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Beach Buzz August 2016

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The Hottest: We were just here, weren't we? Actually the July Top 45 Countdown and corresponding Beach Buzz publish occurred on the 11th, so it has been less than a month. Hottest is the word for the weather in Beach music country, that is for sure but....us beach peeps are goin' hoppin', as the opening song for American Bandstand said,  we got Justin Timberlake on the Beach charts with Can't Stop The Feelin' from the Trolls Soundtrack! and another one, Sugar Honey Iced Tea by Charlie Wilson is requested in the clubs and on the radio everywhere I go. The former Gap Band lead singer has had six solo albums and eleven Grammy nominations to his credit........The hottest tune right now? In my opinion, the up and comer is Why You Wanna Do That? by Lomax, BUT, I am somewhat biased, since he mentions ol' Soul Dog in the song, LOL.........don't worry, I will not need a new hat size!.

  

More songs are popping right now though - both old and new. Dance Tonight, 2015's CBMA of Song of the Year, returned to the Smokin' Top 45 #1 slot in July - just will NOT go away, lol. Two key Saturday morning radio Countdowns are Ted Bell's Top 20 on 94.9 FM the Surf in North Myrtle Beach and Eric Bowman's The Wave Top 30 on WDZD 99.1 FM in Monroe, NC. Ted has One More Try For Love by The Entertainers at #1 and Eric has Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot's Little Bit Of Love in the top spot. The Cashbox Weekly Beach Top 40 (see more on Cashbox below) has Terri Gore's current remake of Real Emotion in the #1 slot.

 

  Looks like I failed to mention last month that the new KHP compilation Where It All Began ...And Continues has an Andre Lee track on it. He is a Southern Soul artist that has been a Beach music favorite for quite a while, which was further enhanced by his 2013 appearance at the November CBMA Awards. His big hits in the genre to date have been One Night Stand in 2010/2011 and Back In The Day Cafe, which transcended 2013 and 2014. Andre makes 'em last and this latest, Right Kind Of Woman, has that potential. It is actually on his most recent album, The Truth, which we reviewed in our Southern Soul Corner column in October of 2015. That review is available at this link http://www.beachmusic45.com/id1054.html4last

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The Cashbox Magazine Beach Music Top 40 has gone rogue again!! LOL, not really, just daring to explore some different music, which is a good thing. There is a fairly heavy dose of what would be considered Blues tunes residing there right now. Salt Sugar And Fat by Bad News Barnes & The Brethren of Blues Band jumps off pretty strong! The same can be said for You Smell Like Cookies from Andy Santana and The West Coast Playboys - several of the club DJs are picking up on this one! Then there is Fine Seasoned Woman by Toronzo Cannon - lots of soulful horn riffs on this one and several others on his The Chicago Way album. We have heard from Pacific Northwesterner Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne in the past in Beach music - the current single ringing the bell is his Look Out! There's A Train Coming. The aforementioned tracks are all relatively new - the Chart then reaches back to 2006 for Pennsylvania Blues/Soul master Billy Price's  Soul Sailin'. Another previously unknown blast from the past, 2000 to be exact, I Can't Leave You Alone, is from the inaugural album of D.C. Bellamy, who spent many years backing up the likes of Gene Chandler, Betty Everett and Brook Benton. He also happened to be Curtis Mayfield's half brother!  All of the above are excellent tunes, to be sure, check them out!

W  S  G  E         9 1. 7   FM

 

 

The guys at WSGE 91.7 FM at Gaston College in Dallas, NC are keeping Beach music alive and well in that part of the country! From Friday afternoon to Sunday night, the radio air is filled with Beach and Shag excitement.  The station was the winner of the Carolina Beach Music Award for Best FM Radio Station in 2011 and in 2015. There are multiple DJs and a variety of shows - the lineup looks pretty much like this:

 

Friday 6 PM to 10 PM  -  Friday Night Beach Revival - Kyle Beam

Friday 10 PM to Midnight - Dem Shaggin' Blues - Ron and Phil

Midnight to Saturday 6 AM - AutoDJ Beach & Shag

Saturday 6 AM to 9 AM - Beach Beat - Lamar Walker

Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM - Carolina Beach Party - Johnny B and Tiny

Saturday 1 PM to 4 PM - Beach and Boogie - Frank Price

Saturday 4 PM to 7 PM - Afternoon Shag Party - Phil Kistler

Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM - Mr. T's Party Deck - Curtis Treece

Sunday 4 PM to 8 PM - Headliners in Review - Ron Ramsey

 

Check out all the entertainment features this station has to offer at http://www.wsge.org/

 

 

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What do you know about a group called the Funtastics? Well, I have to admit I didn't know alot until I asked. The basis of this group goes back a ways. Craig Stripling was performing in a Top 40 band in Myrtle Beach at the Magic Attic in the mid-'80's  - he heard Beach music while there and was hooked. He formed the Funtastics as a Beach/R&B band, a six piece outfit complete with horns which played from New Jersey to Florida for years, spreading the word about the genre.

The current version of the Funtastics, based in North Augusta, SC, is two very talented musicians. They are Craig Stripling and John Wilson, not to be confused with Johnny Wilson or John L. Wilson, both in the Big Time Band. Proof positive that a duo can produce a great sound, their brand of entertainment is all live music, no accompanying pre-recorded tracks. They are dedicated to being a factor for a long time on the Beach music scene. Eighteen year old Zane Stripling is their opening and intermission act so to speak, he does a "Vegas Rat Pack Tribute" with a Shag beat and a Tribute to Frankie Valli!

The Funtastics are currently managed and promoted by Judie Walters,(www.judiespatioparty.com ) with a new album out entitled Life At The ODP. The humdinger of a charting hit has been the H. Lee Shuffle, which is a tribute to H. Lee Brown, who has kept the OD Pavilion rolling for so many years. With all original tunes, the very skilled Craig was the songwriter, engineer and producer of the album with three additional hot tracks being: The ODP(It’s Where I Want To Be),  I Just Want To Dance With You, and I Repeat, Let’s Go To The Beach. This latest CD can be purchased online at www.Funtasticsband.com, the OD Pavilion, or your favorite Beach Music outlet.  You may like them on Face Book at The Funtastics Duo.

 

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                           Sun Jam 2016 - Pictures Courtesy of Alex Webb

Sun Jam - the recent pictures above are from this event that happens every year in July in Chapel Hill, NC. This year was great, the musicians came together and gave us a full evening of entertainment just like previous years. One sideliner this year, however, was six inches of rain in an hour and a half that just about washed the hotel away where the event was being held - but the band played on! I refer you to the following link where you can read (or re-read lol) last year’s comprehensive narrative of this mighty event! http://www.beachmusic45.com/id1048.html

 

 

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It has been almost 30 years since a British born record collector and DJ started a movement that, little did he know, would have a lasting impact on Beach music. Ian Levine, who had spun records on the Northern Soul scene in England at the famous Blackpool Mecca, and later was part of a venture that opened the Wigan Casino, another all night Soul dance club. He also spent much of the '70's and early '80's writing music and recruiting artists to record, resulting in several startup record labels. With a huge interest and collection of Motown, he was able to launch in 1987 what later became Motorcity Records - first convincing Kim Weston to record with him. Many former Motown artists followed suit such as Mary Wells, The Velvelettes, Marv Johnson, Edwin Starr, Martha Reeves, Bobby Taylor, former members of The Supremes as well as singer/songwriters such as Johnny Bristol and Ivy Jo Hunter.

 As momentum for the venture grew, there was even a huge U.S. rally in April of 1989, with over sixty artists gathering in front of Hitsville USA in Detroit to participate. The artist roster grew to over one hundred acts by the early '90's. New tunes were crafted as well as some jacked up remakes of originals. Major record outlets in the U.S., however, were somewhat reluctant to distribute a synthesized brand (with less live musicians) of recorded product. Levine plowed forward, continuing the marketing efforts in the U.S. and U.K. for over 10 years before financial troubles, including disgruntled artists who had not been paid what was promised, pretty much halted the movement.

How, you ask, does this relate to our little world of Beach music down here in the Southeast corner of the USA? Well, within the close to a thousand songs that came out of the Motorcity label on various compilation releases, several became Beach music staples and are still played on the radio and in clubs today. Ripete Records even licensed some of the tracks, re-releasing them on the two volume Shag Spectacular compilations in the mid to late '90's. What were the songs that we still recognize?  Here are some of the major ones:

 

Back By Popular Demand - Supremes/Originals
Release This Love - Edwin Starr  
Down For The Third Time - P.J.    
Looking Through The Eyes Of A Fool - Johnny Bristol 
Nothing Can Stop Me - Marv Johnson 
Love Running Through My Fingers - Ivy Joe Hunter 
It's A Shame - G.C. Cameron          
Merry Go Round - Pat Lewis  
Gonna Win You Back - Contours 
Please Mr. Postman - Originals 
You're My Lucky Number - Ronnie McNeir 
Don't Wait Around - Elgins  
Memories And Souvenirs  - Freda Payne 
Changing It Up - Billy Griffin 
Turn This Heart Around - Lovetones 

                   

 

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