Christopher Ford Biography
One of Christopher Ford’s first music memories was when his mom bought him the Jimi Hendrix album “Cry Of Love” when he was 8 years old. That great album became the first in a record collection that has grown into uncountable thousands. When those first high school parties started happening, Chris naturally brought an armful of his favorite records to play. “We’d be at someone’s house in Greenwich and when the party felt it was getting a little boring, I would find the turntable and start playing The Romantics, The B-52’s, Talking Heads, and Devo and see what happened. I loved those New Wave bands. I thought their different approach to music was so cool and different. You’d see their artsy videos on MTV and constantly hear their songs on local radio station WLIR. Fleetwood Mac “Rumors”, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doors and the first Boston album rounded out the mix.
Next stop was The University of Virginia. Chris was taken to a Sigma Phi fraternity party that happened to have two brothers blasting tunes over huge Yamaha speakers. Needless to say, Chris fit right in – he liked the guys, became a brother and took over the party tunes when one of the DJs graduated that year. “We had to put all the songs on cassette tapes because the place shook so much from dancing.” As long as he played at every party, social dues were free and the occasional sorority gig was gravy. Mixing with all that great music from the first half of the 80’s, it is here where he added Funk (Rick James, Prince), Beach (The Tams, Chairmen of the Board), Reggae and Motown to his repertoire. During the summers, he went back home and picked up parties at summer hot spots in Greenwich, Long Island, Newport and the Hamptons.
The phone kept ringing after finishing college and despite trying to get a “real job”, the infamous Surf Club on East 91st Street in NYC hired him for a Friday night residency in 1989. “Every once in awhile, flashy guys would throw crumpled twenties on the turntable to get their song played for their date. Requests didn’t bother me and they tend to add lots of energy to the dance floor,” Ford says. Many of the private clubs on the Upper East Side engaged his services to spin their social events and he started to be known as a go-to DJ to party planners, caterers and country club managers. Madonna’s “Vogue” was #1, disco had come back with a vengeance and The Pointer Sisters’ “Jump” was the party starter at the time. In the 90s, Ford partnered with John Silver of Black Tie Productions of Greenwich to handle the workload and he ultimately acquired Silver’s company in 2000 to become Christopher Ford’s Party Mix.
The music industry has dramatically changed since then with Ipods and streaming services threatening the very existence of DJs. While technology has helped the industry in many ways, Christopher has managed the challenges and is proud of his ability to stay in the game as a respected veteran of his craft.