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Beach Buzz October 2015

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         Bring Back Summertime!

           

 What is happening? Many extenuating circumstances (health, family priorities etc.) kept me from attending SOS this year. I really wanted to be there for Fun Sunday and Fun Monday but it was not in the cards. The folks I have talked to declare it to be one of the best ever Fall Migrations!.........The Charlotte based Lakeside Drive Band has reorganized with a new lineup that includes Mike Howard, Ralph Goodenough, Jason Barker, Ken Davis, Michael Murphy and Al Netta. Their next gig is scheduled for October 9th at T-Bones On The Lake at Lake Wylie, SC.........A band we featured here a few years back in Beach Buzz is a regional favorite, particularly in Piedmont and Western North Carolina. I am talking about Eric & The Chill Tones, who play plenty of Beach music, a seven piece outfit led by Eric Chilton, who also doubles as the weatherman on WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC. You can catch them at the upcoming North Carolina Barbeque Festival in Lexington, NC on Saturday, October 24th..........

 

 

 If we take a benchmark here of several of the selected DJ and/or radio charts in Beach music, we find for example that Dance Tonight by Blackwater R&B Band had replaced Swing It as the #1 tune on the September edition of Beachmusic45.com. The Countdown show is normally broadcast the first Monday evening of each month on the Largetime Radio Network by Pat Patterson. North Myrtle Beach's own 94.9 FM The Surf currently has Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot's I Want It All Back at the top of it's chart. Their weekly Top 20 Countdown is broadcast every Saturday by Ted Bell.

 

The Cashbox National Beach Music Top 40 currently also has Dance Tonight at #1. The chart is produced weekly by Fessa John Hook, with a syndicated Countdown Show that is broadcast at various times on many radio stations throughout the Southeast.  WDZD - FM in Monroe, NC does a Weekly Top 30 chart, produced by DJ Eric Bowman and broadcast every Saturday morning at 10 AM. Their current numero is also I Want It All Back.  The Carolina Sounds Syndicated Beach Music Show maintains a monthly chart as produced by Butch Halpin. His current #1 tune is Dance Tonight. Andy Lucy up at WEVA - 860 AM in Emporia, VA no longer produces a countdown but closely monitors and records listener requests as well as other charts. His two most popular tunes right now are Dance Tonight and a new one, Satisfy My Woman by The Entertainers

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The 2015 Carolina Beach Music Award nominations were announced on a special edition of 94.9 The Surf on Friday, September 25th. There are several categories this year that are among the toughest competition that I can remember in recent years. Group Album of the Year shapes up to be very stiff indeed, with five very strong releases nominated. One thing to remember in this category is that an album does not have to be released strictly within the 2015 timeframe (August 1st, 2014 through July 31st, 2015) to be eligible, if it happens to be prior to that and has not previously won the category.

 

 2MS by Charlotte based Too Much Sylvia, which has been out for a couple of years, has had no less than six songs make the various Beach music charts during that point in time. The Castaways Band had Generations One through Five inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame last year. Generation Six, which has been going now for the last 10 years, has their best album to date with the 2014 release of Moving On. Three tunes so far from the album have hit the charts with possibly more to come.

 

 Myrtle Beach based Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot are nominated for their Playin' With Fire album from 2014, which consisted of six tunes, at least two of which were hits on the Beach charts. Summer Love, just released in late July by the Charlotte based Entertainers, is a combination of previous charting hits and several new tracks, one of which is already charting in a big way. One of the most popular groups in and out of Beach music is the youthful Hip Pocket Band. Their 2014 release of Disco Wrecking Ball is nominated, featuring twelve dynamic tracks of dance music.

 

 

National Dance Song of the Year has six pretty amazing nominees for 2015 as well. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars was released in January, hit #1 on Billboard and remained there for 11 weeks. It made all the Beach music charts as well. British singer/songwriter Olly Murs hit us hard with the groove of Dance With Me Tonight from his 2012 Right Place Right Time album. The only local song in the group is the Charlotte based Spirit Records I'll Know (When The Right One Comes Along) from Ms. Sonja Grier, which is still performing very well on the Beach charts. A recent up and comer is the Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor single Marvin Gaye, which was released early this summer and was #21 on Billboard's September 30th Top 100 chart. Love Never Felt So Good from the late Michael Jackson was co-written by Michael and Paul Anka, finally showing up on his 2014 Xscape album. Last, but certainly not least, holy cow, Georgia based Soul singer Lomax's Swing It was #1 on the Beach Music Smokin' Top 45 from December 2014 to August of this year!

 

 

The Group of the Year category for 2015 is certainly no given either. Always a favorite of Beach music fans, Band of Oz, an eight time winner in this category, is nominated once again. We had a section in last month's Beach Buzz on the Embers, stating the fact that with Craig Woolard back in the fold, they are in big demand. Surprisingly, in the 20 year history of the current CBMA, they have never won Group of the Year.  Another nominee, Jim Quick & Coastline, are five time winners in this category, but have not won since 2008. Last year's first time winners, The Entertainers, continue to be a hot ticket as they are nominated once again this year. The new kid on the block is Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot, a band that has been together for a little over two years but have gained quite a large following. This one will certainly be interesting.

 

 

This is an outstanding quote from Ms. Hariett Grady on the Carolina Beach Music Award nominations, known as the Godmother of Beach Music in the Charleston, SC area. "Congratulations to all the nominees! Being nominated is just like winning! Just think, enough industry people thought enough of you to put you in the top 5 or 6. A really big thanks to everyone who nominated JB Pivots Beach Club for Club of the Year (Bill Griffin Award). We are "deeply honored" to be nominated".

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We don't want to forget the 10th Annual Charleston Beach & Shag Festival scheduled for October 24th and 25th. It will include Shag Dance Workshops, DJs and live band performances on both days. Scheduled to perform are Jim Quick & Coastline, Fantastic Shakers and the Hot Pepper Band. Veteran DJs that will be playing include Betty Brown, Jim Bowers, Andy Todd and Gerry Scott. The location for both days will be the Holliday Citadel Alumni Building in Charleston. Check the poster above on how to find out more information.

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Give me somethin' fried!  Baloney, maybe!

Eating out at the beach day after day if you are there for a long stay can get expensive! Now I enjoy a fried baloney sandwich or a cheeseburger from Fat Harolds or Ducks for lunch as much as anyone but the dinner meals are not cheap at any of the Grand Strand's restaurants. If we are staying at a house, condo or a hotel that has a fridge, I always try to take a pan of pre-made lasagna or something similar for at least one (or maybe two, LOL) evening meals. Breakfast and lunch groceries from home or even Bi-Lo helps out the vacation budget as well. I LOVE a good chicken salad for lunch but try as I might, my homemade version is not up to standard. One of the best I have found is actually made at the beach - Robert's Famous Chicken Salad originated at Robert's Market in Wrightsville Beach, an institution there since 1919.  Another lunchtime favorite is the Palmetto Pimento Cheese, made by the Pawleys Island Specialty Group. A sausage, egg and cheese biscuit from Bojangles is mighty good for breakfast as well!  Here it is almost noon as I am writing this and it is making me very hungry!!

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As we continue to move forward in time with Beach music constantly evolving, I find myself very often waxing nostalgic (maybe it is my advanced age!), longing for some of the old or even not so old days and the music of those decades. Therefore, here is a new feature that I may include from time to time, picking my most intriguing songs from the charting Beach music tunes by year in any one decade. Here are the picks for 1981 through 1990, with the number that they charted at in that year's Top 40. If you don't have these tunes, I would recommend you find them, they are part of the history of the genre!

 

 1981 - Struck By Lightening Twice  - Temptations. At #6, a hidden jewel from their Power album that featured the reconstituted lineup of Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Otis Williams, Richard Street and Glenn Leonard.

 

1982 - Fool For Your Love - Jimmy Hall. At #19, Alabama native Hall was the lead singer and harmonica player for Wet Willie for many years and is still active as a performer. You may remember him recording a tune with the Embers on their 1996 Let's Have A Party album.

 

1983 - I Want A Man To Shag With Me - Dynamic Upsetters. At #30, led by W.J. Moore, this Cary, NC energetic group was a party favorite in the Carolinas. Their music was often produced by Gary Gibson, current owner of Loafers Beach Club. Lead singing duties on this particular smash hit were handled by Ms. Vernelle Mack.

 

1984 - Hidden Tears - Tierra.  At #20, this East Los Angeles Latino group was an early 1970's spinoff of El Chicano, they have dissolved and re-formed several times since then, focusing on R&B covers and originals.

 

1985 - Give Me Yo' Most Strongest Whiskey - Denise LaSalle.  At #27, I had to look twice at the chart to believe this one was there - don't get me wrong, it is a Soul/Blues killer from the Queen herself, who continues to be active after more than 50 years in the business.

 

1986 - Twistin' Pneumonia - Genies. At #37. wow, here is one originally recorded in New York in 1960 by this Long Island R&B group. Frequently on lead was Roy Hammond, a South Carolina native and Long Island transplant, later better known in Southern Soul music as Roy C!

 

1987 - Bad Bad Business - Andy Griffith & The Dixie Seven. At #22 and originally recorded in 1958, Mt. Airy, NC native Andy Griffith did a Beach song? Yep, it was actually more of an upbeat Blues tune complete with ol' Ange's Country twang, but it turned out to be a dynamite tune for sure!

 

1988 - I Couldn't Believe It - David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks. At #36, these two original Temptations got back together to collaborate on a signature album that featured this outstanding tune. Unfortunately, they had both passed away by the end of 1992.

 

1989 - Love Be With You - Randy Brown. At #11, this vastly underrated artist from Memphis got his start as the lead singer for the Stax recording group The Newcomers.  He went on to record several solo albums over the next 20 years.

 

1990 - Soothe Me - Brenton Wood. At #11, this is not the song of the same name made popular by Sam & Dave among others, but an original tune written by the legendary Wood, the Louisiana native whose career has lasted since the '60's and is still going strong as age 74.

 

 

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