Passages 2016

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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.

Passages 2016

We will always remember 




Associate member of the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ's Herbert “Butch” Mattox, 65, died January 14 at his home in Norwood, North Carolina.  Butch was born February 6, 1950 in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.   Retired from McDonald's Homes in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina after 32 years of service, he worked for Mt. Pleasant before returning to North Carolina.  He was a member of the Piedmont Shag Club and enjoyed shagging, playing golf and going to the beach.  Butch and his wife of 47 years, Carol, were members of Silver Springs Baptist Church in Norwood.   He was the father of daughter Haley, who is married to Jeff Thompson, and was preceded in death by a son, Sheldon Trent Mattox.   


  Leon Haywood, born February 11, 1942 in Houston, Texas, died April 5.  An accomplished songwriter and arranger, he first tour and recorded with saxophonist Big Jay McNeely's band, whose band was backing Sam Cooke on the road.  It was at that time that McNeely arranged for him to record his first single, which was an instrumental.  After that, he was asked by Sam Cooke to become his band's keyboardist, which he did so until the singer's death.  He later joined session bands and began recording his own music, gaining his entry into the Rhythm & Blues charts in 1965.  In 1967, Leon secured his first major solo hit, It's Got To Be Mellow, which peaked on the Rhythm & Blues chart at #21 and #63 on the Pop chart.  The song rose to #13 on the Beach Music chart and remains a timeless classic today, being frequently played on Beach Music Radio shows and in clubs.  Not only was Leon Haywood a recording artist, but he was a record producer and songwriter.  He is credited with writing Carl Carlton's hit in 1981 hit, She's A Bad Mama Jamma and Nathaniel Kimble's Beach Music hit, She's A Bad Mama Jamma, in 2014.  Leon also wrote songs for Joe Louis Walker, Swamp Dogg, Booker T & The MG's and Garland Green, just to name a few. Even Dr. Dre has recorded his songs.    


Rhythm & Blues singer Tommy Brown, born May 27, 1931 in Lumpkin, Georgia, achieved most of his success in the early 1950's, particularly with The Griffin Brothers, who recorded the Beach Music hits, Move It On Over and Margie Day's Little Red Rooster.  Tommy was also the lead singer for the group's Beach Music hit, Tra La La.  In early 1952, he joined the United States Marine Corps, following which he moved to Chicago where he joined United Records.  It was during that time, he played with Bill Doggett's band and helped write, he claims, the hit Honky Tonk, of which he was the lead singer on the vocal version of the song.  In the 1960's, he recorded as a comedian, releasing two live albums.  In 1977, he returned to Atlanta to run the Landmark Personal Care Center.  After fans sought for him to re-establish his singing career, he made a comeback in 2001 and performed around the world in Blues festivals.  He began recording once again, releasing several albums in the mid-2000's and scoring with the huge SOS breakout song, Remember Me.  In 2006, Tommy Brown was inducted into the Blue's Hall of Fame in Memphis.  On Sunday, March 12, the City of Atlanta saw the passing of her local Rhythm & Blues and Chitlin Circuit legend.


Marvin “Kebo” Keith Davis, owner and operator of radio station WLWL Radio in Rockingham, North Carolina, died April 5.  Born September 25, 1947, he served his country in the United States Navy and worked with CSX Railroad before joining the broadcast radio industry.  Kebo spent much of his time preserving the Beach Music he loved.  “Big Wave” WLWL Radio 770 won numerous awards over the years, including AM Radio Station of the Year in the Carolina Beach Music Awards for seventeen straight years.  Kebo was the recipient of the 1998 Carolina Beach Music Awards' Billy Scott Lifetime Achievement Award.  In addition to his work with WLWL, Kebo Davis dedicated much of his time to preserving the music he loved.  He treasured the music and its artists, the dancers and the clubs who supported the music.


Keyboardist Terry Nash, died April 12 at the Cape Fear Hospice at the age of 61.  His love of music started at an early age, when he used to sneak out from his home at night and go to the church to play music.  At age fifteen, Terry started his long and happy career in music with various bands.  Terry's first big break was when he joined the band, Heart & Soul  Other band members of the Wilmington, North Carolina group were Rick Gardner, Woody Godwin, J.K. Loftis and later Don Colton.  The band had several hits on the Carolina Beach Music chart, including The Way You Love Me and Give Me Just A Little.  Over the past number of years, Terry has played with a number of groups, most notably with The Mark Roberts Band and Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot.  More recently, his professional career as a keyboardist had him working with studio sessions with national and international acts, in which he developed long lasting friendships and fans across the globe.  Terry is survived by his loving wife, Windy.   


James H. “Hack” Bartley of Hodges, South Carolina left us suddenly at the age of 66 on April 19 while enjoying one of his favorite  Born in Greenwood on May 24, 1950, he is a graduate of Greenwood High School and Lander University.  Hack worked with Greenwood Mills, after which he pursued a career in sales with National Starch Corporation and later with Harper/Love Adhesive Corporation.  He eventually established his own company in sales and consulting with Bartley & Associates.  We all know that Hack had a second career in music.  His musical and entertainment career started in 1967 with The Swingin' Medallions as a vocalist and saxophonist, spending much of his life with the band who gave us the national hit, Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love).  Hack also created his own band, resulting in hits such as Don't Wait Up On The Shrimpboat Baby ('Cause I'm Coming Home With The Crabs).  His son, Jake, was a member of that band, and later went on to  follow in his father's footsteps, spending seven years as a guitarist and singer with The Swingin' Medallions.  Jake now heads his own group, The Jake Bartley Band.  Hack continued his musical endeavors, establishing Saxy Thing Recordings and Bartley Publishing.  During his expansive musical career, Hack has won three Carolina Beach Music Awards.  In addition to his son, Jake, Hack Bartley is survived by his wife, Libby, and two daughters, Carrie Bartley Kinard and Anna Bartley Wideman.


Billy Paul, best known for his classic hit, Me and Mrs. Jones, died April 24 at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, a small community not too far from Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Born Paul Williams in Philadelphia on December 1, 1934, his love for music began at a young age, listening to his family's music collection of songs from artists such as Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald.  He always wanted to sing...smooth, silky and buttery, from which he developed his vocal style.  When he began recording, he changed his name to Billy Paul to avoid confusion with the songwriter Paul Williams and others with that name.  In the early fifties, he began recording and releasing a few singles before being drafted into the United States Army.  He served his country in Germany with Elvis Presley and Gary Crosby, Bing Crosby's son.  He and Gary formed a band with others while in Germany.  Elvis was not a member.  After his military tenure, he returned to music singing briefly with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and, later, with the Flamingos for a short period of time. While with the Blue Notes, he developed a life-long friendship with Marvin Gaye.  Gaye was with the Moonglows at the time the friendship began.  He eventually returned to Philadelphia and was approached by Kenny Gamble to record for the new company that he and Leon Huff were forming.  It was with the new company, Philadelphia International, that he released his international mega-hit, Me & Mrs. Jones.  The Grammy Award winning song was #1 on Billboard's Pop and R & B charts. The gold album and platinum single broke into the world charts, including the United Kingdom, where the single entered the Top 20.  Billy went on to record other hit albums and singles.  His I Trust You single was #79 on Billboard's R & B chart and #7 on the Beach Music chart.  Also, Billy's take on Only The Strong Survive reached #20 on the Beach Music chart and #68 on the R & B chart.  Billy Paul announced his retirement in 1989 at a concert in London, but continued to perform occasional club dates, in the United States and abroad.


Andy Smith, President of Green Dot Records in Charlotte, died unexpectantly at his home April 25.  Green Dot Music provides entertainment and music event industry and recording music, as well.   Andy was a long-time member of the Carolina Beach Music Awards' Advisory Board.  He also was a member and Past President of the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events, serving as the 2007 Co-Chairman for the NC/SC Festival Conference.  Andy also served on the Advisory Board of Wachovia National Bank and the Advisory Board of Bank of America.  In addition, he was an Advisory Board Member Emeritus for Anderson College.




Radio personality Thomas “Tommy” Stanley of Whiteville, North Carolina, born in 1938, died August 15.  He spent many years in radio, working at numerous radio stations, but called Cool 105.3 in Whiteville home.  For years, Tommy broadcast “Tommy Stanley's R & B Hour” on various radio stations in the Carolinas.  In addition, he was co-host of the “Sunny Beach” syndicated radio program for several years.  He left radio to become director of Whiteville's Downtown Development Commission.  Tommy is survived by his wife, Mary Alice.




Billy C. “Dip Ferrell” Jeffords, best known in the Beach Shag world as Dip Ferrell, died July 7 following his courageous battle with cancer.  Born December 15, 1948, Billy was educated in the Florence, South Carolina public school system and in his early years was a Golden Gloves boxer, winning many championships throughout the Carolinas.  He owned his own business in Florence, thus giving him time to work with his true love of singing, songwriting and playing the guitar.  For many years he was a member of The Jefford Brothers band, later forming his own musical career as Dip Ferrell & The True Tones.  “Dip” received over 20 nominations over the years from the Carolina Beach Music Awards.  Dip Ferrells & The True Tones are best know the singles, We're Building An Island and Some Say Hey.


Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame member Clifford Curry died September 7 after being hospitalized at the University Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee with a stroke.  Clifford was born November 3, 1936 in the Bearden area of Knoxville and was a graduate of Austin High School in 1955.  While still in high school, Clifford joined the group, The Echos.  The group had been around for about four years before Clifford joined and backed Faye Adams on her on her number one R & B hit, Shake A Hand.  The group later revamped, forming The Pennies, and released several singles for Savoy Records.  After a number of years of singing with various bands, he began working solo and teamed with Excello Records in Nashville to release, She Shot A Hole In My Soul in 1967.  The song was a hit in the Billboard  R & B chart, rising to #45.  The song also entered the Pop chart peaking at #95.  However, the song, along with its flip side, We're Gonna Hate Ourselves InThe Morning, was a double hit record along the shores of the Atlantic, peaking at #14 on the Beach Music chart.  Clifford spent over twenty years in Nashville, recording and performing such Beach Music hits as Shag With Me in 1980, Two Soul Brothers with Steve Jarrell in 1993, Boogie Woogie Country Girl in 1995.  In 1995, Clifford Curry was inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame of the Carolina Beach Music Awards.  Stacked In The Back in 1997.  Clifford went on to record more hits such as Don't Be Shy, Beach Music & Bar-B-Que, Keep Your Legs Crossed and, most recently, Col Beer, Hot Women.  Several years ago, he returned to his hometown of Knoxville.  Clifford will always be remembered for his contributions to Rhythm & Blues as “Sweet Clifford” and to Carolina Beach Music as “The King of Beach Music”. 


John Paul “Beaver” Greenway, born April 7, 1937 in Anderson, South Carolina, died September 16.  He was an evangelical Christian preacher for his church, the Church of the Lost & Found, which held Sunday services at the OD Pavilion in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Beaver also held weekly Bible studies and hosted a weekly men's breakfast.  He is survived by his wife, Ann, and son, Scott.



Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards, original member of The Intruders, born February 22, died October 15 as a result of a heart attack at his home in Philadelphia.  Formed in 1960, the group recorded several singles without much success.  It was only until the famed songwriting and record producing team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff formed their new label, Philadelphia International.  The duo put all of their hopes and dreams for their new label by signing The Intruders.  The group to score a national hit song under the new label.  The tune was (We'll Be) Together, which reached #14 on the Rhythm& Blues chart in 1966 and #78 in Pop chart.  Thus was born the “Sound of Philadelphia”.  The following year The Intruders scored their #1 hit on the R&B charts, with the song peaking at #6 on the Pop chart.  The group went on to record numerous hits over the next decade including Together and A Love That's Real, which were Beach Music hits.  The Intruders went on to enjoy more success with charted hits over the coming years.  In 1973, the quarter scored their biggest hit along the Carolinas coastline, I'll Always Love My Mama.  This song was written by Gamble & Huff and co-written by the songwriting team and singers McFadden & Whitehead.  The song was inspired by Kenny Gamble's mother, Ruby, who died in 2012.


 Harry Lee Brown, Jr., best known as H. Lee, died at his home November 24 surrounded by family.  Born in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 13, 1948, eventually his love was Ocean Drive and the surrounding areas of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  H. Lee's older sister taught him “fast dancing” when he was at an early age.  In the early sixties he began going to the beach, honing his dancing skills at Sonny's Pavilion in Cherry Grove, the O.D. Pavilion and The Pad.  In the early eighties, H. Lee moved to Ocean Drive full time and opened Duck's (night club).  H. Lee later sold Ducks and became the owner of the ocean front O.D. Pavilion in the “horseshoe” at the corner of Main Street and Ocean Boulevard.  In 2007, H. Lee was inducted into the Shagger's Hall of Fame.  In 2012, H. Lee was the recipient of the Living Legend award.  In 2016, the O.D. Pavilion was the recipient of the Club of the Year award by the Carolina Beach Music Awards.  H. Lee Brown is survived by two daughters.        

Patricia “Trisha” Christie, wife of Pat Christie (The Castaways), 1950-January 2; Long John Hunter (V-8 Ford, Bugs In My Window), July 31, 1931-January 4; founding member of The Whispers (Needle In A Haystack, My Girl) Nick Caldwell, May 4, 1944-January 5;   pop and Swing singer Kitty Kallen, May 25, 1921-January 7; Troy Shondell (The Time We're Really Breaking Up), May 4, 1939-January 7; Otis Clay (If I Could Reach Out (And Help Somebody), August 11, 1942-January 8; Excello recording artist “Queen of the Blues” Marion James aka House Rockin' James, October 8, 1934-January 9; David Bowie, January 8, 1947-January 10; Glen Frey (True Love), November 6, 1949-January 17; trumpeter and trombonist Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), May 7, 1951-January 17; Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire, December 19, 1941-February 4; Bobby Caldwell (What You Won't Do For Love), April 5, 1947-February 4; L.C Ulmer, 2009 Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indiana's Blues Artist of the Year, August 28, 1928-February 14; Sonny James (Young Love), May 1, 1928-February 22; singer and saxophonist, Lonnie Baker, Danny & The Juniors, April 18, 1946-February 24; producer, arranger, oboist and pianist, George Martin, “The Fifth Beatle”, January 3, 1926-March 8; Gogi Grant (The Wayward Wind), September 20, 1924-March 10; Keith Emerson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, November 2, 1944-March 10; Wayne Smith, for member of Little Isidore's Inquisitors as Johnny Staccato and The Capris, September 22, 1953-March 12; Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & The Hearts (Tear Drops, Long Lonely Nights, I've Had It), June 2, 1936-March 16  Frank Sinatra, Jr., son of Frank Sinatra and brother of Nancy Sinatra, October 10. 1944-March 16; singer, songwriter and pianist David Egan, March 20, 1954-March 18; drummer and studio musician for Stax Records James Terry Johnson, The Mar-Keys (Last Night), April 3, 1943-March 19; James Lee Jameson, Jr. bassist and member of The Funk Brothers, 1958-March 24; Carlos Mastrangelo, Dion & The Belmonts (I Wonder Why), October 15, 1937-April 4; Country Hall of Famer Merle Haggard, (Pennies From Heaven) April 6, 1937-April 6; Big Al Pavlow, author of The R&B Book:A Disc History of Rhythm & Blues; Michael Lazo, The Tempests (See You In September), May 1, 1932-April 12; Country Rock and Cajun Rock singer, guitarist, fiddler and mandolin player Gib Gibeau, The Flying Burrito Brothers (Honky Tonky Blues with Delbert McClinton), September 26, 1937-April 12; singer, guitarist, pianist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer Prince Roger Nelson (Rock & Roll Love Affair), June 7, 1958-April 21; guitarist and singer Lonnie Mack (McIntosh) (Memphis), September 18, 1941-April 21; Reggie Torian, son of former Harlem Globetrotters' Virgin Torian and lead vocalist for The Impressions (Rhythm) and The Independents (Can't Understand It), 1951-May 26; bassist and percussionist Marshall “Rock” Jones, The Ohio Players, January 1, 1941-May 27; Harris Calloway, trumpet player for the Muscle Shoals Horns, November 6, 1940-April 30; Ken Venable, drummer and member of The Classics IV (Stormy, Traces), May 5, 1944-June 12; singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and engineer Chips Moman who co-wrote Aretha Franklin's Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, June 12, 1937-June 13; Wendall Holmes of The Holmes Brothers (Edge Of The Ledge), 1945-June 19;trumpet player, co-founder of The Memphis Horns and one-time member of The Mar-Keys Wayne Jackson, November 21, 1941-June 21;  Sir Mack Rice (Money Talks), November 10, 1933-June 27; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, guitarist and recording engineer Scotty Moore who worked with Elvis on such songs as That's All Right, December 27, 1931-June 28; Danny Smyth, The Box Tops (The Letter, Cry Like A Baby), August 25, 1948-July 6; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Bonnie Brown, The Browns (The Three Bells), July 31, 1938-July 16; Ron Taylor, doo-wop group, The Del Larks (Job Opening), July 6, 1939-July 23; Alan Barnes, founding member of The Blackbyrds (Walking In Rhythm), September 27, 1949-July 26; Geraldine, Alabama native and resident  Pat Upton, The Spiral Staircase (I Love You More Today Than Yesterday), 1940-July 27; Clarinetist Pete Fountain (C'est Si Bon, Closer Walk With Thee), July 3, 1930-August 6; Glenn Yarbrough, founding member of the folk group The Lineliters (Baby The Rain Must Fall), January 12, 1930-August 11;  “Queen of the Beale Street” Ruby Wilson, May 10, 1948-August 12; song writer, producer and performer in Marvin Gaye's group, Jimmy Levine, 1954-August, 12; member of Roomful of Blues (Blue, Blue World) and The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Can't Stop Rockin') bassist Preston Hubbard, March 15, 1963-August 17; current member of The Manhattans Edward “Dwight” Fields, August 29, 1950 in Henderson, North Carolina-August 28;  Lou Pearlman, creator of The Backstreet Boys (I Want It That Way), 1954-August 19; Lewie Steinberg, original bassist for Booker T & The MG's (Green Onions), September 13, 1933-September 21; Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Dural (Cry To Me, Hey Good Lookin'), November 14, 1947-September 24; Robert Bateman, Motown producer, songwriter (Please Mr. Postman) and singer (The Satintones), 1936-October 2;  Joan Marie Johnson, The Dixie Cups (Chapel Of Love), January 15, 1945-October 3; Don Ciccone, The Four Seasons, Tommy James & The Shondells (December 1963-Oh What A Night), February 28, 1946-October 8; pop singer Bobby Vee (Take Good Care Of My Baby), April 30, 1943-October 16; Phil Chess, co-founder of Chess Records, whose artist roster included Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon and many others, March 27, 1921-October 18; crossover Pop singer Kay Starr (Slow Boat To China, I Get Thhe Blues When It Rains), July 21, 1922-November 3; msaxophonist Herb Hardesty, whose tenor sax solos were heard on nearly all of Fat's Domino's songs (i.e. Blue Monday, Ain't That A Shame), March 3, 1925-December 12; Pop, Rock, Blues pianist Leon Russell (Monkey Suit, Tight Rope), April 2, 1942-November 13; Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, May 4, 1956-November 15; Greg Lake od Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, November 10, 1947-December 7; George Mantalis, The Four Coins (Shangri-La), December 22, 1934-December 10; founder of Blue Thumb Records, former chairman of Elektra Records  and co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Bob Krasno,, July 20, 1934-December 11; Willie Joe Ligon founding member of The Mighty Clouds of Joy (Mighty High, Look On The Bright Side), October 11, 1936-December 11; Chicago Blues legend and piano great Harvey Charles “Barrelhouse Chuck” Goering (I'm Leaving You, How Much More, How Much More with Billy Flynn), July 10, 1958-December 12;  singer, songwrite, disk jockey and radio host Jim Lowe (Green Door), May 7, 1923-December 12 and co-founder of Wham! (Wake Me Up Before You Go Go) George Michael (Everythin She Wants), June 25, 1963-December 25.