Rob Bailey was inspired to start DJing at age 15, after he attended his first high school dance. "I always liked stereo equipment and I remember being really interested in the DJ at our school dances," Bailey said. "I used to go early to watch him set up."
Twenty-five years later, Bailey has built himself a regular customer base and has even booked a weekly DJing gig. Bailey presents "R.M.B. Sound," a night of music and karaoke, from 8 p.m. to midnight each Thursday at The New K Bar, 523 E. Third St. Bailey has been hosting the weekly DJ night for a little over a year. "I really enjoy entertaining the crowd at the New K Bar," Bailey said. "I've met a lot of good friends there."
Bailey said he is no longer much involved in the bar or club circuits in Williamsport, although he has played his share of local venues. "I've played at a number of bars in the area over the course of my career," Bailey said. "The first actual club that I played at was the Kings Inn on Route 15 and Partners on Market Street [now Rumrunner's Pub]. I also played at The Vineyard, The Riverside in Montgomery and The Mountain Tavern. I also used to do antique car shows on Maynard Street for three or four years. I'd play old oldies at the car shows."
Today, most of his performances take the form of parties and weddings. "I do a lot of private parties, many of which are repeat customers," he said. "I'll play a straight music set or do karaoke or a bit of both, depending on what the customer wants and the venue. Everyone's different."
What keeps bringing people back? According to Bailey, it's his down-to-earth attitude. "I like to walk around and meet people," Bailey said. "I never sit down in the corner when I DJ. I'm always interacting with people. Even if I don't know people, I make them feel like they're part of the family. I think they like that."
Bailey was born and raised in Jersey Shore. He graduated from Jersey Shore Area High School in 1990, and currently lives in Loyalsockville. Apart from private parties and weddings, Bailey also performs at class reunions, including his own. "I did my 20th year reunion in 2010," Bailey said. "I like to play songs that were popular during the class year's era. I played a lot of Motley Crue, Guns 'n Roses, '80s hair bands, dance tunes and other songs that were popular in the late '80s. It went really well. They asked me to come back and do the 25th year."
Bailey said he plays all genres of music and has amassed a large collection of songs throughout his career. "I play a very large variety of music," Bailey said. "I just reached over 28,000 songs in various genres. I try to play different things all the time - things you don't hear on the radio."
When asked to name his favorite musical artists, Bailey couldn't bring himself to narrow it down. "I don't really have favorite artists because I like all different kinds of music," Bailey said. "I'll play everything from country to rock, Southern rock to dance. I keep people interested because they never know what I'm going to play next. I even like to surprise myself. I hear something new and think, 'oh, this is cool.' I guess you could say I'm an all-around music lover."
Bailey's versatile song selection means he has kept up with the latest musical trends. He tries to cater to every taste. "The DJ scene is always changing, especially the types of music people like," he said. "But I feel I have been adapting over the years and don't plan to stop anytime soon."
Bailey spends a good amount of his time listening to new music. "I listen to the radio and look around on the Internet," he said. "There's a site I visit regularly: newmusic now.com. It's can be a full-time job to learn about new music, but it's a lot of fun."
Bailey said those who attend his DJ events can expect to have fun. "I try to keep things at a personal level and have fun right along with everyone," he said. "People can expect to hear some music they may not have heard in some time, and to hear their requests also."
To contact Bailey for a booking or for more information, call 435-5357 or visit his Facebook page by searching for "RMB Sound."