East Greeneville native and Pottstown resident, Sally Bauman sat down with OUTWORD.Today to discuss music, support of the LGBT community, and her upcoming New Year’s Eve debut at the new Toasted Walnut in the Philly Gayborhood.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in East Greenville and lived there for 21 years. After college, I rented a house with friends and lived with roommates for a number of years. I finally settled down in Pottstown where I purchased a home.
When did you get involved with music?
I’ve been involved with music all my life. I come from a musically loving and talented family, all the way from my mom and dad to my siblings. We always had music playing in the house. My mom would play [music] when she cleaned the house.
I’m the youngest of four and my older siblings were always playing music. I learned to love the classics as a young kid, like the Rolling stones and The Beatles. We all played instruments and sang in the choir at church and I still do at St. Marks Lutheran in Pennsburg.
I love music. It always gave me a good feeling to sing, play instruments, hear sound coming from instruments, and sing with my family. My mother is one of twelve children. When we host our large family reunions in August, music is always involved. My dad and uncles used to sing German drinking songs at the reunions, before he passed, and I organize a music trivia game each year.
From my late teens to early twenties, I even had my own rock band for three years.
Any favorite music-filled memory as a child?
When I was a little kid, my older sister would play her 45 records and I would learn the words and we would sing to them. I think I was 8 years old at the time. My sister recognized my singing talent from a young age and said she would enter me in Star Search. She never did, but it makes for a great memory. I did try out for the Voice earlier this year, and while I didn’t make it, it was an incredible experience.
When did you get started as a DJ?
I didn’t become an “official DJ” until 10 years ago, but I started DJing for friends decades before. I was that person who, when one of my friends hosted a party, would show up with all of the music. I would bring with me three suitcases of cassette tapes. Do you know how long it takes to find a song on a cassette tape? That was in the early 90s, before CDs became popular.
At a labor day party with a good friend, Stacey Clemens, I was looking through my CDs, while sitting around the campfire and Stacey looked at me and said, “Sally, you need to buy equipment and do this!” This was about 12 years ago. I took her advice. To help cover the cost of the equipment, I started charging people for my services about a year later.
What’s your DJ name and how did you get it?
After I started to accumulate some jobs here and there, I wanted to order business cards. This was before Facebook, so I sent a group text on my cell phone (most likely an old flip phone) to ask friends for a few suggestions. A lot of my friends were in my softball group, including Stacey Clemens, who came up with the name “Sally Spinner.” I’ve used it ever since.
Where are some of the regular places you spin your tunes?
LGBT Equality Alliance tea dances and fundraisers
Stir in Philly
Women’s Weekend of NJ
WonderBar in NJ
Westbrook Tavern in Boundbrook, Nj
And now Twisted Walnut
I’ve also spun tunes at Crush Women’s Parties in Asbury Park, produced by Aww Momma’s Devin Tiara.
What takes you out to NJ so much?
I learned about Asbury park two years ago. I met Kathy Taggart at an LGBT Equality Alliance event at the Great American Pub in Phoenixville, where she attended with two friends. She saw me there, enjoyed my music, and that day she said, “you’re going to be my DJ for any events we have.”
I’ve done some NJ pride stuff for them as well.
Do you spend most of your DJ time supporting LGBT establishments, or do you spin outside of the community?
I definitely try to support those venues associated with the LGBT population, but I’m never opposed to doing other events. I’m obviously involved with the LGBT community and my referrals come from within the community.
I don’t spend time marketing outside of referrals. It’s amazing what the last two years have been and the connections I’ve made, both nearby and in New Jersey.
I also do weddings for both gay couples and straight couples, but the majority of it has been for gay men and lesbians.
What is your favorite part of DJing?
Playing music and seeing people’s expressions or how they react to the music. Whether it’s a song that makes them happy or a slow song that encourages them to dance with their partner, I love watching looks on faces and observing them having fun. Music is so powerful. It can bring back memories.
My favorite events occur when attendees have no inhibitions and they are just having a good time.
What are your top three favorite events?
- A lesbian wedding reception in Long Beach Island. One of the brides was a Greek woman, so they did lots of Greek dancing.
- A 50th birthday party in NJ where the birthday girl’s 95-year-old great grandfather was in attendance. We got him to do the Train. It was great!
- A wedding in Massachusettes that was incredible. Two women were married and they had a number of gay male friends in attendance from around the nation.
How do you get people out on the dance floor?
By playing music that has a good beat to dance to. If it’s an event, like a wedding or a birthday party, I meet with my client to find out what they want that day and what they don’t want. Once I’m there, it can always change up. To be a decent DJ, you have to look at the crowd and instinctively know what they want to hear. But you can’t force anyone to get out and dance.
What do you do when you’re not spinning tunes?
I work! I’m a physical therapist assistant. I work with the outpatient population. Mostly in orthopedics with knee replacements and ankle surgeries. I’ve been doing that for 20 years.
I would love to turn music into a full-time thing, but at this point, it doesn’t pay the bills. Although it’s a very busy life, I enjoy it.
As the President of LGBT Equality Alliance, I am well aware of your contributions to the success of our organization. For the benefit of our readers, share with me how you got involved with the organization and what it has meant to be a part of its growth?
I ran into you and your wife Fay two years ago this weekend. We knew each other from nearly a decade ago when we attended events and I played music at Frank Jeffrey’s in Phoenixville, a small gay bar no longer in existence. You shared with me your idea to start monthly “tea dances” for the LGBT community. I offered to spin tunes pro-bono for the events to help support the initiative.
When anyone asks where LGBT Equality Alliance started, I share our story about New Year’s Eve. It just goes to show you that everything happens for a reason. There wasn’t a question in my mind that night that I would help in some way. The LGBT community was lost in Phoenixville. I wanted to support the idea wholeheartedly. I am amazed at what it’s become. Being involved and supporting any way I can means a lot to me.
Tell us about your gig on New Year’s Eve.
I will be spinning at TOASTED WALNUT Bar & Kitchen during their opening Weekend New Year’s Eve Celebration. Doors open at 8PM on Saturday. Happy Hour is from 8-11pm with a delicious variety of Hors d’ Oeuvres from Chef Diana Sabater, Food Network’s CHOPPED Ultimate Champion. The Toasted Walnut is located on Walnut Street in the Philadelphia Gayborhood. Their tagline, “Let’s Get Toasted! Where? On Walnut!!” is fantastic!
Discounted parking is available at the LAZ lot on Juniper St. between 13th & Chancellor St. and the cover is $10 at the door.
The OPENING Weekend celebration continues on NEW YEARS DAY with DJ Sandi and DJ Urban. The day-long cover is only $5.
If someone were interested in hiring you for an event, how would they do that?
Contact me via cell phone, email, and Facebook. I don’t yet have a website, but it’s coming…I hope! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the upcoming New Year’s Even party at The Toasted Walnut, click here.