September 29, 2008

Irish DJ, Singer Brings the Beat — More Than 10,000 Songs for Weddings and Parties

By Chris Van Tuyl

Terry McIlroy's Irish roots hit you louder than a note of Van Morrison's music .

"I grew up with him," McIlroy said. "We were in competition. He was a saxophone player at the time. I was a lead singer in another group.

"He left and went to Canada. Next thing you know, he was singing songs, writing songs - he's had tons and tons of hits."

Roughly 10 years ago, McIlroy made the move from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to North America. The beat that started with meeting his wife, Clare, a Covington native, has gone on nicely for the Southaven couple, who own and operate Terry & Clare Wedding DJ Specialists.

"We've done weddings, house parties, children's pool parties - you name it. We've been doing them all over the place ever since I got here."

Terry's musical interests have been around for "a lifetime."

"I sang in a five-piece band, a three-piece band, a one-piece band and then I turned over to deejay," he said. "I sing karaoke as well. We used to do midweek at the Windy City Grille (in Como). We had that place packed."

Performing what is affectionately known as the Terry Mac Disco Show, McIlroy is available for two- or four-hour gigs.

"I make everything fit," he said. "Any kind of music you can mention - from the '50s right up until today. It doesn't matter what kind of music it is: reggae, rock and roll, pop, country western, whatever.

"I have 10,000-plus songs, there's no fee for setting up and there's no fee for taking it down. What happens in the middle is up to the party people."

"He went to sing three songs (at a birthday party in Germantown)," said Clare, "and he wound up singing for four straight hours nonstop."

Added Terry: "And I never repeated one song."

Speaking of, there's a common misconception about the music in his home country.

"It's exactly the same here as what it is over there. A lot of people would be surprised," McIlroy said. "You've got Justin Timberlake here, we've got him over there. When Elvis was singing in the '50s, he was singing over there. Johnny Cash - same story.

"'The Lone Ranger' on TV started over there the same time it started here. All the movies from way back when. John Wayne's 'The Quiet Man' was made in Ireland, So, there's no difference."

According to Terry, there's no replacement for Clare when it comes to helping entertain the masses.

"She plays a big part," he said. "Being a deejay is very, very busy. Some deejays that I watch play a song and then there's a gap in between. That's not a deejay.

"A deejay continues playing music - he doesn't stop. You have to be in control all the time, so when people come up for requests, I prefer they go to Clare."

Added Clare: "I enjoy it. I meet a lot of people. They're always nice."

"That's the beauty of it," Terry said. "Everybody is always friendly."

McIlroy can be reached at (662) 404-4346 .

- Chris Van Tuyl: (662) 996-1411

Originally published by Chris Van Tuyl [email protected] .

(c) 2008 Commercial Appeal, The. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.