I can think of right off the.
Stone Payton: [00:15:08] Top of my head. But no, but that’s just it kind of goes back to having repeatable processes and transferable tools. You have a system bringing you really. You do. You may not have thought about it in those terms, but clearly you do.
Denver Baxter: [00:15:22] True. Yes.
Stone Payton: [00:15:22] And that helps you, you know, keep everything nice and organized and deliver the best experience for these folks.
Denver Baxter: [00:15:28] That’s true. Yeah. Over the years, I’ve designed forums and things that I use that weren’t out there in the business when. When I started to make things go smoother, smoothly, smoother. Does that work smoother?
Stone Payton: [00:15:43] Sure.
Denver Baxter: [00:15:44] I’ve had a smoothie. Not recently anyway. Just try to just get the paperwork is a big part of it, making sure that things are in order. Nowadays. We don’t do paper, do we?
Stone Payton: [00:16:00] Well, not as much, but I. I have actually made a commitment to myself because, as you might imagine, there are a lot of behind the scenes processes and tools that we use in producing all the shows that we do across the network. So we have the we have the Breaks Academy, the business radio kind of playbook.
Denver Baxter: [00:16:18] Okay.
Stone Payton: [00:16:18] But I’ve recently begun a new project of Stones playbook, and I’m going to encourage all of our studio partners like John over at North Pole. You know, it would be nice, I think, if all of our studio partners could tap in and they could see John’s playbook and Stones playbook and Roger’s playbook and Karen’s playbook and.
Denver Baxter: [00:16:35] Oh, yeah, okay. So good idea. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:16:38] I don’t know. I find even on simple things like how to reach out and invite someone to to participate on a show, or if we’re bringing on a business development client, getting some information from them on the front end so that we can help them mold a show that’s going to serve them. And it sounds like you’re doing all that you just said. It’s so natural to you now. You’ve been doing it for so long. All this kind of stuff is just. It’s just. It’s just. It’s part of you.
Denver Baxter: [00:17:03] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sorry. I can’t answer the question. Well, you did answer it.
Stone Payton: [00:17:07] No. Oh, you.
Intro: [00:17:07] Did.
Stone Payton: [00:17:09] So tell me about what you do in your downtime. Yeah. Where do you go to kind of recharge and refresh? Do you do you read? Do you travel? You hunt, fish? What’s your thing?
Denver Baxter: [00:17:22] Nada. No, not right now. I used to do traveling back in the day, you know, spend my money going like to Mexico and different.
Intro: [00:17:31] Places.
Denver Baxter: [00:17:33] Hanging out in Acapulco, Cozumel a little bit in Puerto Vallarta, just like to get away. But now, you know, lately I haven’t been doing that. I’m just trying to keep this business going. And that’s that’s what I’m trying to do. So most of my time is just really in the business. I hate to say, you know, it’s not a lot of not a lot of fun time going on lately, not not my trips anymore. So I kind of miss that. But we’re just trying to get this get get things going and make people happy with music.
Stone Payton: [00:18:01] But but it is fun time for you. I mean, you clearly enjoy the work.
Denver Baxter: [00:18:05] It’s yeah, yeah. I like what I do, what I.
Stone Payton: [00:18:08] Do. You’ve cracked that code for it. You know, you read in the books or you’ll hear a motivational speaker about find something that you love to do and you won’t you won’t really be working. So do it.
Denver Baxter: [00:18:19] All the networking.
Stone Payton: [00:18:20] Do you really?
Denver Baxter: [00:18:21] Well, you know, you see me out there.
Stone Payton: [00:18:22] I do. I do. And I’ve got to be honest, I’m not that much of a networker, at least until I moved to Woodstock. I there are two groups here that I try to make a point of hanging out with. One is young professionals of Woodstock. Now, why in the world? Why in the world? They let me in that group.
Denver Baxter: [00:18:43] I don’t I don’t know. I don’t know. Well, how.
Stone Payton: [00:18:45] Did you pull that off? So apparently it’s not a very high bar to clear for for young. But it’s a great group of folks. It’s a little different dynamic. As you probably will know. It’s not a typical kind of networking thing. It’s a more intimate kind of get to know people on a personal level, get together. Plenty of business happens, right? But it’s not the, you know, hey ho, give me your business card. What do you do? Elevator speech thing? It’s not that environmental and I really enjoy it. We get together over there at. At the circuit.
Denver Baxter: [00:19:15] The circuit. Okay. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:19:17] And when Holly and I moved here last year, we bought a little patio home, literally across the street from the circuit. So I just walk over there on Thursday morning.
Denver Baxter: [00:19:25] Oh, easy, easy.
Stone Payton: [00:19:26] And I get me a cup of coffee there at the Circle of Friends. I love what they’re doing. There’s a circle of friends. And then I hang out a while and I’m always a little bit late because I get involved in a conversation over there. I’m a little bit late in my walking down to the Woodstock Business Club that we and we do that at 830 on on Thursdays.
Denver Baxter: [00:19:49] Have you seen me? Either one of those.
Stone Payton: [00:19:50] I feel like I have, but maybe I have. I see you somewhere. I see you at the whiskey and cigar thing.
Denver Baxter: [00:19:55] You see me at those.
Stone Payton: [00:19:56] You don’t miss a whiskey and.
Denver Baxter: [00:19:57] No, I don’t know those. I don’t tend to a miss. But you’re not going to see me in the morning gigs. Oh, okay.
Stone Payton: [00:20:03] So, no, no mourning.
Denver Baxter: [00:20:04] No, no, no. I know a lot of you guys, a lot of friends of mine that are at the morning events, which, yes, I should be there. And I always think maybe I’m going to do it this week.
Stone Payton: [00:20:14] But you’re an entertainer, man.
Denver Baxter: [00:20:16] You get a pass. I just yeah, I’m not I’m not a real good morning in person and things.
Stone Payton: [00:20:21] But I’m sure you found I certainly this has been my experience that the and again historically I’m not a networking guy candidly when I want to meet someone, I invite them on one of the shows.
Denver Baxter: [00:20:32] That’s a good.
Stone Payton: [00:20:33] Way, right? I mean, that’s part of what we deliver for our business development clients. But again, both of those groups that are so collaborative, they’re so supportive of each other, even people from the same industry, you’ll have people you’ll have people from the same arena, genuinely just, you know, trying to learn from each other and trying to help each other out. There’s plenty of business out there for everybody, and there’s a real abundance within. In both of those groups and obviously I’ve come to enjoy that. So outside of that, I’m not really a networking guy, but I, I love this community and I love those two groups.
Denver Baxter: [00:21:05] Yeah, well, I’m not really a net. I can’t. Maybe I’m said the wrong thing. I’m not a big networking guy, but I do networking because I think it’s a means to an end and I try to. Sure. I got to get my name out there somehow. And advertising is just don’t have the big budgets to do these kind of advertising budgets and things. So I go out and try to meet people one on one and let them know who I am and hopefully they like me, I hope. And then maybe they’ll they’ll refer me. So some of it has paid off for the network. And you got to just keep going. You got to keep networking, keep networking, keep your keep your face out there and try to meet people and let them kind of know what you do. Yeah, sometimes I may abuse that as far as passing out the business cards a lot. Let’s see, I have about 300 with me today. How many do you need?
Stone Payton: [00:21:53] Well, if you become a community partner, we’ll put it in the official talk show radio mug.
Denver Baxter: [00:21:57] Oh, let’s do it.
Stone Payton: [00:21:58] That’s. That’s the new program here for our community partners. So, yeah, we were talking before we came on air. We don’t give these mugs out willy nilly. You have to have to be a guest and do a good job.
Denver Baxter: [00:22:11] And this is a good mug here, ladies and gentlemen. This is one of the better ones that I have seen as a giveaway. This is very nice. It has the logo on it. It’s big. It’s got the slant sides a little bit. It holds a lot of coffee or in my case, something else.
Stone Payton: [00:22:29] See? There you go. There’s another revenue stream for you. Could be a spokesperson.
Denver Baxter: [00:22:34] I could. I’m ready. Who wants me for a spokesperson? Let’s do it.
Stone Payton: [00:22:41] All right, before we wrap, let’s make sure that.
Denver Baxter: [00:22:43] We wrap.
Stone Payton: [00:22:44] In. Yeah, unless you got more to say. Hey, what else.
Denver Baxter: [00:22:46] Do they have? Hey. Hey.
Stone Payton: [00:22:48] I thought you didn’t. Oh, not that wrap. Before we conclude our cover. That kind of wrap? Yeah, yeah. No, I want to make sure that our listeners know how to get in touch with you. If they want to have a conversation with you, or maybe send them to the right place on a website, whatever is appropriate for you LinkedIn, website, email, phone, whatever is. Thank you. Yeah.
Denver Baxter: [00:23:09] Well, I am on LinkedIn, been on LinkedIn quite a while. Primarily just look me up on, you know, do an email. I mean do a.
Intro: [00:23:21] Hello.
Denver Baxter: [00:23:22] First. Before you do your email, you might want to find me. So you would probably want to go to my website. It’s my company is called the party touch so the website is the party touch dot com and I’m going to apologize. My website was designed by me not very well, so I will say that. And so if anyone like to sign a website and help a help a deejay, a nice guy like me, a veteran, by the way, help me out and design a website for me. I’m looking forward to your calling me up. But the party touch is my company. The party touch dot com and you can find me on Facebook also on the party touch.
Stone Payton: [00:24:00] Fantastic. Well, thanks for coming in and hanging out with us.
Denver Baxter: [00:24:03] Well, thank you, man. Yeah, Peyton. Thanks. It’s been great. I had fun.
Stone Payton: [00:24:06] All right, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Denver Baxter with the party touch and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you next time on Cherokee Business Radio.