Beach Buzz April 2016

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 What Is Truly Hot:  As I said last month the Carolina Soul Band's new single, True Love, was headed for a possible #1 on 94.9 the Surf and sure enough, it got there. The tune is a silky smooth soulful track for the band, which has now been in existence for approximately 8 years...... Last year's albums for two of Beach music's Hall of Fame bands, the Entertainers (Summer Love) and the Catalinas (Dancin' Romancin'), have produced multiple charting hits that have sustained their popularity through 2016. For the Entertainers, Satisfy My Woman, featuring Jim Stoudemire, has hit #1 on multiple charts. Also seeing chart action is I'm Coming Home, featuring Earl Dawkins and Use To Be My Girl with Mike Brown.  The Catalinas have seen heavy chart action from Cool Breeze featuring Barry Duke and Just One Look has Barry Duke sharing vocal duties with Sara Strable. Let's Celebrate has also gotten quite a bit of airplay as well..................Also smokin' hot, without a doubt, is Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot. Their Playin' With Fire 2 album has I Want It All Back, Wrap You Up In Honey and Too Many Tears (with Marsha Morgan), all as recent charters........






Mr.  Sammy O'Banion


Speaking of Hall of Famers, a legendary individual inducted in the CBMA Hall in 2006 has a current smash hit in Beach music as well. I am speaking about Sammy O'Banion, who began performing in his hometown of Augusta, GA while he was still knee high to a grasshopper, formed his own band and began recording while still in his teens. With a career now spanning well over 50 years, Sammy has seen and done it all in the business while continuing to rise to the occasion. He has had dozens of Beach music hits along the way and his Mardi Gras Band was one of the most popular on the circuit for many years. The creative juices continue to flow for Sammy, judging by the crafting of his latest single, Don't Walk On By, which is either at or near the top of all the Beach music charts.


Always one to recognize the contributions of others, Sammy often expresses this in his music. Great examples of this would be the tribute to one of Beach music's biggest supporters with Stevie Levy Shuffle; or paying homage to one of its most knowledgeable and best DJ's that we lost too soon, Robbie Vogt, on Dr. Feelgood; or his rendition of Rock & Roll (Beach Music) Heaven, celebrating those luminaries in the genre that have gone on such as Joe Pope, Shad Alberty and Charlie Byrd.  Sammy O'Banion is a true Beach music treasure that I for one hope has many more hit tunes to come!




Eugene 'Hideaway' Bridges is an internationally recognized Blues artist that has been a factor in Beach music for the last several years. He was born in New Orleans and raised on Gospel, R&B and Blues music. Bridges inherited the nickname from his father, who was a Blues guitarist known as Hideaway Slim. Returning from service in the Air Force, Eugene sang in gospel groups such as the New Chosen and the Mighty Clouds of Joy. Later moving to Houston, he formed his own band and began touring the US and abroad. Eugene's first album, Born To Be Blue, came about in 1998 on the Blueside label after becoming very popular as a performer in the UK and Europe. His first notable hit single in the Beach music world was Movin' & Groovin', released in 2000 but didn't really score in the genre until almost 2 years later.  He has had some dynamite tunes in our market since that time including She Wants To Dance With Me, I Found It, You're The One, I'm Going Back (To Myrtle Beach), Dance With You and My Baby Loves Me.


Eugene's latest album, Hold On A Little Bit Longer, was released in mid-2015 on Armadillo Records, his eighth on the label since 2000. Ninety plus percent of Bridges' historical output is self-penned - this album has a combination of primarily mid-tempo and upbeat Blues with some Jazz, Soul and even Big Band connotations interspersed in a few of the tunes. His vocals are always loud and clear, a definite a plus factor when you can hear and understand the words of a song. V8 Ford is a straight ahead bluesy number that has been a recent hit among Beach DJ's and has begun to chart. I also like One More Time as a slower shag track - the album is fifteen tunes in all that may be Eugene's most diverse ever in terms of musical variety. After 30 plus years in the music business, Eugene Hideaway Bridges keeps it rolling on!




SOS Spring Safari Parade - 2015


It is April and that means once again SOS Spring Safari is upon us.  The official dates for this annual event are 4/15 through 4/24 but the bands and DJs are always there to crank up a day or so earlier. Now 31 years after the Shag was named the official state dance of South Carolina, the crowds still come both spring and fall in droves to SOS. Live entertainment, whether it be a great band or a set of DJs,  is always available at one of the North Myrtle Beach venues during SOS - Fat Harolds, Ducks, Spanish Galleon, Pirates Cove, Pavilion, OD Beach Club, Deckerz, OD Arcade and more provide the very best in Beach and Shag music.


 All the band schedules at the various clubs were not completely set at press time. I do know that Ducks has the Embers, Carolina Soul Band, Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band and Hip Pocket on their booked list. Deckerz will feature Big Time, Too Much Sylvia, Shag Doctorz, Holiday, Fat Jack, Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot,  Marsha Morgan Band, Mark Roberts Band, Midnight Allie and a very special Friday the 22nd appearance all the way from New Jersey by Wallstreet. The Spanish Galleon has scheduled the Entertainers, Fantastic Shakers, Martin Davis Band, Band of Oz, Jim Quick & Coastline, Embers and a Saturday afternoon the 23rd follow-up performance by Wallstreet. Down the road a piece from Main Street is 2001, a long time entertainment venue located at 920 Lake Arrowhead Road. Their band lineup during SOS - Holiday, Tim Clark, Catalinas, Tams, Too Much Sylvia, Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot.


 On the last Saturday of SOS Spring Safari you have to get to Main Street early to get a good spot to watch the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs Parade. ACSC member clubs plan, design, and build parade floats for fun as well as a chance to win one of the coveted awards. There are award categories for both Best Shag Theme and Most Original Float. The Spring Safari Parade always draws a huge crowd as a crowning event to a great 10 days of fun and entertainment!



Have you seen this?  After 17 years of holding the highly successful and award winning Triangle Beach Music Festival at Bryan Farms just south of Garner, NC, it will be moving locations this year. T and R Baxstage Productions, who have sponsored and run this Festival since Day 1, announced that this year's event will be held at the Pitt County Fairgrounds in Greenville, NC. Past Festivals have included a variety of the best in Beach and party entertainment, including Chairmen of the Board, Embers, Tams, Craig Woolard Band, Clarence Carter, Holiday Band, Sammy O'Banion & Mardi Gras,  Fantastic Shakers and Sleeping Booty. This year's stellar lineup includes Band of Oz, Jim Quick & Coastline, Hip Pocket and Spare Change.  The music and the fun will be on April 30th, which is true to the tradition of having it on the last Saturday in April each year. I was fortunate enough to be part of the host team from WTRG 100.7 FM the first 6 years that the Festival was held. It has grown by leaps and bounds since kicking off in 1999. The TBMF won the Carolina Beach Music Awards Event of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2011.


It is back for the third year in a row and it is bigger than ever! Bass Mountain Boogie takes place again this year at the Cane Creek Campground in Snow Creek, NC (just South of Graham in Alamance County) with a stellar lineup of music variety. Beach bands include: Jim Quick & Coastline, Holiday Band, Shaggie Maggie, Steve Owens & Summertime, Castaways and Magnificents over the course of the 2 day event on May 6th and 7th. Also performing will be crowd favorites Mason Lovette Band, Megan Doss and Exit 173. There will also be some surprise guest appearances, great food, beverage and merchandise vendors and a whole lotta fun!


   Two plus hours of what is guaranteed to be great music on! Playing Beach, Blues, Soul R&B both new and old, give it a listen!




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