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Beach Buzz March 2016

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Marsha Morgan Performs    

 

What's Going On: I am sure DJ Throwdown turned out what will be some new hits in Carolina Beach music. One of the hottest new ones I have heard so far comes from Ms. Marsha Morgan, who is on fire with Is There A Lover In The House? Her duet with Gary Lowder, Too Many Tears, is currently getting strong play as well............With a constant string hits over the last 2 plus years and  I Got A Feeling still charting, the Summerdaze Band has a hot new track featuring lead singer Stacy Danner on I Got To Know..........

 

Rhonda McDaniel is getting heavy airplay and chart action on Love Guess Who from her Lookin' For Sugar album........Not only did Satisfy My Woman go to #1, but now the Entertainers are also charting with I'm Coming Home and Use To Be My Girl.........Former Castaways and Fabulous Daddy'O's vocalist Pat Christie's rendition of I Get The Sweetest Feeling has caught a strong tailwind and is progressing up the charts. Ditto for Coastline's Glenn Tippett with Something Like Olivia................Two potential future #1's on 94.9 the Surf are True Love by Carolina Soul Band and Don't Walk On By from Sammy O'Banion......

 

I am always intrigued by the Fessa John Hook's National Beach Music Top 40 Chart as published weekly by Cashbox Magazine. John often picks up on songs that otherwise would get overlooked. A good example was his recent #35 and climbing Promises Promises by Dutch singer Lisa Lois. This outstanding tune was released in 2009, the same year Lois won the second season of The X-Factor. Another good example much closer to home is the Godfather of Beach Music, Mr. Jackie Gore's 2015 release of I'm So Happy which was sitting at #16. I would have thought this song would have been readily picked by all the DJs but it hasn't really happened so far.......

 

Boz Scaggs ' Full of Fire single from last year's A Fool To Care album has done very well on the Beach charts and with the DJ's. The album, by the way, hit #1 on Billboard's Blues Top 100 in 2015 - it was the 10th time one of his albums had made a Billboard Top 10 chart and the 4th time at numero uno.  Not bad for a guy who had his first charting single way back in 1971, which was roughly 12 years after Boz got started in the music business while a teenager and classmate of Steve Miller in Dallas in 1959..........

 

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Well, I am back on the air! After 8 plus years of hosting my Way Down South internet radio show on live365.com, the demise of this hosting site left thousands of radio stations worldwide out in the cold. I have joined a great organization called Remember Then Radio, which can be found on the web at rememberthenradio.com/. We will be starting slow and easy, which at my age is the way I like most everything these days!  I will host a 2 hour voice tracked show called Soul Dog's Beach Boogie n'  Blues which will air Sundays at 12 Noon. Our intent will be to potentially include a live show on this station in the near future! Plan to give it a listen and feel free to let me know what you think at nealfur@aol.com.

 

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One of the most important events of the year is coming up this month on Sunday March 13th. That would be the Benefit for one of the greatest Beach music vocalists of all time, Mr. Gary Brown. Gary has had some recent health problems and has been in and out of the hospital over the last several weeks. The place is Thirsty's 2 in Greensboro, NC - it will be hosted by Chad Sain and includes as entertainment the Band of Oz, Catalinas, Special Occasion Band and Martin Davis Band featuring both Jackie Gore and Big John Thompson. There will be raffles and live auction items all afternoon. If you are able, please attend this very worthy cause!

 

 

 

 

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How, you might ask, did a rather brazen individual from all the way down in Wiggletoe, Alabama successfully integrate himself into Carolina Beach music?  Well, it hasn't always been easy, but the right Reverend Bubba D. Liverance and his band of Cornhole Prophets have been making quite a dent with the North Myrtle Beach crowd and beyond since about 2008. The good Rev was not totally foreign to Beach music, having matriculated in his younger years in the down East burg of Whiteville, NC. If you were standing out front of The Pad in the '60's watching the world turn, the Rev was NOT the guy driving by in the beat-up 1960 Ford Falcon with the clip-on sunglasses and rolled up sleeves - he was the cool dude gliding down the boulevard with the Aviator shades in the sleek grey '65 GTO!! The Rev and the CHP have had several singles make big splashes in the last 8 years including If You Can't Shag, That's What You Do, Mo' Better, Come Back Baby, Shagland, You Used To Shake It For Me and Sweet Potato Pie coupled with three stellar albums, Let My Peoples Dance, Watermelon Fields Forever and The Recession Sessions, of regional as well as national acclaim.

 

The title of latest album from Bubba D. is a little freaky -  Haint Blue Deluxe somehow conjures up images of the ghost tales I used to read religiously as a kid! Contained within, however, is some of the Rev and CHP's best work, of which two singles, A Night Like This and What Else Could It Be, were Beach chart mainstays for much of 2015. Tender Moment is in line to be the next hit - it has both a shag and a cha-cha groove together with a late '60's jukebox harmony. Man, Cool With Me and Windows both have that four beat rhythm that works as a good radio or club tune!  Almost There is a five and change deliberate soft melody starting out that gradually builds into a crescendo of coordinated vocals and horns. Eight tracks in all, trust me, this stuff is righteous dynamite!  As it should be from the exalted Reverend Bubba D. Liverance and the Cornhole Prophets!!

 

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Another planned Sugarcreek Band Reunion Weekend is right around the corner, which has proved in recent years to be a great event!. March 24th through the 26th will be the dates for the 3 day affair at North Myrtle Beach's Spanish Galleon. It includes former band members and current Beach luminaries Jerry West, Rick Lee and Tim Clark. Bands playing over the course of the weekend include Band of Oz, Too Much Sylvia, Tim Clark Band, Big Sam and of course the Sugarcreek Reunion Band, which features the gentlemen mentioned above plus Robbie Hegler, Steve Long and Lynn Samples. Great music all the way around!

 

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Here is one of the first Beach music festivals of the season. It is the 3rd Annual Beach Fest Down On The Farm on April 9th, which is located in Selma, NC just off Interstate 95. This year's event will feature 4 of the top tier bands in the business - Band of Oz, The Embers with Craig Woolard, Jim Quick & Coastline and The Entertainers. All of these bands were nominated for the 2015 Carolina Beach Music Awards Group of the Year. Hypothetically speaking, if these four bands were your choices as being in the Top 5 bands in Beach music, who would your 5th choice be? Not trying to start anything, I am just speculating! At any rate, this will absolutely be one of the finest outdoor festivals of 2016!  For more information, check out their website at www.theHYPERLINK "http://www.thefarmnc.com/"farmncHYPERLINK "http://www.thefarmnc.com/".com/.

 

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Right on the heels of the April 9th event above comes another biggie on Sunday, April 10th. The location is in Courtland, VA at the Frankin/Southampton, County Fairgrounds, again not far off of Interstate 95. It is the 2016 Spring Fling Beach Music Festival, featuring three of the hottest bands in the business. Band of Oz will play, along with Jim Quick & Coastline and perhaps the fastest growing group popularity wise right now, Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band. Eastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia radio personality Jay Jenkins will be hosting and providing intermission music as well. Other radio DJ's planning to attend include Andy Lucy, Johnny Draper and Ray Melton. For more information, call  Teresa at (252) 398-6631. Don't miss this exciting afternoon of great music and great fun!!

        

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                                           The Notations   1975 Album

 

There are alot of oddities/coincidences/deliberations etc. that occur in the music business - always have been and always will be, as long as the industry exists. It is one reason that I so enjoy researching the history, particularly as it relates to the Beach/Soul/R&B genres. The twists and turns can be really interesting - and what is just in a name anyways?. Check this winding tale out!

 

For us Beach music fans, we have known and loved a legendary performer named Clifford Curry, who started singing professionally while still in high school in Knoxville, TN in the mid-'50's. Just last year, he won a Carolina Beach Music Award for Best Solo Album with Cold Beer Hot Women. In the 60 plus years in between, Clifford has performed in groups and as a solo artist, written and recorded scores of songs, has had nationally charting hits, travelled and performed all over the world, all the while becoming quite internationally famous.

 

The Chicago Soul music scene in the '60's was a hot ticket with charting hits spawning from several different labels. A somewhat younger outstanding singer during this period from the Windy City also named Clifford Curry had started writing songs and performing while still an adolescent. Later with some high school friends, he formed what became a vastly underrated group known as The Notations. Although never achieving national stardom, they did score five Billboard Top 100 R&B hits between 1971 and 1976, had quite a local following,  released an awesome self-titled album and later signed with Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label. The Notations still perform to some degree today. Their first big hit, I'm Still Here, was covered much later by a Los Angeles group called Sly, Slick & Wicked, who ironically at some point in their long history, reportedly had a singer for a brief time also named Clifford Curry.

 

(For you classic Soul enthusiasts, you will remember that a Chicago group known as the Lost Generation recorded and released a song entitled The Sly, Slick And The Wicked on the Brunswick label in 1970). The Los Angeles version of Sly, Slick & Wicked was formed in 1969, recorded and released a few singles along the way, but did not get really recognized until their 1996 album release of smooth Soul harmonies called Confessin' A Feeling. They followed this up in 1999 with a second album release, Tonight's The Nite.

 

 At approximately the same timeframe in the late '60's/early '70's, some 2300 miles away in Cleveland, another group was formed, coincidentally also known as Sly, Slick & Wicked. This group recorded a smattering of soulful singles, in addition to one self-titled album on a Motown sub-label in 1976. They toured extensively, first with James Brown, and later with a whole host of artists over the next 35 plus years. The very talented individuals in the group have also written songs and/or produced for such notables as The O'Jays, Janet Jackson and Barry White.

 

The Cleveland group has claimed repeatedly that the California version of SSW is a fake and that they are the 'real original' Sly, Slick & Wicked!! I have to totally disagree (even though there may have been litigation in the past over the name) with that fake assertion. Who is to say that the California group was not formed first and what does it matter that they have the same name? From my perspective, any individual artist or group that spends the time and effort to record and release music is certainly not a fake! Back in the heyday of the '60's garage bands and what we called combos, there was as many as seven different groups just in the Carolinas using the name The Nomads, and I wouldn't consider any of them to be a fake. A name is a name (and many people have the same name in the world) but a good thing to remember is that the production of strong music by hard working artists creates something that is forever!!

 

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