Hot Tracks: The latest single from the Southern Gentleman of Beach Music, Paul Craver, is entitled Don't Let Love Walk Out On Us and has started zooming up the Beach
charts..........Blackwater R&B Band has a smokin' tune, Dance Tonight, which was written by Gerald Robinson, aka Southern Soul artist Larome Powers. Just saw last
week where the song was being distributed as part of the June advance package
of tunes to the Southern Soul genre DJ's by Jerry 'Boogie' Mason. Look for more big things from this tune in the immediate
future.......Another 'dance at night' tune, LOL, Dance
With Me Tonight from UK soulster Olly Murs is making chart headway as well....... Phil Wilson recently told me he
has always wanted to record Movin' And Groovin'.
Well, he has done so and very well I might add, it is hot right now.......
I'll Know (When The Right One Comes Along) by Sonja Grier has
been blistering of late. The Bill Bradford production out of Charlotte was also
included on the latest KHP compilation as well........Mississippi
born, Memphis raised and now Chicago based bluesman Linsey Alexander has been honing his craft for over 50 years. He has worked
alongside of such greats as Buddy Guy, AC Reed and BB King. Linsey's Call My Wife from his Come
Back Baby album is a hot lick in Beach music right now. It has that down home boogie sound that gets the dancers on
the floor!........Gotta continue to mention the dynamic voice of Ms. Lesa Hudson, her Get Your Feet On The Floor from Carolina Shag VI is currently hot as a firecracker, it is moving up all the charts right now. Another one
from that compilation beginning to make some noise is I Want It All Back from Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot...........
Jim Quick has another huge hit on his hands with
his rendition of Tears Of Love. The
Grayson Hugh written tune was originally released on his 1988 Blind To Reason album.......This
Girl Needs A Tune Up by the Marsha Morgan Band has zoomed up the 94.9 The Surf's Top 20, sitting at #3 in the most
recent Countdown.........Nathaniel Kimble's Bad
Mamma Jama first appeared on our Southern Soul Corner's Smokin' Top 45 in March of 2014. It is now making it's way
up the Beach charts as well........Call Me
by St. Paul & The Broken Bones was in the most recent Cashbox Magazine's Beach Music chart Top 10. This Birmingham,
Alabama based group which has had bookings all over the U.S. and Europe so far this year
performed a killer show at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre on June 6th........
certainly no secret that Ms. Jody is the #1 attraction in Southern Soul these
days as well as being one of the most popular artists in Beach music as well.
For the first time in quite a while, however, she has released a new album that
does not already have a song that has become a flame thrower on the beach. Talkin'
Bout My Good Thang does contain twelve tracks that emulate the classic
Jody style. You Got Your Hooks In Me
and Don't Say I Love You both
have a good shag beat (ie bumped up just a tad). I love the frenetically fast
pace that she throws down on Double Dealer.
Jody puts all of that
energy and booming voice into A Piece On
The Side, but the content
may cause some restrictions on playing -
Club? yes, maybe, Radio? uh, no! It will be interesting to see what
emerges as the top hit from this release........
Photo Courtesy of Jim Allen
Harold Bessent, better known for a countless number
of years as Fat Harold, passed away on May 22nd. He was truly a legend in Beach
music circles, keeping one or more clubs open to the public in North Myrtle Beach for years. Harold meant so much to so many
people as a mentor and a friend. He is also one of the key people responsible for the Shag being named the state dance of
South Carolina. He became known as the King of Shag, introducing the dance to many everywhere he went.
As teenagers and on into college, we North Carolinians
made the trek constantly to NMB, which we all referred to as Ocean Drive. The first Spanish Galleon opened at the corner of
Ocean Blvd and Main in the '60's, where the OD Beach and Golf Resort (and current Spanish Galleon) stands today. Harold Bessent
entered a partnership with two gentlemen we only knew as Pappy and Buddy and together they took the Galleon into the evolving
Beach music era of the '70's. His was the smiling and friendly face that I always remember as a patron.
Galleon would be the first of many clubs/partnerships that Harold would enter into over the next 40 plus years, fanning the
flames of keeping Beach music alive. He received many honors over his long
career, including induction into the Shaggers Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Carolina Beach Music
Academy. Harold Bessent will be greatly missed by all those throughout the Beach music community and beyond!
Mel Waiters R.I.P
We lost another great one with the May 28th passing
of renown Southern Soul artist Mel Waiters, who also had a significant impact in Beach music
over the last several years. The San Antonio, TX
native got his start as a radio DJ but soon moved into recording and performing, much of which was original self-composed
material. Beginning in 1995, Mel would begin a string of releasing 15 albums over the next 20 years. Songs that made the Beach
charts and/or DJ playlists include: Hole In
The Wall, Swing Out Song, Ice Chest, Got My Whiskey, Your Kitchen Was Closed, Smaller The Club, Two Step, Throwback Days,
Friday Night Fish Fry, Everything's Going Up and Got No Curfew. As they say, the good often do die young - Mel Waiters was only 58 years old.
Blackwater R&B Band at TJ's Nightlife
Photo Courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb
I have to admit it - I do not get out
enough to see live shows by our Beach music artists. However, after seeing
virtually no one the first part of 2015, I have had the opportunity (and took
advantage of it) to see ten bands over the last four plus weeks, one of the
most recent being having the privilege of working with the Blackwater R&B
Band at TJ's Nightlife on May 28th. It was their first time there on Beach
night, hitting the stage with a blistering ninety minute first set of Beach and
Soul that delighted the crowd. Based out of Clarkton, NC, nine members strong,
the band features four horns and some outstanding vocalists. Another recent
fabulous evening was Friday, May 15th, as I was attending the wife's class
reunion on the campus of Meredith College. The Band of Oz turned it out in fine
fashion, got the crowd rocking, and for the first time in known school history,
beer and wine was served outdoors for an event!
In talking to industry peeps, I hear the same comments/complaints
business over and over ''too many bands operating out there filling Beach
venues, not nearly enough venues to go around, promoters continue to hire the
same bands without giving the newbies a chance, pay scale going down instead of
up'' etc. etc. There ARE quite a few
bands out there billing themselves as doing enough Beach music (or they have
been doing it for years) to warrant bookings in the genre. It is also true that
Beach music clubs are not as readily available as they once were - it is an
extremely tough business and very hard for clubs to stay operational by
focusing primarily or totally on Beach music. Ducks Beach Club in North Myrtle,
as an example, has 28 bands booked to play there during the month of June BUT
they are definitely not all Beach music bands. There is also the argument that
the outdoor weekly 'Alive After Fives' or Beach music festivals across the
Carolinas tend to book the same core
bands over and over. I know, I know,
quite a dilemna for so many in the business!!
Let's take a minute to qualify what
constitutes a full time Beach music band. There are bands who derive their
primary livelihood from the entertainment industry, that being most if not all
members are 100% devoted to the music. Then
there are many bands that are what we would classify as 'part time' - that is
they play when they have bookings
but most if not all the band members have regular jobs and/or other sources of
income. It is no coincidence that the recent Top 30 Beach Artist list as
compiled by Bo the Web Guy reflects the difference. The top seven bands in
terms of popularity are what I would consider to be 'full time' in the genre -
Oz, Coastline, Embers, Shakers, Entertainers, Holiday, Tams, in that order, all
doing business as their source of primary income. Conclusion - There are certainly
answers to insuring that all the Beach music bands, whether they be part time
or full time, stay on the path to be successful.
you remember a 1998 album entitled Hip Shakin'
Mama produced by Marion
Carter at Ripete Records on superb Soul/Blues singer Ruby Andrews? Ruby was a
veteran recording artist and performer who, at that time, had been at it for at
least 35 years. Born in Mississippi, moving to Chicago at the age of six, she
started singing professionally while still in high school. Debuting as a solo
artist on the Kellmac label, Ruby's third single in 1967, Casanova (Your Playing Days Are
Over) was to become perhaps her biggest hit, making the Billboard Top
10. Her work over the next two decades
included some outstanding tunes on the Zodiac and ABC labels including: Just
Loving You, You Made A Believer (Out Of Me), You Can Run, I Guess That Don't
Make Me A Loser, Can You Get Away, Gotta Break Away, Since I Found Out and
Yourself (Lover). She later recorded some Jerry Williams aka Swamp Dogg
produced material for the Atlanta based Ichiban label.
Ripete production, engineered by Bradley House, contains some killer tracks: I
Found You, Somebody Touched Me, Strange Things Happening Everyday, Chance and
Hard Dog (To Keep Under The Porch). Also included is a fine rendition
of the Fontella Bass/Bobby McClure classic You'll
Miss Me (When I'm Gone) as
performed by Ruby and Vance Kelly. Another album hit, the Sidney Bailey / John
Ward written Footprints On The Ceiling, was
also covered by Barbara Carr as
an album title track on Ecko Records. All this coming to my mind on Ruby was
spurred by one of the youngest performing artists currently in Beach music.
Allie Privette recently recorded a nice cover version of I Got A Bone To Pick With You,
reviving a fine soulful tune that Ruby originally recorded in 1976.
DJs, Club owners etc. send me your latest news for potential inclusion in Beach
Buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org.