Have You Heard? Spring 2013

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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.

Have You Heard...


Mike Little


Have you heard that Leon Daniels passed away this past year?  He was 72.  He is the one who gave us the hit from SOS past, Corrina Corrina, along with Have Mercy Baby.  He was also the founding member of The El Venos back in 1955, the group that brought us All That Wine Is Gone and Beyond The Sea.  Jeffrey Ingersoll of Bonedog Records has recently released an album by Leon that features some of his previously recorded songs, as well as some that have never been released before.  Nothing Takes The Place Of You even carries the hard-to-find classic from The El Venos, All That Wine Is Gone.  I say it is hard to find, but the song can be found on David Wade's Shanty Records' Fessa Hook's Fish Fry Volume 1.  Of the songs on the album that would appeal to the shag world, several of them have been previously released on several Bonedog compilations.  It Went Down Easy and Send For Me appeared on Bonedog's Beach Bash, Volume 1.  Mark It Down, High Blood Pressure and Endlessly were recorded on Bonedog's Beach Bash Volume 2.  All of these songs are good and are worth the price of the new release.  You will want to pay close attention to Don't Get Excited.  This one will also excite the dancers.  Don't overlook What A Party.  To my knowledge, this song has been previously unrecorded, and it is a good one.  Nothing Takes The Place Of  You should be relatively easy to find, and I'm sure that Judy's House of Oldies carries it.  If not, I do know that the album is easy to find on the Internet.     


Sis-Bro Records hopes to have the new compilation, Carolina Shag 4, ready and waiting for the Spring Safari in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Judy's House of Oldies on Main Street, the official home of Sis-Bro Records, hopes to have them in stock for the 10-day dance and music festival.  The album features The Craig Woolard  Band with a brand new song, The Walk.  This is destined to be yet another hit for CWB.  The 4 Jacks hit it with a bang during Deejay Throwdown with Anson Funderburgh & Friends belting out new songs from the album with Big Joe Maher on the drums singing lead for the new songs.  One of the hottest songs from The 4 Jacks' new album is She Ain't Worth A Dime with Big Joe on the lead vocals.  This popular song is a part of Carolina Shag 4.  The compilation also welcomes two newcomers as part of the Sis-Bro family, KB & The Shifters and Michael Wayne Avery.  KB & The Shifters come on strong with a remake of the Mosely & Johnson song, Call Me.  Look for this one to enter the charts in short order.  KB stands for Karen Boyd.  She and her husband, Parks, joined with band manager, Bobby Beard who plays sax, to form the band with some very talented musicians.  Robert Earl Dilday, last member of the 1973 Shifters, plays drums.  Talented Rock Hill singer and musician Michael Wayne Avery, brings out a fresh sound with Candy's Coming Back To Town.  Avery is not only a talented vocalist and guitar player, he also plays the banjo, mandolin, dolbro, bass guitar and piano.  The album will also carry new songs from Hip Pocket, Michael Beard and Lakeside Drive Band.  Lakeside Drive hit it big with their hit song, Candy Girl.  Make sure you go by Judy's and ask about Carolina Shag 4.


Speaking of The 4 Jacks, the foursome has their new album out called Deal With It.  Th 4 Jacks are comprised of Anson Funderburgh, Big Joe Maher, Kevin McKendree and Steve Mackey.  Anson Funderburgh heads his own band Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets.  The Texas guitar player and bandleader incorporates his own style of Chicago Blues and Texas Blues.  We best know him from his hits such as I'm Tired Of Your Jive, with the late Sam Meyers on the lead vocals.  Big Joe Maher  is best known to us through his music from his band, Big Joe & The Dynaflows with hits such as Laying In The Alley and Ham Hocks.  Kevin McKendree handles the piano and the B-3 for the band.  Kevin is best known to our world as long-time band leader for Delbert McClinton's band.  Last and not least comes Steve Mackey on bass.  Steve is one of Nashville's first call session players and has recorded and toured with some of the very best.  Deal With It also carries the song, She Ain't Worth A Dime, which is a part of Sis-Bro Records new compilation, Carolina Shag 4.  In addition, the album contains Bobcat Woman, which was also frequently heard during Deejay Throwdown.  Deal With It comes from EllerSoul Records.


Have you heard that Steve Craig has split from The Out Of Towners Band?  He now heads  Steve Craig and The Out Of Towners Band.  The new group features Steve on lead vocals, Tony Baker on keyboards and vocals and Bob Spencer on keyboards, saxophone and vocals.  The trio produced the group's debut release, On The Other Side Of Town, and the latter two engineered the album.  The title track is an original written by Steve Craig.  Steve also wrote Please Take Care Of You.  The song sounds an awful lot like Slow Boat To China, and should receive a lot of play time.  A few others you will want to pay attention to are Pa Courtin' Ma, originally sung by The Five Keys, and I Don't Know Why I Love You (Like I Do), the Clarence “Frogman” Henry classic.  For these two songs, Bobby Simmons guests on the keyboards.  Bobby is keyboardist for Shag Attack and previously operated the keyboards for The Rickey Godfrey Band.  Another tune that really caught my attention was the ballad, If I Were You.  I have heard Steve sing this live, and I am so glad he included it on the new album.  The song was originally recorded by Sonny Turner, former lead singer of the second wave of The Platters.  Steve gives the tune new life.  On The Other Side Of Town by Steve Craig & The Out Of Towners Band can be found at your normal Beach Music outlets, or you can find it at Judy's House Of Oldies. 


The Fabulous Thunderbirds have given us many great songs over the years, including Can't Stop Rockin', Sofa Circuit , Why Get Up and Two Time My Lovin'.  Formed in 1974 by Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson, the band has featured many great artists that went on to pursue solo careers, including Duke Robillard, Kirk Fletcher and Nick Curran.  Jimmie left the band in the late eighties to play in a duo with his brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Following Stevie's death in 1990, Jimmie went on to pursue a solo career.  Kim Wilson now heads The Fabulous Thunderbirds and has released the group's latest on Severn Records' On The Verge.  The album features a number of  songs that will appeal to the Beach Music and shag crowd, headed by the song, Runnin' From The Blues.  The tune sounds typical of a good Beach Music tune, but only in the way that The Fabulous Thunderbirds can do it.  You will also want to take a listen to Lovin' Time, as well as Hold Me.  These are almost as good or equal to Runnin' From The Blues.  You will also want to pay attention to Diamonds Won't Kiss You Back.  This also has possibilities.  On The Verge by The Fabulous Thunderbirds from Severn Records!  Check it out!  By the way, speaking of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, did you know that in 2000 the Thunderbirds made history, becoming the first band ever to be broadcast on the Internet using high-definition cameras.  The companion DVD, Invitation Only, is one of the first high-resolution multi-track recordings of a live concert.  The CD of the concert was released the following year.


Another hot song during Throwdown was The James Hunter Six's new single, Minute By Minute, the title track from his new release from Fantasy Records.  The song has already entered's Top 45 and has been on Fessa John Hook's The Beach Music Top 40 for several weeks.  James Hunter has had numerous hits in the Beach Music arena and wowed the crowd at Deejay Throwdown several years ago, singing his hits such as Ain't Nothing You Can Do, People Gonna Talk, Kick It Around, Watch & Chain and Carina.  It hasn't been that long since Carina was on the charts.  Minute By Minute is not a one hit album.  The release has over a half dozen songs that could be played at any time any where.  Let The Monkey Ride debuted on The Beach Music Top 40 chart not too long ago.  Another song from the album that will jump into the charts before the album plays out is So They Say.  You'll also want to take note of Drop On Me, Heartbreak and If I Only Knew.  You'll also find interest in Chicken Switch.  Hailing from Colchester, Essex, England, James Hunter's musical career began in 1986, later forming his own band.  James' soulful style caught the attention of Van Morrison, who appeared on his first album.  His 2006 breakthrough album, People Gonna Talk, earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album nomination.  Look for Minute By Minute to do even better.


William Royce Scaggs, a native of Canton, Ohio, moved with his family to Plano, Texas, just north of Dallas.  While attending a Dallas private school, a schoolmate gave him the nickname, “Bosley”, later shorted to “Boz”.  After learning the guitar at the age of 12, Boz Scaggs met Steve Miller, who was also attending the same school.  He became the vocalist for Steve Miller's band.  The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison together.  Leaving school, Boz joined the Rhythm & Blues scene in London, recording his solo debut album.  He later returning to the States, linking up with Steve Miller again and appearing on the Steve Miller's Band's first two albums.  After being spotted by the Rolling Stone publisher, he was given a solo contract with Atlantic Records, recording his second album.  Over the years, Boz Scaggs has recorded numerous albums, giving us hits such as Lowdown and Miss Sun.  In 1997, he released the album, Sick And Tired, the title track swarming the beach scene and ending up on the Rhythm & Beach charts at #4.  Boz Scaggs is back with us again, releasing Memphis on the 429 Records label.  When first hearing Gone Baby Gone, you may not realize what a great song this is.  But after the deejays get a hold of it and pitch it, you will probably see it in the charts very soon.  This is absolutely a great song.  Another song on the album that has potential is Dry Spell.  The Bluesy number features Keb' Mo' on the slide and Charlie Musselwhite on the harmonica.  The album was recorded and mixed at Royal Recording Studios in Memphis, thus the name of the album, Memphis.  The Royal Strings are used in the recording, as is The Royal Horns.  The Royal Horns features Ben Cauley on trumpet.  Ben was a founding member of the band, The Bar-Kays, who gave us the hit, Soul Finger.  Ben is the sole surviving member of the 1967 plane crash that killed Otis Redding and four members of The Bar-Kays.  Memphis is full of some good music.  Be sure and check this one out.


Ms. Jody's still strokin'.  Her hit song, Still Strokin', is high on the charts, in fact, #1, jumping on them when the song was first released on a compilation.  The number is a great followup for her smash hit, The Bop, which still maintains a high position of the beachmusic45 chart and has been on the charts for three years now.  It hasn't been that long ago that the song, Get Drunk Party, was released.  The number is a favorite around the coastal areas of the Carolinas.  Still Strokin' carries the followup to the song, called Another Get Drunk Party.  Same tune!  Different wording!  This number should also be a Beach Music favorite around the coastal areas.  Two other songs are on the album that should spark your interest, Dance Party and Where Can I Find A Good Man.  Ecko Records has another hit album with Ms. Jody's Still Strokin'.  Ms. Jody was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Bay Springs, Mississippi.  She started singing at a very young age, but had never been to a Blues show until her brother took her to see Denise LaSalle and O.B. Buchana in concert on Fathers Day in 2004.  In 2006, she made a visit to Ecko Records in Memphis, shortly thereafter joining the staff and recording her first album.  Ms. Jody has made quite a name for herself in a very short period of time.  With the success she has received, she will no doubt be around for a long time.


Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Otis Grand has spent much of his life in the United States.  He played with local Blues musicians in Oakland, California and made contacts that would later prove useful, including Joe Louis Walker, who produced Otis' debut album.  Playing the guitar since the age of 13, his music career spans over 25 years, playing a major role in the evolution of the modern Blues scene in Britain.  Otis arrived on the scene and formed his 10-piece Rhythm & Blues band and firmly established his act and style of Blues in England, quickly becoming a firm favorite throughout Europe.  Known as the “Gentile Giant of the Blues”, he now resides in Croydon, England.  Over the years, Otis has given us numerous songs, including his hit, Real Gone Lover.  He has recorded with a number of people over the years, including the Grand Union album with Anson Funderburgh and Debbie Davies.  His new release, Blues '65 from Maingate Records, is already plowing ahead for popularity.  The single, The Shag Shuffle, is receiving a lot of play across the Carolinas.  This is one of the best instrumental songs that we have heard in years.  Great dance tune!  There are a couple of songs on the album that have that 50's sound with great modern day instrumentation.  In Your Backyard and Baby Please Don't Tease should be getting a lot of club play in  the very near future, especially during the Spring Safari.  Otis provides the vocals on both of these.  For slow songs, you have Please Don't Leave.  This one sounds as if it came straight out of the sixties.  Blues '65 has something for everyone.  There are even some Jump Blues songs for the West Coast swingers.  Otis Grand is a great artist, and Blues '65 proves it.