Welcome to The Cowboy Beat Country Music in Danbury

Welcome to The Cowboy Beat Alan's Gazette online!

What is The Cowboy Beat?

Country Music in Danbury Line Dancing in Danbury The Cowboy Beat in Stamford Why THE COWBOY BEAT? It has been 12 long years since our last edition. We thought it was   

about time  to keep up with times and bring back this legendary publication.

THE COWBOY BEAT AND IT'S SISTER PUBLICATION ALAN'S GAZETTE will inform you the Country Fan as well as the Country Dancer, with all the happenings in the Country Music and Dance in local tri state area. We hope you will enjoy this publication online same as you did when the Cowboy Beat was distributed years ago throughout the Tri State Area. 

And now this publication is online only a click away for all your Country Music and Dance Needs.

Also, dance cruises, dance weekends, Country Festivals, and our local dance venues will be advertised in The Cowboy Beat as well as Alan's Gazette.  Enjoy! 

Generate excitement

 

 

Mobile Profile: For Connecticut DJ, Country Is Cool

By William H. White | January 8, 2015


Danbury,  Conn. – It all started in 1991. At the time, Alan Kohn, operating as  Premier Entertainment, was working for an El Torito in Danbury,  supplying DJs for the Mexican restaurant/bar. The Top-40-format venue  was looking for a new club promotion, so Kohn suggested a “Dirty  Dancing” theme. Management liked the idea, and ran it successfully for  six months. After running its course, the GM asked Kohn for another  promotion. He said he needed a few days to think about it.

That  weekend, he was DJing a wedding in Southbury, Conn., when a few guests  came over to his console and asked for Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low  Places.”
Kohn’s reply: “Who’s Garth Brooks?”
A guest went to his  car and retrieved a cassette. “I played the song and I noticed that 40  guests were doing a couples dance called the El Paso,” recalls Kohn. “A  light bulb went off in my head. Could there be something to this? I  started asking questions about this country dancing, and the guests told  me that a venue in Milford called Ellery’s was doing country dancing a  few times a week.”

That Tuesday, he went to Ellery’s and walked  inside as Clarence Carter’s “Strokin’” blasted from the club speakers.  “I thought, ‘This can’t be hard to do,’” says Kohn. “As I sat through  the night and witnessed…, it was very interesting, to say the least. The  DJ was playing music I had never heard before. There were not a lot of  country dances in 1991.”

 next day, Kohn called country radio  station WWYZ in Waterbury, and asked to speak to a sales rep. “I was  very impressed with the number of households listening to country  music,” he says.
Kohn set an appointment with El Torito, and on that  Friday he pitched the GM on his country-music idea. The GM, fearing that  the idea would turn his restaurant into the laughing stock of Danbury,  was skeptical. Kohn asked him to try it for 30 days.

 On  opening night, Kohn hired a country band (The Texas Outlaws), a dance  instructor and a DJ. “That first night,” he recalls, “we had 450  people—that was my start.”
Since then, Kohn has been a Connecticut  cowboy, an ambassador of the belt-and-boot boogie, not only booking  70-percent of Premier’s gigs in country theme bars and restaurants, but  also organizing more than 40 country-dance weekends in the Catskill  Mountains and the first Country Dance Cruise (in 1992). He’s even opened  concerts for the likes of Brooks and Dunn, Hank Williams, Jr., and  Marty Stuart.

“Believe it or not,” says Kohn, “Connecticut is the country-line-dance capital on the East Coast—hard to believe, but true.”

Kohn  says country music has been on the rise for the last five years. “It  has gone mainstream, thanks to artists like Carrie Underwood, Taylor  Swift, Kenny Chesney and Florida Georgia Line,” he says. “Reality shows  on TV have really helped and, of course, social media.”
Kohn points  to a club in Stamford called BarBQ. “There may be 500 to 600 customers  ranging from 22 to 35, and they are singing the lyrics to [Frankie  Ballard’s] ‘Sunshine and Whiskey’ and [Luke Bryan’s] ‘Play It Again’ and  many more country tunes. BarBQ is surrounded by four bars and it  happens to be the No. 1 bar in Stamford.”
 

 

Granted,  there are still challenges to being a country DJ in Connecticut. “There  is still the perception for brides and grooms to back off from hiring  you for their wedding,” he says. “Sometimes the first thought is, ‘I  don’t want that Yee Haw at my wedding.’ But country is mainstream enough  today where that’s not a big deal.”

Premier,  a multi-system operation that Kohn started in 1983, books about  15-percent weddings and 10-percent corporate, in addition to 70-percent  of the bar/restaurants—in which he leads dances like All About the Bass,  Timber, Dem Jeans, Talk Dirty, Bye Bye Bye and Shoop.

“The  latest country-dance phenomenon is Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’” says  Kohn. “It is the hottest dance that I have seen in a long time. It was  choreographed by a member of the Premier Entertainment Dance Team, and I  actually have venues and crowd shaking the club’s foundation singing  the song.”

Kohn says most of Premier’s bookings come from  word-of-mouth—and also from a crafty idea, a publication called Alan’s  Gazette. “It’s a continuation of The Cowboy Beat, a country newspaper I  owned in the 1990s,” says Kohn. “The Gazette has a life of its own. It’s  a weekly newsletter that reaches thousands of people throughout the  world. It’s a breakdown of all our events by dates and venues, and we  have gotten quite a few gigs and signed club venues because of it.”

Premier’s  gear includes Virtual DJ software, a Denon MC-6000 controller, Shure  PGX4 wireless system with SM58/PGX2 mic, and lighting packages that  include various ADJ and Chauvet units. His active PA system includes a  dbx DriveRack PX optimizer, two JBL EON 515 speakers and an  Electro-Voice ELX118P sub. His passive system includes two JBL MR925  speakers and a Crown Power Base-1 amp.

As a country-DJ thought  leader, Kohn has helmed seminar panels/workshops at the past two DJ  Expos—produced by DJ Times each August in Atlantic City, N.J. Last year,  he brought in Danny Williams (Entertainment Director for the Electric  Cowboy nightclub chain), a pair of radio/party jocks and members of his  Premier Entertainment Dance Team. “I wanted to give fellow DJs a look of  what the country industry has to offer,” he says. “The dancers taught a  dance lesson and I explained the possibilities of making extra money in  the field of country DJing. My goal was for everyone in the audience to  say: ‘I can do this and it’s fun.’”

When I ask Kohn where he  sees Premier in 10 years, he’s got a ready, if not specific, reply.  “Premier Entertainment has a 10-year plan at the moment,” he says. “We  are exploring different avenues to grow in the country and mainstream  areas. Our goal is to grow every year. Keep an eye out for us.”