North Myrtle Beach at Sunset – Wow!
Photo courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb Photography
Beach Bits: Salisbury, NC based Atlantic Groove is working on a couple of new tunes,
which should be hitting Mid-Winter hard at North Myrtle Beach, with a full album from the group planned for later in the year..........Speaking
of Mid-Winter, it is scheduled this year for January 16th thru the 19th, , with live performances over the four days that
include Jim Quick & Coastline, Fantastic Shakers, Craig Woolard Band, Entertainers, Mark Roberts Band and Steve Owens
& Summertime.......2014 should be a good one for new Beach music, with albums also in the works for delivery sooner than
later from several of the artists........On the heels of the success of their recent single Something Fried, The Summerdaze Band have a full album entitled Keep Movin', targeted for release just
prior to DJ Throwdown. Summerdaze was formed in 2005 by Mitch Simpson, the former
East Coast Rivieras founder.....After the resounding success of their first album, Steve Owens & Summertime have their
next one underway, with a couple of surprise originals to be included, hopefully
out by Spring SOS.......
Big Time Party Band, following up on the successes of Cherry Groove and Four O'Clock
In The Morning, have released a new single,
I Loved Them All with a full album forthcoming very soon.......Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot have a new project of
at least eleven tunes coming together, a mixture of high energy Blues and Soul, which includes their killer versions of Real Good Feeling and Hold On........A new group called Classic Soul, headed up by Warren
McDonald and featuring Terri Gore, recently released a rendition of High Blood Pressure and is currently working on a full project.....The Entertainers have had several songs,
past and present, with the word 'Love' (including the most recent Summer Love) in the title. Their new album will feature several of these tunes.......Steve Edmunds, keyboardist
for Hip Pocket, has a new version of I'm Happy That Love Has Found You coming, with a full project entitled Green Eyed Soul underway for release later this year......
that is certainly not all. The four time Group Album of the Year winner Band of Oz is in the studio working on an album as
is six time Female Vocalist of the Year Rhonda McDaniel. Also planning an album release is a former winner of Male Vocalist
of the Year, the Southern Gentleman of Beach Music, Mr. Paul Craver........ A new KHP compilation, yet to be titled, will
be released very soon with tunes from Andre' Lee, Roy Hamilton, Blackwater R&B Band, Heather Haywood, Paul Craver, Phil
Wilson, Rhonda McDaniel, Carolina Breakers, Band of Oz, Steve Edmunds and more.............
The Grand Strand at North Myrtle Beach
Photo courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb Photography fotozbyrickie.com
More Beach Bits: Outstanding vocalist Lesa Hudson's latest single,
Amazingly Amazing, is hot, hot hot!!!........Speaking of hot, KB & The Shifters had two tunes
at year end (Call Me and Lovesick Tears) on the Smokin' Top 45. The KB in
the band name is Karen Boyd, their lead female vocalist with one of the strongest voices to come along in a while..........Pat
Cashion just joined an already stellar lineup in The Lakeside Drive Band, replacing founding member and guitarist Al Eble.........Albemarle,
NC native Mark Perry is the latest addition to The Holiday Band, playing guitar and handling some of the lead vocalist duties.
He actually joined back in the fall of 2013........
Ms. Jody has had back to back
#1 Beach hits with The Bop and Still Strokin'. Her latest charter, The
Rock, also appears to have top spot potential........Another smokin' Beach tune is the legendary Rod Stewart's
Sexual Religion from his latest album entitled Time. Stewart's first #1 Billboard
solo hit was Maggie May in 1971, while he was still a member of the group the Small Faces..........Sir
Jonathan Burton released a single this past September that I am not sure many folks have yet heard. It is entitled Beach
Music Lover and is definitely something that shaggers can dance to and enjoy......R. Kelly's Share
My Love continues to receive strong Beach music play. Two additional soulful cuts from his 2012 Write
Me Back album that have received some DJ chart action are Feelin' Single and Fool
For You. His latest album, Black Panties, just released in December, does not have that
old school sound and has pretty explicit lyrics, to say the least.......
Bo the Webguy came up with a very creative list on December 31st of ten key things one can do in 2014 to be a solid
supporter of Beach music. Check the 'to dos' out at www.beachmusiconline.com.......Also, be sure to get a copy of the new Beach Scene Magazine, the first edition which is pictured above.
It is available at several venues up and down the Grand Strand or it can be ordered online at shagcityusa.com
for the price of shipping and handling.
I often get asked for an opinion on Beach music artists covering previously recorded songs. This has never been an
issue on my part, but I do think that history has proven that if a band, duet, or solo artist, plans to cover a song that
was originally recorded by a national (or international) act, it has a better success rate if it is something that was not
a big hit or a well known or easily recognized tune. One of the biggest Beach music hits in the last ten plus years (and in
history, for that matter) was Craig Woolard's rendition of Love Don't Come No Stronger, which many folks thought
to be an original. It was actually first recorded by Jeff Perry as one of the first R&B tunes on the Arista label in 1975.
Other key examples: I Want A Love I Can See originally didn't register for the Temptations in 1964 but
was huge in the Beach market for Angel Rissoff in 2006. Also that year the Hank Ballard original Sweet Mama Do Right
went to #1 as covered by Jim Quick & Coastline. The Entertainers scored large in 2007 with I Know The Inside Story,
originally done in 1967 by a group of brothers from Massachusetts calling themselves Chubby & The Turnpikes. They later
became one of the biggest Soul acts of the '70's as Tavares. Why Am I Crying
was a break out hit for Rhonda McDaniel in 2008 – the original was a secular tune that was recorded by a primarily Gospel
artist named Shirley Wahls in 1967.
Paul Craver had a smash with Girl I Love You in 2009, a song that never charted for original crooner
Garland Green. Heavy Love was a just a follow-up tune for David
Ruffin's #1 Walk Away From Love in 1976 – it became a dynamite outing for the Fantastic Shakers in 2009.
Burlington, NC's Magnificents had a 2011 strong charter with You Never Know What's On A Woman's Mind, which
was a much under appreciated single from Archie Bell & The Drells in 1973. And how about the Band of Oz, winning two Song
of the Year Awards with their renditions of Al Green's Build Me Up and The Steelers' I Can't Think.
All of these examples are proof positive that selecting previously recorded tunes to cover does work – you just gotta
be good at the selecting!!
The legendary Johnnie
Taylor has had a song, A Love To Call Mine, in the Smokin' Top 45 here at Beachmusic45 for well over two years.
The Paul Kelly written tune was first released on Johnnie's 1984 This Is Your Night album. Johnnie passed away
in 2000 but his legacy lives on as we continue to uncover Taylor tunes that work in this market. Also, four of his children,
Johnnie Jr, Tasha, Floyd and JT Hooker-Taylor, are all now successfully recording and performing.
Johnnie's first foray
into the professional singing arena was in Gospel music – having met and befriended Sam Cooke while still a teenager, he moved from his native Arkansas to Chicago, eventually replacing Sam as the singing
lead in the Soul Stirrers at the age of 23. He later crossed over to secular music, releasing a few singles on Cooke's SAR
label before signing the first of three long term recording contracts. The first was with the Memphis based Stax label, which
ran from 1965 to 1975, the second was with CBS/Columbia until the early '80's, the third with the Soul revival Mississippi
based Malaco label, where he was still recording at the time of his passing. Johnnie's forty year career included a total
of 27 albums and 43 singles making the various Billboard charts.
Taylor's music has had
a strong influence in Beach music for many years with songs such as Who's Making Love, Cheaper To Keep Her, Love Bones,
We're Getting Careless With Our Love, Good With My Hips, Play Something Pretty, Real Love, You Can't Strike Gold In A Silver
Mine, Soul Heaven and Alright Alibi. Still others that have proven worthy of rotational play include
Slide On, Keep On Loving You, Big Head Hundreds, Disco Lady, I Want You
Back Again, That's America, Just Keep On Lovin' Me, She's Cheating On Me, Last
Two Dollars, Baby We've Got Love and Please Don't Stop The Music.
A few of Johnnie's Malaco released lesser known jewels that I really like are No Refund, Are You Lonesome, Without You
and Guilty As Charged.
A little known fact: John Ward,
now the owner/president of Ecko Records (the label that currently produces great tunes from Donnie Ray, Ms. Jody, OB Buchana
etc.), wrote and/or co-wrote several Johnnie Taylor songs including Real Love, Changin' My Life With Your Love
and Baby Sittin'.
How many artists have aspired to score a hit by recording the rhythmic sounds of Zing! Went The Strings Of My
Heart? The answer may be a hundred or more! It is certainly a Beach music
classic but would you believe that Judy Garland performed the song in the 1938 film Listen Darling at the age of 16
and recorded it on the Decca label the next year. Later versions were released by such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Pearl
Bailey, Billy Eckstine, Aretha Frankin, Brenda Lee, Jesse Belvin, Dinah Shore and Barbara Streisand. The initially recognized version in Beach music was recorded by The Coasters in 1958 on Atlantic Records'
Atco label. It was featured on the very first Beach music compilation album (pictured above) released in 1967. Still my favorite
for pure listening pleasure is the upbeat rendition recorded by The Trammps in 1972. Other versions that stand up strong include:
The Skyliners (1959), The Satintones (1960), The Furys (1962), The Darts (1978), The Velons (1980), Leon Daniels
& The Venos (2002) and of course
The Catalinas (1998) and The Attractions (2003).
Artists, DJ’s, Club owners etc. send me your latest news for potential inclusion in Beach Buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org.