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  Mike Little is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson, South Carolina.  He is also a member of the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ’s and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays.  He hosted for 3-1/2 years The Saturday Morning Beach Party on WANS, 1280 AM in Anderson, which was rated by Arbitron as the highest rated AM show listened to and number three overall for that time slot.  In 2004, he was awarded the Rufus Oates Award by the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jays for his writing contributions.  He now serves on the Board of Directors of the NARBDJ.

My Music Or Yours

by

Mike Little


 

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Summertime Fun, the new compilation from KHP Music, was released the first Friday of SOS.  It hasn't even been a week, and some of the songs are already being played at the clubs along the Northern section of the Grand Strand.  Some songs from the album have hit it big during the Spring Safari, especially Ronn David's I Want Your Lovin'.  The song for the album has been released with the Carolina Shag mix.  Ronn's full name is Ron David McPhatter and is the son of the “Queen of Rhythm & Blues”, Ruth Brown, and founding member and lead vocalist of the 1950's The Drifters, Clyde McPhatter.  Before The Drifters, he was one of the lead vocalists for The Dominoes.  Ronn is also the nephew of Little Richard.  Summertime Fun's title track is sung by The Andy Swindell Coalition.  Andy wrote the song a number of years ago, giving the song new and up-to-date life.  Rhonda McDaniel's Ay La Bah already graces the charts, having been released as a single some time back.  Another single released earlier and has already receiving attention on the dance floors is Jimmy & Darlene Harrison's Baby I Love You So.  The melodious marital union occurred when Motown singing sensation Jimmy Mack Harrison married Gospel Soul singer Darlene Hogan.  Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Jimmy played drums on his brother Wilbert's mega-hit, Kansas City.  As a Motown singer recording under the name of Lenny Curtis, he gave us Nothing Can Help Me Now, which not only was a Beach Music hit, but a Northern Soul hit in Britain.  Debby Dobbins is enjoying huge success with her hit, Be My Baby Tonight, topping the charts in some areas.  Her newest remixed single is the Shag edition of Love Thief, and plays a part in Summertime Fun.  Debby was the first female vocalist of Bill Bradford's Spirit Records.  The James Michael Brown Band, who is enjoying a lot of success with the group's Pretty Girl, is also a part of the new compilation with Ready For Love.  Ready For Love was also part of the band's mini-CD release and should draw more attention than it already has.  The Holiday Band, who recently released the single, Act Your Age, is receiving a lot of play even before the song became a part of the new Summertime Fun.  The Embers featuring Craig Woolard, who is still working on the group's new album, shares the song, Be With The One You Love.  The tune was originally recorded by The Dramatics and written by L.J. Reynolds, who was singing with The Dramatics before embarking on his sol career.  Rev. Bubba D. Deliverance is also joins with his newest original, Cool With Me.  Paul Craver, the “Emperor of  Beach Music”, smooths it out with Back To You.  The Fantastic Shakers gives us another upcoming hit with Bo Schronce on the lead.  Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight was originally recorded by The Atlanta Rhythm Section, but Bo, Freddie and the boys bring the tune up to a new level.   The Carolina Breakers' front man Keith Pollard is nicknamed “The Voice”. That moniker continually proves to be correct, especially with his solo performance of the Ron Tyson-penned You're The One.  Rounding out the array of artists on the compilation are Carolina Beach Music Award winner Phil Wilson with I Believe, Ginger Thompson of The Ginger Thompson Band with her take on Pat Upton & The Spiral Staircase's More Today Than Yesterday and Lovers' Lullaby by Silk Groove.  Silk Groove was founded by Chris “Silk” Tery of The Carolina Soul Band and is an eleven-piece group fronted by a strong lineup of five vocalists.  Summertime Fun, a new compilation from KHP Music, will add to your summertime fun.    

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Have you heard that Tommy Plyler has a new release? Tommy has a long musical history in the Beach Music world and is sharing that history in his new release, Tommy Plyler and Friends...The Music Of Tommy Plyler.  The history begins when Tommy joined The Catalinas in 1963.  The group recorded and released the song that Tommy had written, You Haven't The Right.  The song became a regional hit, especially along the Carolina coast.  After leaving The Catalinas in 1971, Tommy relocated to Los Angeles in 1980, playing piano in nightclubs and piano bars, as well as attending college.  He studied music, composition and music history at Pasadena City College and eventually graduated Cum Laude in Music Composition at California State University in Los Angeles.  During his eight years in California, he composed a song for the Lost Angeles Olympics in 1981, Reaching ForThe Gold.  The song was revised for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and Fitzgerald McGill sang lead on the song.  Reaching ForThe Gold is a part of Tommy Plyler and Friends.  The key song on the new CD is Castaway.  The song was the title track for previously released album of Tommy's, but this new version features The Band of Oz' Jerry West on the lead vocals.  Watch for this one to be a hit from the new album.  It was with The Fantastic Shakers that Tommy released Hunky Bunk Hattie. The instrumentation on the original was computer generated; the new version features live musicians.  Also featured on the release is the previously released Sally Walker.  The comical lyrics are about a lady stalker.  Another new feature on the album is Texize Tessie, a song about a motel maid.  Anyone who has ever stayed in a motel will understand.  Texize Tessie is “Queen of the Cleaning Ladies”.  Super Sam features former Catalinas band mates Jack Stallings and Johnny Edwards.  This one is of a Doowop nature about the “Country Lawyer” Sam Ervin, who played a major role in Watergate, serving as a United States Senator from North Carolina.  Other songs on the release include the hit song of Tommy composed, Carolina Moon and Hey Little Lady featuring Myrtle Beach guitarist Charlie Snuggs.  And there is more.  All of the songs on the album were composed by Tommy with the exception of Billy Joel's Piano Man.  Tommy Plyler and Friends...The Music Of Tommy Plyler is destined to be a classic.

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Speaking of classics, did you know that The Catalinas 1980 album, Summertime's Calling Me, has never been released on a compact disc?  True, but no longer.  Former Catalinas' member, Jack Stallings, has worked hard to remaster the song for the 2017 release.  He is also back working with band leader Gary Barker for bookings and promoting the new release in celebration of The Catalinas' sixtieth anniversary.  Of course the key song on the CD is the title track, Summertime's Calling Me, with a young Bo Scronce on the lead vocals.  Bo now, of course, is the front-man of The Fantastic Shakers.  This classic was first released on a 45 in 1975 and has become the anthem of Beach Music.   The album, or CD in this case, also features the original version of Dancin' Romancin', the 1961 hit Hey Little Girl and the flip side of the 45 single, Summertime's Calling Me, Tick Tock.  The release also carries Tommy Plyler's You Haven't The Right with Tommy on the lead vocals.  The 1980 single, Facts Of Love, is also featured on the new CD release.  Gary Barker is lead vocalist on other songs, as well as producer of the album.  Brother Lynn Barker was also a member of The Catalinas at that time.  Summertime's Calling Me will be a special commemorative, limited edition in celebration of The Catalina's sixtieth anniversary.  The band have been with us longer than any other beach band, beginning in 1957.  The band held its first practice on January 15, 1958. in the chorus room of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.   The Catalinas band, along with Gary Barker, were inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame in 1995.  The band was also inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2013. The vinyl album of The Catalinas' Summertime's Calling Me was a hit 1980.  The new CD, Summertime's Calling Me, will be a hit on The Catalinas' sixtieth anniversary in 2017, thanks to Jack Stallings and Gary Barker.

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Mar Vista Records, based out of Los Angeles, California, has released Grammy Award winning vocalist and drummer Donald Ray Johnson & the Gas Blues Band's Bluesin' Around.  The album features two songs that may be heavy break-out numbers for the Spring Safari of in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The first is Bad Luck. The tune is a little on the bluesy side but should catch the ear of the dancers.  The other song that just has that feel for an SOS hit is She's Dressing Trashy.  This one should really go over well.  Bluesin' Around is not a two hit album.   Check out Donald's take on the classic Big Rear Window.  Yes, you've heard this song from time to time, but not the way Donald and the Gas Blues Band do it.  Watching You reminds me so much of the mid-seventies to mid-eighties music we danced to.  This one, along with Should've Been Gone and You're The One For Me, will not disappoint you.  Texas-born Donald Ray Johnson is still going strong after forty years in the music industry.  He was a member of the Rhythm & Blues Disco group A Taste of Honey that scored big with the platinum-winning Boogie Oogie Oogie.  Over the years Donald has performed with numerous Blues legends, including Big Mama Thornton, Percy Mayfield, Lowell Fulson and Phillip Walker.  The Gas Blues Band was created by guitarist and vocalist Gaspard “Gas” Ossikian.  Bluesin' Around is a must.

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Have You heard that Ecko Records has released O.B. Buchana's latest, Swing On With O.B.? Do not be fooled with the idea that the entire is filled with Swing music.  When O.B is singing about swinging, he is not talking about dancing.   However, the Swing dancers will take a liking to the title track, Swing On.  The song not only fills the bill for Swing dancers, but Shag dancers as well.  Last Dance is the last song on the album and should appeal to everyone.  You've got to take note of Why Can't I Be Your Lover?  This is the O.B. song we like to dance to.  You should also find Good And Grown Lovin' the right song for the hardwoods.  It may be that There's A Right Way To Be Wrong could interest the shaggers, as well.  The last song I want to talk about from O.B.'s Swing On With O.B. is They Were Gone.  Sure you can slow dance to it, but listen to the lyrics.  It is a tribute song for the artists that sing the music we love.  Swing On With O.B. is O.B Buchana's thirteenth release on Ecko Records.  His music has risen to the top of Southern Soul charts with each new release.  Born in Mount Bayou, Mississippi, he spent his childhood in Clarksdale, Mississippi, a city that played a major role in the development of Blues music.  In the early 1990's, he began his recording career, eventually signing with Ecko.  Over the years, O.B. Buchana his given us some great dance hits such as Two Steps Behind, Just Go Dancin' and I Was Searchin'.  Swing On With O.B. is now on sale at your favorite music outlet.

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Another release coming from Ecko Records is David Brinston's Sidepiece Motel.  Yes, the title track is risque, but check out the other songs.   Dance With Me is sure to be a hit.  As time goes by, when you play it, you will have a crowd on the dance floor.  Another song on the album to take note of is Give Me All Your Love.  This is the second time around for this one as it appeared on David's Ecko 2007 release, Here I Go Again.  Give it another chance.   Up the tempo about 3-1/2 and see what you think.  Another that will intrigue you with a tempo change is You Got To Make A Change.  Play this at about a +5 and experience the reaction.   This may be a sleeper on the release and come out strong at SOS.  Let's wait and see.   Like O.B. Buchana, David Brinston was born in a large family in a small community, Marks, Mississippi.  He also moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi at a child.  Born in a family who instilled in him a strong work ethic and healthy family values, David continued his education.  The family values continued to show when he and his siblings formed a Gospel group of which he was lead vocalist.  In 1990, he began his musical career, relocating to Memphis with the support of his family.  David produced his first major hit in 1995 with Hit And Run, which became a major force along the Carolina coasts, as well as across the country.  Hit And Run was the title track of the JoMar Records release.  Over the years, he has given us additional hits such as Two Way Love Affair and Party (Til The Lights Go Out), which became a big hit for the Hardway Connection.  Among the numerous awards David has won over the years, the highlight of his career came when he was recognized by the Mississippi Blues Commission and the State of Mississippi by presenting a historical marker in his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, shared with the legendary Sam Cooke.  David Brinston's Sidepiece Motel CD from Ecko Records is available wherever you find your music.

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Thornetta Davis was crowned “Detroit's Queen of the Blues” in 2015 by the Detroit Blues Society with proclamations from the City of Detroit, Wayne County and the State of Michigan.  A lifelong resident of the Motor City, Thornetta reluctantly began her singing career at the age of fifteen when, on the encouragement of her friends, entered an area talent show.  She first gained attention when she was backup singer for a Detroit soul band.  When the lead singer left, she became lead vocalist.  She recorded her first solo album in 1996.  Over the years, Thornetta has won numerous awards, including Detroit Music Awards' Best Blues Album, Best Blues Recording and Best Blues and Rhythm & Blues vocalist.  In 2009, she was presented the Detroit Blues Society's Living Lifetime Achievement Award.  Thornetta has recently released her latest Honest Woman on Detroit's Sweet Mama Music label.  The key song from the album is I Gotta Sang The Blues.  The song is up-temp with a guitar driven crescendo.  Thornetta is joined on the duet with harmonica great Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.   Another key song of interest is I Need A Whole Lotta Lovin' (To Satisfy Me).  This cut is also up-tempo with a Cajun type groove.  You might find interest in Get Up And Dance Away Your Blues.  This one has somewhat of a Gospel feel to it.  Honest Woman by Thornetta Davis should not be hard to find.

Kwik Kuts

 

  Here are some cuts from various artists' new or relatively new albums that should work well in the Beach and Shag markets.  Check em' out.

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All I Need Is You Tonight by The Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox.  If you did not know already, Ken Knox has retained the name of The Chairmen of the Board and is now being billed in concerts as The Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox.  Ken, of course, is one of the original members of the group along with the late General Norman Johnson and Danny Woods.  All I Need Is You Tonight is an original song written by Melvin Steals who wrote, along with his brother Mervin, wrote The Spinners' Could It Be I'm Falling In Love and Gloria Gaynor's Honeybee.  The Steal brothers, aka Mystro & Lyric, wrote Major Harris' Love Won't Let Me Wait.

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Stand By Man by Mr. Sam.  This one comes from Mr. Sam's new release, Make Time (For Her), from Ecko Records.  In addition to Stand By Man, you need to sample Baby I'm Scared Of You.  Don't be scared to try this one.  “Mr. Sam” Fallie made his debut as Mr. Sam in 2007.  In addition to his vocal talents, he began his musical career as a song writer.  Over the years, he has written hits for Theodis Ealey, The Bar-Kays, J. Blackfoot, O.B. Buchana, Gentry-Jones and many others. Mr. Sam was born and still resides in Memphis, Tennessee.

Snake In The Bag by Mandyl Evans.  Spirit Records has released a re-master of Mandyl Evans' Snake In The Bag.  The song first appeared on Spirit's. 2005 compilation Soul Project//Reconnection.   Mandyl Evans currently is lead vocalist for the Mo' Money Band, which is one of Charlotte, North Carolina's hottest and most consistent bands.

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The Moon Is Watching You by James Michael Brown Band.  The latest single from The James Michael Brown Band is bound to flourish, following the group's mega-hit song, Pretty Girl.  James Michael Brown started his musical career in 1966 as a part of a regional band, The Excels.  He went on to play with other bands over the years, including time with the popular Southern Rock band, Sugarcreek.  Founding members of Sugarcreek included Jerry West, one of the lead vocalists for The Band of Oz, Rick Lee, founding member of Too Much Sylvia, and Tim Clark of The Tim Clark Band.

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