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Beach Buzz May 2013

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Observations At Spring SOS: Nothing like the sunsets at North Myrtle Beach! There appeared to be more music venues available this year at more times during the day or night than any previous SOS. Coming down Main Street, beginning at noon, you could pretty much count on finding DJ's playing at Ducks (both the Beach Club and Cafe), Fat Harrolds (both Front and Back Rooms), Pirates Cove, OD Arcade, Pavilion and the OD Beach Club. Beach bands continue to increase their presence at SOS – the Spanish Galleon had a band every night plus bands on scheduled nights at Ducks, Fat Harrolds and 2001 as well as special outdoor band events at Deckerz, The Shoe Center, HOTOs, Avista Resort and more. Shag workshops and lessons were everywhere including OD Arcade, OD Beach and Golf Ballroom, Fat Harrolds, Ducks, Pirates Cove and Swillies.

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Moving the studio of 94.9 The Surf to a more central location adjacent to  the OD Beach Club in the hotel has further enhanced the music scene, particularly on huge ten plus day events like SOS. Event features, interviews, new music previews, remote broadcasts etc. are much easier to integrate into the overall schedule. The station can better report events and activities real time as they are happening all around them.  Walking down Main during an afternoon of SOS, things come alive at the various venues as merchant wares and the music seem to spill out onto the sidewalk. Folks easing along have escaped their everyday lives if only for a short space in time, to have some real fun and relaxation! Did you stay out until Four O'Clock In The Morning, as says Clifford and Big Time Party Band?

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One of the most unique and timeless locations to me at North Myrtle Beach

has to be H. Lee Brown's Pavilion and Sunset Grill. I spent the better part of one afternoon during SOS there, just sitting, observing and reflecting on days gone by. You can close your eyes and step across the threshold that takes you right back to the '50's and '60's, very reminiscent of what Ocean Drive once was – from the cool ocean breeze blowing through the open windows and walls to the simple wooden dance floor to the buzz of the pinball machines and the smell of classic hamburgers and hotdogs cooking, it is almost as if time stood still.  The music is just vintage jukebox jewels from I Need A Girl by Big Joe Turner and Smooth Slow and Easy by The Drivers to Somebody Touched Me by Ruth Brown and Give Me You by The Dominoes. Folks both young and old walking through on the way to the beach, stopping in to get a quick bite, or spending countless hours listening and dancing to the music while consuming their favorite beverages. Here's hoping this is one place that lasts until the end of time!

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As I stated in the last month's column, the new music was to be abundant at SOS and it was certainly true. I won't attempt to duplicate what my good friend and fellow columnist Mike Little does with new CD reviews in Have You Heard. I will instead talk about just some of the new songs that have potential for star quality from my perspective.

 

Go Home – Judy picked a real good 'un for Carolina Shag IV from Klass Band Brotherhood's Out Of The Shadows Of Soul album. Nelson Curry and the group are from Augusta, have made some major strides in both Southern Soul and Beach over the last two years and will continue to do so. Look for even more new music from this group very soon!

 

She Ain't Worth A Dime – Already charting, this excellent tune with Big Joe Maher singing lead is part of the 4 Jacks contingent that also has a recent hot song with Bobcat Woman.

 

My Baby's Song – Shohn Marshall gave me a copy of this killer track at  2011 CBMA weekend, it is certainly worth a re-release on Carolina Shag IV. Shohn has provided us with some great tunes in the past both as Admiral Ice (My Carolina Girl, I'm So Glad It's Summer) and under his own name (Who's Dancin' With My Baby, Shagging Everyday).

 

 Come On Home, Can I Get It – Two strong Soul/Blues tunes on Carolina Shag IV, the first as sung by veteran diva Barbara Carr, the second from Johnny Rawls, both written by the very talented Rawls.

 

You Never Can Tell – Superb effort from the relatively new Lakeside Drive Band, this one is charting and definitely hot on all fronts.

 

Call Me – Great arrangement and remake on Carolina Shag IV of this 1988 Southern Soul Mosley and Johnson hit by a new group on the Beach scene, KB and The Shifters. Another really good choice by Sisbro.

 

Back In The Day Cafe – the title track from the latest KHP compilation, great follow-up to One Night Stand in the Beach market for Southern Soul artist Andre' Lee. Songs from this genre generally break out later in Beach music (ex: The Bop, Who's Rockin' You), this tune was actually released in May 2012 and first hit our Southern Soul Smokin' Top 45 in July last year.

 

Hey Eugene – perfect timing and another strong effort for Sea Cruz as a follow-up to last year's smash it Think It Over, which has since been recorded and released as a duet by Theodis Ealey with Lacee and is moving up the Southern Soul charts.

 

Have A Real Good Time – killer tune from the Tim Clark Band, advance release already charting, definitely one of the best songs that I have heard in the Beach genre over the last several months.

 

Stop Me Before I Love Again – great rendition of this tune from the Castaways, Karen Clayton certainly possesses the brassy vocal power to carry a song like this to charting status.

 

You Should Know By Now – Sir Jonathan Burton continues his hot streak in both Southern Soul and in Beach music. I thought this awesome track was going to be on his last album, In The Zone – Southern Soul Style Volume 1, but it evidently was not ready in time.

 

It's No Use – from North Tower, more often than not, Doug Manning creations become hits, this killer is a funky horn laden hard driving jam

in the vein of Tower of Power.

 

I'm Back – The late Billy Scott's last single was finally officially released here. Thankfully it got enough DJ circulation to hit the charts several months ago. Our full court press here at Beach Buzz to get it recognized began in our July 2012 edition. Thanks to KHP for dedicating their latest compilation to Billy.

 

Let It Be Me – see Roy Roberts discussion below.

 

Hit & Run – what a great arrangement of  David Brinston's first hit in both Beach and Southern Soul – it can be found on Gary Lowder's Soul Therapy CD. Gary has a knack for putting his own signature style on previously recorded tunes. Also really like his version on the CD of A Real Good Feeling.

 

I've Got Mexico  a variety of music styles from Frankie Walters, John Hodges and the guys of Goldrush Band on Those Golden Days....Are Here Again!, a representation of their many years of recording and performing. The twelve tracks includes Sugar Darlin', one of the last tunes recorded by the late great Bobby Smith, who was John's cousin.

 

That's The Truth – my favorite on Chicken Bone Alley, the new CD from King Tyrone and the Graveyard Ramblers, love the 80 MPH groove on this one. The Driver was the advance track from the album that was distributed to the DJ's.

 

Forever More – from the new Rickie Fox Soul Survivor CD, this one would have been a jukebox Beach hit in the mid '70's, right in keeping with  songs like You Keep Telling Me Yes and If I Had To Do It All Over. The leadoff track, Judy Judy Judy, is making currently making some noise as well.

 

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Veteran singer Roy Roberts has always been very proficient in mastering duets and/or collaborations with other artists. The latest example is the outstanding release of the aforementioned Let It Be Me on the new Back In The Day Cafe compilation together with Sherry Norris. The vocal harmony between the two artists just soars on their adaptation of this classic tune.

This goes back several years to Roy teaming up with Little Royal on I've Been Makin' Love and  Priscilla Price on We Always Work It On Out on his 1999 Deeper Shade Of Blue album. More recent occurrences are collaborations with Johnny Rawls and Barbara Carr on Three Pair including Don't Let Our Love Slip Away, How Long, Reach Out, and Shaggin' Down In Carolina. Another great one not on this album is the soulful duet with Barbara doing It's Only You. Have you heard Three Old Blues Men with Roy, Floyd Miles and Chick Willis?

Originally from Tennessee, Roy's years of living in Greensboro has produced a ton of good music, all the way back to the early days of his single recordings on independent labels like Boro, House of Big Brother, House of Roton, Linco and Tina. A huge favorite abroad, Roy's success locally continues to grow with each outstanding release!

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A song that has stood the test of time is the Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller composed Ruby Baby. It was one of the first big hits for the Drifters, peaking at #10 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1956. Clyde McPhatter had left the group by this time – the vocals of Johnny Moore and Bill Pinkney can be heard on the recording. The success of the song surprised the writing team who had not envisioned it as hit material. Although certainly not necessarily intended, the tune as a representation of the R&B genre was a strong example that carried forward for many years to come.

Ruby Baby was later covered  by such notables as The Beatles, Dion, Bobby Darin, Del Shannon, Mitch Ryder, Gene Vincent, John Lennon,  Beach Boys, Brooklyn Bridge, Ronnie Hawkins, Bobby Vee, Roy Buchanan, Donald Fagen, Shakin' Stevens, Ronnie Dove and most recently by Aaron Neville on the January, 2013 release of his My True Story album.

From a Beach music charts perspective, the original Drifters version was #9 on the 1956 Top 40. Bill Pinkney's later rendition with his edition of the Drifters came in at #17 for 1998. This song is just another illustration of how the music of the '50's inspired and molded the works of future artists to this very day.

                                

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

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