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Beach Buzz Feb 2014

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The Entertainers On Stage

Photo courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb Photography    fotozbyrickie.com\

 

Beach Bits:  The buzz coming out of the Mid-Winter Weekend was that the Entertainers are hot as blazes! Veteran band leader Earl Dawkins has put together a stellar lineup that includes himself on lead vocals, Rick Sabiston on drums, Jim Stoudemire on trombone, Bob Chambers on sax,  Mike Brown on trumpet, Eddie Gurd on guitar and Gary Potts on  keyboard and sax with all the guys filling in the vocals at times. Collectively, they are currently delivering some of the very best in Beach and party music.........Roger Smith and Big John Thompson follow up recent hits Been There Done That and Boulevard Boys with Kiss Me On The Mouth, their latest to make the Beach charts........

 

Rick Strickland's outstanding band has yet another big hit of original music with the single I'm Gonna Be Your Friend from their Lucky album. Fellow bandmate Lesa Hudson went to #1 last month here on the Smokin' Top 45 with Amazingly Amazing.......Another original tune, the Big Time Party Band's I Loved Them All, is starting to see significant chart action. BTPB lead singer John L. Wilson, owner of Wilson Entertainment Services, is serving as the Beach music market representative for the Superstar Records label, which includes Jack Mack & The Heart Attack as one of their key artists. One of their new killer tunes that has started making the DJ rounds is entitled Lonely No More......

 

 A look at the distribution across the January Smokin' Top 45 reveals that 56% of the songs are from traditional Beach artists, 13% are from what would be considered Southern Soul, 16% from either Blues or Country artists on a national or international level and 16% from Pop or R&B artists, also on a national or international basis......A recent addition to The Lakeside Drive Band is vocalist Stacy Danner. The group is working on their first album to be out later this year, a combination of updates to their previous single releases and at least six new tunes..........

 

The Green Eyed Soul project that Hip Pocket keyboardist Steve Edmunds plans to deliver later this year will include a duet with Steve and Heather Hayes, who is the daughter of the legendary Isaac Hayes...........North Myrtle Beach club 2001 Music Director JD Cash reports that a new high energy group, The Pizzazz Band, will make their debut there on March 8th with eight additional dates booked in the club in 2014........ 

 

Would you believe there is Beach music on the radio in Australia? Veteran  DJ Ian Sutherland broadcasts Shaggin' The Night Away on PBS 106.7 FM in Victoria, AU which can be heard on the East Coast of the US on Tuesday afternoons. Archived shows can also be heard on the Internet at pbsfm.org.au. Another Aussie source would be Barry Redhead, who lives in Perth and has a 24/7 live365.com show entitled The Rhythm & The Blues, playing a mix that includes quite a bit of  Beach music......

 

What traditional R&B/Soul artist would you guess as having the most songs to make the charts of all time? Well, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the late James Brown, had 128 singles hit the charts over his amazing career.  The Blind Genius of Soul, the late Ray Charles, had 116 singles on the charts, over a period of 50 plus years. The two mega stars were the cornerstones of the King and Atlantic record labels, respectively, during the 'coming of age' era of this style of music in the '50's and early '60's..........

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Thursday, February 27th kicks off a special four day weekend at North Myrtle Beach for the 23rd Annual DJ Throwdown. Ducks Beach Club will host band night featuring the Band of Oz, Fantastic Shakers and the return of special guest veteran bluesman Anson Funderburgh.  The Texas based guitarist Anson, drummer Big Joe Maher, bass guitarist Steve Mackey and keyboardist Kevin McKendree formed the contingent known as the 4 Jacks several months ago. They recorded an album, Deal With It, consisting of twelve tracks of which two cuts, Bobcat Woman and She Ain't Worth A Dime, have been hot on the Beach & Shag charts for most of the past year. This will be guaranteed to be a night you will not want to miss!!

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There is a group that is certainly making some strong noise in the the Beach music arena. I'm talking about The Summerdaze Band, whose hit tune Something Fried has been steadily climbing the charts for several months. Current plans are to have a new album, Keep Movin', to hit the streets prior to the end of February.

The band was started in 2005 by Mitch Simpson, who also was the founding father of a killer group from the '80's and '90's, The East Coast Rivieras (remember the tunes Donna and We Can Build A Love?). All of the band members share the lead vocal duties throughout their live performances. They are: Mitch on keyboards, James Jones playing several instruments including sax and guitar, Shaun Quan on bass guitar, Ted Matthews on drums,  Cassie Kessler on percussion and Adam Rouse on sax and guitar. This collective talent produces a combination of Beach, Dance, Motown, R&B and Oldies etc. that provides the very best in quality entertainment. You can experience it for yourself on February 22nd at O'Hara's Lounge in Charlotte or during DJ Throwdown Weekend at the Spanish Galleon in North Myrtle Beach.

The new album, produced by Freddy Tripp on the KHP label,  combines new R&B, Beach and Shag grooves with a few of the previously released Summerdaze singles. In addition to Something Fried, new cuts include Shoot That Moon, She Thow'd Back Luck On Me, Dem Down Home Blues and a re-make of the band's very first recording, Dixie Hummingbird. Another key remake will be Say Goodbye To Love, a song originally recorded back in the day by The East Coast Rivieras.  Previously released Summerdaze tunes include Someone's Gonna Fall In Love, Foolish Heart and their great yuletide tune from a few years back, What I Want For Christmas, which had quite a revival this past holiday season. I'm predicting great things for this release – why, you would say? Because Mitch listens to the DJ's when making song selections for the band to record!!

 

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Veteran performing artist Lisa Stansfield had one of the biggest Beach hits of the last decade with the smokin' gun single 8-3-1 from her 2001 album entitled Face Up. It finished at #26 for the year 2002 in the Beach Music Top 40 and at #4 in 2003. This shag club favorite remained on the year ending Association of Beach and Shag Club DJ's Top 50 list until 2007. It re-appeared on the ABSCDJ Top 50 list in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The 2013 list has not yet been compiled but talk about staying power!!

 Lisa grew up in a Manchester, England household, where her parents listened to '60’s and '70’s Soul. She was particularly influenced by the music and vocal styling of Barry White. While still a teen-ager, she and two former schoolmates formed Blue Zone, and were impressive enough to get signed by Arista Records in the mid-'80’s.  Later with Lisa fronting a band called Coldcut as the singing lead, the group had a single, People Hold On, in 1989 that reached #11 on the UK Pop charts. This led to Lisa being re-signed by Arista Records as a solo artist. Her first album Affection was a huge success, with the lead song, All Around the World, making it to #1 on both the UK Pop and the US R&B charts.

   Lisa followed up with three more hit solo albums over the next seven years, from which eleven singles hit the Club/Dance and/or the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. Number 1's included Change, All Woman, People Hold On (re-release), Never Gonna Fall and I'm Leavin'.  She had the opportunity to work with one of her idols, the Maestro himself, on the 1992 Barry White box set Just for You. They recorded a duo of her earlier hit All Around the World. Her 1997 rendition of the Barry hit Never, Never Gonna Give You Up also made it to the top of the Club/Dance chart. Stansfield's #1 remixes and a Lisa EP were also issued in 1998. Both her The Complete Collection and Biography (The Greatest Hits) compilations were released in 2003.


Lisa's recordings have slowed considerably over the last ten years with only two albums added to her catalog, including the release of Seven in October of last year. She tours and performs regularly, primarily in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy as well as other selected countries and sites. One of Lisa's best tunes of her twenty-five plus year career, in my opinion, is her powerful rendition of Baby I Need Your Lovin, which was featured on the 1999 Swing movie soundtrack. I also recommend You Can't Deny It, The Real Thing, Soul Deep, Little Bit Of Heaven, Too Much Love Makin' and Baby Come Back as a few more hidden Stansfield jewels.

 

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Now you may remember that the album cover above also appeared at the end of our January Beach Buzz column. Why then, is it back this month?  Because after closer examination, I realized the monumental importance of this album to the history of the genre and wanted to share that realization.  It was released on the Atlantic label in 1967, representing the very first compilation of songs that were tagged as being 'Beach music'. Our own Charlie Brown, who was working at WKIX 850 AM in Raleigh at the time, was one of the consultants on this album. Fortunately for the industry, he is some 47 years later, still quite involved in Beach music. The selection of songs as well as their original release year is quite interesting:

 

Side 1:

1. The Clovers:  One Mint Julep   (1952)

2. Coasters:  Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart  (1958)

3. Barbara Lewis:  Think A Little Sugar   (1963)

4. Chuck Willis:  C.C. Rider  (1957)

5. Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters:  Money Honey   (1953)

6. Willie Tee:  Walking Up A One Way Street (1965)

 

Side 2:

1. Drifters:  There Goes My Baby (1959)

2. Doris Troy:  Just One Look (1963)

3. Coasters:  Searchin'    (1957)

4. "Stick" McGhee:  Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee  (1949)

5. Willie Tee:  Thank You John  (1965)

6. Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters:  Honey Love  (1954)

 

The selections were not for the most part what had just been released in the current time frame of 1967 that later also became known as Beach music – it is instead some of the most played and recognized tunes on the jukeboxes at the beach, as well as radio and at venues in the Carolinas and beyond up to that point in time. The more current songs in 1967 (Ex: Ain't No Big Thing, I'm Gonna Miss You, With This Ring, It's Got To Be Mellow)  that would later become Beach classics were not yet established as such at that time. The winds of change in the music industry were blowing hard in 1967 – a lot of great Soul/R&B tunes released going forward would get lost in the shuffle. This album helped further establish the stake in the ground and the label of 'Beach music' that has continued to this day!

 

 

Artists, DJ’s, Club owners etc. send me your latest news for potential inclusion in Beach Buzz at nealfur@aol.com.

 

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