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Beach Buzz August 13

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What's Happening:  The Sixth Annual Williams Lake Dance Club Reunion is planned for August 17th at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center in Clinton, NC. Entertainment for the afternoon and evening includes The Ginger Thompson Band, The Imitations, The TFC Band, Legends of Beach and Angel Rissoff with more surprise guest artists in the works. Williams Lake, in it's heyday of the '60's, was host to dozens of Beach and R&B performing artists including The Tams, Embers, Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, Mary Wells, Monzas, O'Kaysions, Men Of  Distinction, Showmen, Bob Collins & The Fabulous Five, Gene Barbour & The Cavaliers, Catalinas, Al Williams & The Assembly Of Soul, Junior Walker & The All Stars, Drifters, Platters, Major Lance, Eddie Floyd, Coasters, Barbara Lewis, Billy Stewart, Jackie Wilson, Rufus Thomas and many more. More info on the Reunion is available at the following website:

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The interesting evolution of two regular Williams Lake bands based in the Carolinas and mentioned on the posters above: The Tassels, who quickly changed their name to The Mighty Tassels, were formed in 1962 and were out of Raleigh, NC. Original members included Sonny Coley, Hugh Durham, Jimmie Young, Charlie Pettis, Jimmy Bumgardner and Irvin Hicks (brother of current Band of Oz drummer David Hicks).  The band played across the Carolinas for several years before merging with two former members of South Carolina's Swingin' Medallions (Brent Fortson and Steve Caldwell) in late 1966 to become The Pieces Of Eight. The new group played together until the early '70's, albeit continuing to undergo personnel changes all the while. The Pieces Of Eight re-emerged in 2002, with several members who had played in the band in the '60's. The current group will be part of the great entertainment lineup at this year's Fun Sunday event for Fall SOS in North Myrtle Beach.

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What were some of the major hit songs that the artists coming to perform at Williams Lake brought with them during the heyday of the '60's? The Drifters, of course had national Top 10 hits with I Count The Tears, Under The Boardwalk, Up On The Roof and On Broadway. Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs had achieved a #3 ranking on Stay in the early part of the decade. May I, recorded later, became an even bigger Beach hit. With This Ring and I Love You 1000 Times climbed the Billboard charts for the Platters in 1966 and '67. Atlanta's Tams had scored big with What Kind Of Fool, making the Top 10 in 1964. Billy Stewart, recording on Chicago's famed Chess label, hit the Top 10 three times in the mid-'60's with Sitting In The Park, I Do Love You and Summertime.  Mary Wells at 21 years old,  made it to #1 with My Guy in 1964 only to leave Motown immediately afterward. Girl Watcher went to #5 nationally for Wilson, NC's O'Kaysions in 1968. The amazing Mr. Excitement, Jackie Wilson, landed forty-five songs on the Billboard charts during the decade of the '60's, including three #1's – A Woman A Lover A Friend, Baby Workout and (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher. The amazing Eddie Floyd hit #1 R&B in 1966 with Knock On Wood, #2 in 1968 with I've Never Found A Girl and #4 that same year with Bring It On Home To Me. All in all, the patrons of Williams Lake experienced some of best of the best of R&B, Beach and Soul music the decade of the '60's had to offer.

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The Roxboro Jaycees (with Brian Crews coordinating much of the activity) and Harris Beverages Inc. are hosting the Flem Whitt Beach Music Festival at Hyco Lake on August 10th. In it's 11th year, there is always a great entertainment lineup and features free Budweiser products once the price of admission is paid for those folks 21 or older!

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It's coming this month, one of the biggest events of 2013!! Once again Harriett Grady and the gang from Charleston are staging two solid days of top notch Beach and Shag music entertainment with their 8th Annual Festival on August 24th and 25th. All the pertinent information is on the flyer above – it promises to be the best one yet to date!

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Paul Craver Performing

Beach Bits: New Beach music tunes available to DJs for play rotation in advance of Fall SOS include: Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot Hold On, Lesa Hudson – Amazingly Amazing, Paul Craver – Pyramid, Fantastic Shakers featuring Doug Winstead – Falling For You (And I Can't Get Up), Holiday Band – Party On Main Street, Kathy Lynn – Party Town, Lakeside Drive Band – Hot Fun In The Summertime, Terri Gore – You Made A Believer Out Of Me,  Rhonda McDaniel – I Love You Babe, Castaways – Dreamin', Marsha Morgan Band – Lost Love, Martin Davis Band – Honky Tonk Woman with several of these are already starting to hit the various charts...........Vintage Roy C music rolls from I Should Have Shot The Man to Don't Blame The Man. Walt Luv has just sampled a little of both tunes in his new rendition of Don't Blame The Man which also features Roy in the vocals – it rocks!...........More new music in the works: The much anticipated forthcoming new KHP compilation will be titled Beach Music Treasures.......and.... there is a strong rumor that the first compilation in quite a while from the northern hinterland of Beach music, Forevermore Records of Henrietta, New York will happen very soon!! Chris Biehler's productions are always top notch........The Fantastic Shakers 35th Anniversary will be celebrated with the release of a three CD set within the next month, a combination of Shakers classics through the years as well as several new tunes in the mix.

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                       Jim Quick & Coastline at Sunset Beach, NC

 

The seaside locales of Brunswick County, North Carolina certainly do go

all out for their Beach music in the summertime. There are regularly scheduled concerts at several vacation spots featuring the best in band entertainment. The Ocean Isle Beach Series for 2013 occurs weekly on Friday evenings from May 24th through August 30th and has included The Entertainers, Craig Woolard Band, Holiday, Steve Owens & Summertime, Atlantic Groove, Legends of Beach and closes the season with Band of Oz. The Holden Beach Series is a weekly event on Sunday evenings from May 26th through September 1st and has featured such greats as The Breeze Band, Sea Cruz, Carolina Breakers, The Fabulous Daddy'Os, Rick Strickland Band and Tim Clark Band. This year's series opened and will close with a local favorite, The Imitations. Sunset Beach also has had a weekly Beach band every Wednesday between May 29th and August 28th with such stellar entertainment as The Fat Jack Band, The Mark Roberts Band, Jim Quick & Coastline, Hip Pocket  and Marsha Morgan Band. Their summer series will wrap up with The Fantastic Shakers.  Not to be outdone, the Brunswick County town of Shallotte scheduled a series of beach bands periodically on Thursdays throughout the summer from May 26th through August 29th featuring CWB, North Tower, Carolina Breakers, Oz and Coastline. To top it all off, some 'West Coast' Beach music will be featured on August 29th at the Odell Williamson Auditorium,  located at the county seat of Bolivia, with a special concert from The Beach Boys!

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Two groups somewhat outside the Beach music genre scoring big on the Smokin' Top 45 in recent months have been The 4 Jacks and The James Hunter Six. The 4 Jacks have had two hot songs on the charts, Bobcat Woman and She Ain't Worth A Dime, from their recent Deal With It album. This special alignment of  band members are not really strangers to the Beach music region – bluesmen Anson Funderburgh and Big Joe Maher have been there and done that before. Also, both Kevin McKendree and Steve Mackey have spent considerable time playing alongside Delbert McClinton, so they too have some familiarity with the Beach scene.

 

James Hunter brought his band all the way from the United Kingdom to perform at the 20th annual DJ Throwdown in 2011. He has been a favorite in Beach music over the last several years. The latest recorded effort is the first time out James and the group have been known as The James Hunter Six, which he credits the change to the long time loyalty of the band members – Lee Badau, Damian Hand, Jonathan Lee, Jason Wilson, Kyle Koehler and Andrew Kingslow. Minute By Minute is the first Hunter album to be recorded in the U.S. - the title track as well as Let The Monkey Ride have been the most popular tracks in Beach music circles.  

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One of the best known of all the Beach music hits over the years has to be Ms. Grace by The Tymes. What is not as well known, however, is that this veteran group's best recording days were pretty much behind them, at least in the United States,  when this all time Beach classic was released on the RCA label in 1974. The Tymes were originally formed as The Latineers in Philadelphia in 1956 -  the initial members were Donald Banks, Albert Berry, Norman Burnett and George Hilliard. Vocalist George Williams was added in 1960 when the group name was officially changed to The Tymes. Their style in the early years was pretty much the norm for the time – smooth Doo-Wop blended with R&B harmony. This would later change to more of an upbeat Soul/Pop sound as the '60's became the '70's.

 

Signed to the Cameo-Parkway label, The Tymes biggest U.S. hit was actually their first – So Much In Love went to #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1963. Twelve more singles would make the Billboard charts over the next fourteen years, but none would match the climb of their initial outing. The Tymes did enjoy quite a measure of success in the United Kingdom, and were wowed in 1975 when Ms. Grace made it to #1 on the U.K. Singles chart. The group underwent personnel changes along the way – Berry and Hilliard left the group in the early '70's, replaced by female vocalists Terri Gonzales and Melanie Moore.  There were also several more great tunes in The Tymes mix from a Beach music perspective including People, Wonderful Wonderful, The Love That You're Looking For and  You Little Trustmaker as well as some lesser known killers like This Time It's Love, God's Gonna Punish You, It's Cool and Here She Comes. The overall talent of The Tymes was fittingly recognized in 2005 by their induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

 

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