Beach Buzz July 2015

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Band Member Changes: The changes that often occur in personnel are inevitable in the world of Beach music. One recent changing of the guard has occurred within the Summerdaze Band. Newcomers Randy Floyd on guitar and vocals, Cindy Floyd on featured vocals, Brandon Ryan Kenner on sax and  Rick Cutshaw on drums and vocals join current members Shaun Quan on bass and vocals, George Mattison on trumpet/trombone/sax/harmonica and vocals and Mitch Simpson on keyboards and vocals.  In conjunction, Summerdaze has another brand new single entitled I Got A Feeling that I predict will be a big hit once it gets full distribution.


Another recent significant change is in The Holiday Band. Multi-talented Duane Neese, who came over to Holiday from the Castaways several years ago, has left the group to spend more time with his family. His replacement is another seasoned veteran, Ronnie Farrington, whose most recent gig was with the band Staircase. Outstanding vocalist Brian Hatley will be leaving Atlantic Groove in August. I talked to original member Phil Lowder, who tells me that the band plans to continue on, possibly finding a replacement from Brian. Brian and Phil were members of Hip Pocket when that band played for my daughter's wedding in May, 2009. Where did those 6 years go??


What's going on with the Lakeside Drive Band? Paul Mitchell just announced he is leaving the group and dissolving his partnership with Lakeside Drive Band LLC. Not sure where this leaves the rest of the band - will they replace and continue or go their separate ways? This is another example of a band that currently has a hit tune on the charts but is undergoing change.  Evidence that being a band on the Beach music tour is a tough row to hoe is never more clear than when veteran groups decide to call it a day. Such is the case with the Fabulous Daddy'O's. This great group was instrumental in their perfomances for several years with us at  Beachmusic45's Spring and Fall SOS Artist Showcases on Saturday afternoons at the Avista Resort. We will certainly miss Pat, Dale and all the gang. Pat Christie does, however, have a new solo tune, a rendition of I Get The Sweetest Feeling, which will likely be on the next KHP compilation.


Hot Songs: With the weekly Top 40 Beach Music Countdown on vacation for the entire month of June, Talk To Me from the Castaways was the #1 song on the chart at the end of May........All About That Bass from Meghan Trainor has been on the Top 40 Beach Music chart of late. Her new duet with Charlie Puth entitled (Let's) Marvin Gaye is just about to explode on the Beach music scene as well ............Rick Strickland has yet another hit with A Long Time Ago, proof positive that original music can work! Look for his duet with Lesa Hudson, Just To Wake Up Next To You, to start kicking up some dust............Alabama's the right Reverend Bubba D. Liverance & The Cornhole Prophets have been loyal to Beach music for several years now. Their latest, A Night Like This, has been a big hit making all the charts ..........Certainly appears that  Hip Pocket newcomer Dustin York has a hit with the band backing him on Dr. Radio,  a countryish/rocking/blusey tune that you can definitely shag to.........This Girl Needs A Tune Up from The Marsha Morgan Band may very well be the hottest tune right now on the charts. The Rue Davis written upbeat  jam originally recorded by Mississippi Southern Soul artist Pat Brown definitely has the 'it' factor. Marsha does it true justice with her rendition......



Do you remember an early '70's group of ladies known as Honey Cone? Did you know that the late General Norman Johnson of Chairmen of the Board co-wrote their four biggest charting hits? Both Want Ads and Stick Up made it to #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart in 1971. Girls It Ain't Easy peaked at #5 on the same chart and The Day I Found Myself made it to #8. The General was a prolific songwriter, having composed It Will Stand for The Showmen, released when he was just 19 years old, and followed that up with 39-21-46. He also either wrote or co-wrote Patches, Somebody's Been Sleeping In My Bed, You Got To Crawl (Before You Walk), Ocean Boulevard and many of the biggest Beach hits of the Chairmen such as On The Beach, Carolina Girls, Gone Fishin', Alive And Kickin', Beach Fever, Shaggin' The Night Away and Better Late Than Never.



                                    Grayson Hugh: The Story Continues


It was about this time last year that we did a feature story here in Beach Buzz on the career and the Beach music revival of Grayson Hugh. It wasn't all glory, as Grayson will confirm, but it did chronicle the musical and personal ups and downs of well over 35 years in the business.  The next chapter of the story is now ready to be told. Grayson, if you remember, was experiencing a resurgence in Beach music based on the success of his single Goodbye Train, which eventually went to #1 on all the charts and was nominated for a CBMA Award. Grayson was also in the planning stages of a potential new album, but not just any album. His music has spanned many genres from Pop, R&B, Blues, Rock etc., a versatile singer/songwriter for sure. Grayson wanted to do something to take him back to his soulful roots, Soul being a very important genre that he studied and emulated early in his career.  More on the album later in the story!


Based on the success last summer of Goodbye Train, one of Grayson's long time biggest fans, none other than Jim Quick, contacted him about coming South to do some gigs with Coastline. So Grayson and his wife Polly, a wonderful singer in her own right, packed their bags and came on down! The Coastline Band quickly learned several of Grayson's songs, it became a great fit and the Back To The Beach Carolina Tour was born. Jim and Coastline would open the show in several selected venues followed by Grayson and Polly doing an extended set with Coastline backing them up. Worked like a charm! In addition, Jim and Grayson recorded a wonderful duet rendition of the Gospel tinged No More Pain, which is still on the Smokin' Top 45 chart (Goodbye Train is as well). Grayson states that there must be something magical about the South in the food and the air. Well yes, grits, gravy and Southern nights ain't bad at all!!


Grayson had tried for quite a while to coordinate dates/times etc. with Steve Cropper to produce his next album. He also had kicked around the possibility

of using FAME Studios excellent roster of musicians. Once he began working with Coastline, however, it was almost like a spiritual awakening! He soon realized that this group of talented players had all the tools to make a significant contribution to the success of an album. As we mentioned last summer, Grayson had lived at the North Carolina coast for a period in the '90's. His band at that time included one Albert Rogers, current bassist and vocalist in Coastline. Grayson had also become comfortable performing with drummer Camron Dudley, keyboardist, sax and vocalist Glen Tippett and guitarist/vocalist Casey Meyer. It just made sense to ask these guys to back the album to which they agreed!



Recording at Charleston Sound Studios


With the month of February to prepare and rehearse, the group came together and put down ALL twelve of the rhythm tracks in an amazing 2 days. With Grayson providing the lead and Polly on harmony vocals, Back To The Soul began to take shape as a reality. The twelve Grayson written tunes were successfully recorded at  Charleston,SC Sound Studios. The album is not only intended to re-trace Grayson's soulful roots but also provide an uplifting happy message to all the listeners. The executive producer of the project is Grayson, who utilized engineer Bill Ahearn in Hartford, CT for mixing and mastering, most of which is now complete. Polly is handling the artwork for the CD and a detailed booklet is to be included.


The target for this exciting new album release is now set for later this summer with a possible CD release party in the works. An advance single entitled We Were Havin' Fun has been released to selected DJs and is already making some noise. It has that good time Carolina sound that you don't hear as much these days! And.....the Jim Quick connection continues - Jim recorded and released Tears Of Love, which was originally on Grayson's 1988 Blind To Reason album. This latest rendition has made all the Beach charts and is just getting warmed up! For more information on the Back To The Soul project and how you can be a part of it, check out the following website:


                                        Holden Beach Concert Series          


The outdoor summer Beach music concerts and festivals are in full swing - and they seem to be everywhere! Here are four strong repeating schedule examples of the type of outstanding entertainment these events are providing.


Holden Beach Pavilion Concert Series

  May 24 - The Imitations,  May 31 - Tim Clark Band,  June 7 - The Entertainers, June 14 - Brickhouse Band,  June 21 - Steve Owens & Summertime,  June 28 - Rick Strickland Band,  July 5 - Gary Lowder & Smokin Hot,  July 12 - Jim Quick and the Coastline Band,  July 19 - Marsha Morgan Band,  July 26 - Fantastic Shakers,  August 2 - Embers featuring Craig Woolard,  August 9 - Carolina Breakers,  August 16 - The Attractions,  August 23 - Band of Oz,  August 30 - Sea Cruz,  September 6 - The Imitations


North Myrtle Beach - Horseshoe & Main Street

 May 21 – Carolina Breakers,  June 4 – Midnight Allie, June 18 – Carolina Soul Band,  July 2 –Fat Jack Band,  July 16 – Castaways, July 30 – Hip Pocket,  August 6 – Too Much Sylvia,  August 13 – Entertainers,  August 27 – Fantastic Shakers,  September 10 – Jim Quick & Coastline,  September 24 – Envision,  October 1 - Marsha Morgan Band


North Hills, Raleigh Midtown Beach Music Series

April 23 - Embers feat. Craig Woolard, April 30 - Liquid Pleasure, May 7 - North Tower, May 14 - Jim Quick & Coastline, May 21 - Band of Oz, May 28 - Fantastic Shakers, June 4  - Holiday Band, June 11 - Entertainers, June 18 - Hip Pocket, June 25 - Legacy Motown Revue, July 2 - Too Much Sylvia, July 9 - Steve Owens & Summertime, July 16 - Tams, July 23 - Liquid Pleasure, July 30 - Band of Oz, August 6 - Embers feat. Craig Woolard


Charlotte Romare Bearden Park Wednesday Concert Series

 May 6 - The Dickens, May 13 - Summerdaze, May 20 - Carolina Soul Band, May 27 - Catalinas, June 3  - Extrordinaires, June 10 - Lakeside Drive Band, June 17 - Coming Up Brass, June 24 - Too Much Sylvia, July 1 - Fantastic Shakers, July 8 - Swinging Medallions, July 15 - Entertainers, July 22 - Holiday Band, July 29 - Rick Strickland Band, August 5 - Atlantic Groove, August 12 - Band of Oz, August 19 - Jim Quick & Coastline, August 26 -  North Tower


Love Makes The World Go Round is a certified classic – it is listed as the #2 song in the Beach Music Top 40 for 1966. It was certainly the biggest hit for the Detroit songwriter as well as original singer Deon Jackson, hitting #11 on the Billboard Pop charts and #3 on R&B.  He followed this smash up with several strong singles, including Ooh Baby, Love Takes A Long Time Growing, That's What You Do To Me and I Can't Go On, but none of these came close to his one big hitter. Do you ever hear Deon Jackson on any Beach music radio shows?


Upon researching the song, I was amazed at the number of artists since that point in time that have covered it. Percy Sledge jumped on the tune and included it on his When A Man Loves A Woman album in 1966. Ditto for Tommy James & The Shondells the same year. Mary Wells had left the Motown label by the time she featured the song on her Atco released The  Two Sides Of ….album. Hour Glass, the early Soul/R&B side of the Allman Brothers, did a killer version on their intial album release in 1967. Barbara Lewis fancied the song as well, thus its inclusion on her Working On A Groovy Thing release in 1968.  Soulful Pop singer Kiki Dee actually did a somewhat slowed down version on where else but Motown in 1971.

Any others! Well, there are versions by Willie Walker, The Capitols, Tierra, The Flirtations, Chico Leverette, Thee Midniters, Bob Tyler (who?), Bruce Willis (c'mon!),   Odds & Ends, The Poor Souls, Riverboat Soul Band and The Outsiders, and more. Whew! I sure hope Deon Jackson was able to collect all the royalties he deserved for the great job he did creating Love Makes The World Go Round!



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