Inside The Music with Craig Fleming
Well it has been a minute since I appeared on the pages of this website! After creating the site nearly fifteen years ago and running it for almost eight years, I decided to step away circa 2012 or 2013 (I can't remember the exact date! LOL) and turn the website over to the capable team of Pat and Robin Patterson. Pat and Robin have done a tremendous job with the website, including a recent update of the site that just looks outstanding!
With that being said, I am making my return to the website to assist my great friends and will be providing various content which will probably vary from month to month. My main focus will be providing information on new music being released into the market, but I don't want to lock myself into a particular category of information. I simply want to provide content that is relevant and promotes this music we all love!
This first edition of Inside The Music is dedicated to the memory of three of my greatest supporters of this website: Neal "Soul Dog" Furr, Paul Craver, and Bobby Simmons. I know these dear friends of mine are grooving together in Beach Music heaven! I would love to be a part of that party!
In this first edition of Inside The Music, let's focus on some of the new music that has been released in 2021. In no particular order let's get to it:
Let's Go Round Again - Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot
Has there ever been a more appropriate name for a band than Gary Lowder's Smokin' Hot! Or a more appropriately titled album than "Soul On Fire"!! Gary Lowder has definitely been Smokin' Hot and his music is definitely on fire! Taking a look around the major Beach Music charts, Gary currently has FOUR songs receiving chart action! Now that is getting it done! Gary's current release, "Let's Go Round Again", is receiving major airplay and currently sits at #1 on Riptide Radio's Top 20, #3 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown, and #31 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40. Gary is one of the hardest working men in the industry. In addition to fronting his own band, Gary is also heavily involved with Tim Sidden at Sand City Production and recently appeared in a video from another artist that will be covered later in this article! Gary's music, including the 2020 Carolina Beach Music Awards Group Album of the Year "Soul On Fire"(which includes all of Gary's current hits) can be downloaded from Gary's website http://www.garylowdermusic.com You can also download Gary's latest solo CD "Just Believe" which just happens to be the 2020 CBMA Solo Album of the Year! Please keep giving us that SMOKIN HOT SOUL ON FIRE Gary!!
Just My Baby and Me - Chase Given
Chase Given grew up in Eastern North Carolina. At 6 years old, he formed a band with his brothers and called it "Boys Club". Chase's baby sister then joined the group and the band became "Boys Club and A Babe". The band toured throughout the East Coast from 1989 until 2005, During that time, the band had numerous releases including their last CD "Keepin' It Alive", which featured three hit singles! Since 2005, Chase has performed with a variety of bands including a stint with Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame members The Holiday Band. He formed Chase Given Band in 2009 and toured the U.S. East Coast. After performing on the East Coast, as well as California and the Pacific Northwest, Chase now resides in Salt Lake City, UT and performs regularly throughout UT, Idaho, Nevada, and California. Chase burst back onto the Beach Music scene last year with a killer release entitled "Let's Dance", which quite honestly should have received more chart action. The follow up "Just My Baby and Me" is already garnering chart action and currently sits at #9 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown! Can he crack The Smokin' 45? We shall see! For more information on Chase Given, visit http://www.chasegiven.com
Keep On Pushing Love - The Catalinas
Working On A Groovy Thing - The Catalinas
What can I say about The Catalinas that hasn't already been said? This legendary band is an icon in Beach Music history and in 2020 celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the band which began in 1957! Yes I said 1957! Unbelievable! The year is now 2021 and the group is strong as ever! Fresh off their #1 smash hit "Stranded" featuring Dwight Nichols on lead vocals, the band released two new singles on March 6th that feature two other band members on the lead mic! Keep On Pushing Love, featuring Barry Duke on the lead, is a take on the Al Green tune included on his 1995 release "Your Heart's In Good Hands". Working On A Groovy Thing, featuring the female lead voice of Angela Resignalo, is an absolute smokin' version of the Neil Sedaka penned tune originally recorded by Patti Drew and later covered by The 5th Dimension, which just happened to include at the time Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.! Both of these releases are already garnering chart action with "Keep On Pushing Love " at #29 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #35 on The Beach Music Top 40, and "Working on A Groovy Thing" hitting three charts: #21 on Eric Bowman, #29 on The Beach Music Top 40, and #25 on The Surf Countdown. You can download both of these tunes by visiting the store at http://www.thecatalinas.net and look for both of these tunes to be included on an upcoming new CD. Great job to all on these two new tunes!
All About You - Reverend Bubba D. Liverance
Reverend Bubba D. Liverance burst onto the Beach Music scene with his anthem "If You Can't Shag", well...you know the rest of the words! The song was featured on one of the many Beachmusic45 DJ samplers we released over the years. He followed that up with a string of hits which include "Mo Better", "A Night Like This", "Cool With Me", "Tender Moment", "Be My Sugar", and "Get Right". Reverend Bubba is still going strong in 2021 and just released his sixth album "Void Outlaw Dark Lion". I need to ask Bubba about the origin of this album title! The first song from the new release to receive chart attention is "All About You", which currently sits at #14 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown, #10 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40, and #17 on the Riptide Radio Top 20. There are several other tunes on Bubba's new release that could also receive chart action in the future including "Ti Ta Ti Ta Ti Ta Ta", "In My '64", "Don't Cry Cry Baby", "When You Groove", and "Good Time Girl". You will want to get your hands on a copy of "Void Outlaw Dark Lion" as it contains all of the things we have become accustomed to from Reverend Bubba: first class production, killer grooves, catchy lyrics, and top notch instrumentation including horns, organs, etc. All of the ingredients to produce great soul music! "Void Outlaw Dark Lion" will be available on I Tunes and other music platforms on April 1st, but if you want the deal of the century, go to Rev. Bubba D. Liverance & the Cornhole Prophets where you can get the new album, PLUS Bubba's five previous albums on a flash drive for only $13! Yes, that's not a misprint, only $13 for the new album plus the five previous albums! You will have it in the mail in just a few days and the Reverend will even include a hand written note thanking you for your purchase. Do what I did and take advantage of this deal today! Way to think outside of the box Rev. Bubba and keep delivering (pun intended) that soul music we all love so much! War Eagle!!
Senorita - Carolina Blue Dots
The Carolina Blue Dots received major chart action in 2020 with their tune "Shagging With My Baby" reaching #1 on The Beach Music Top 40. Their album "Those Summer Days", which features ten original songs written by band member W. Clay Lee, was nominated for the CBMA Group Album Of The Year. The chart action continues in 2021 for this group as they have two songs currently charting: "Coolin' Out" from the "Those Summer Days" album and "Senorita" from their forthcoming new release "Sand Dollar". "Senorita" currently sits at #8 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40 and #22 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown. For more information on this talented seven piece group from North Augusta, S.C. visit http://www.carolinabluedots.com where you will find their music available for download. Look forward to the release of the new album!
Stop Messing With My Man - Deb Browning
Deb Browning has been a fixture on the charts the last year as she had three songs that received major chart action: "Dancin'", "You're No Good" (duet with Gary Lowder) and "In My Dreams" all appeared on the major charts and finished among the top songs of 2020. Now Deb is back with her strongest effort to date "Stop Messing With My Man". This song wasted little time cracking the charts as it currently sits at #10 on Riptide Radio's Top 20 and #12 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown, Will this be enough to propel her into the Smokin' 45? We shall see on April 5th! Check out Deb's Facebook page to see the video release for this song which includes Gary Lowder and Keith Stone among others. There is also a video of Deb, along with Eric Bowman, talking about how this song came to fruition. Both videos are must see! Look for "Stop Messing With My Man to put a full frontal assault on all major charts in the coming weeks and months! All of Deb's hits are available for download on I Tunes, so make sure to add this future hit to your collection!
Dangling On A String - Six Piece Suits
It takes a lot of nerve to cover a Chairmen Of The Board classic, but the guys in Six Piece Suits have pulled it off! Their cover of "Dangling On A String" is receiving strong airplay across the Southeast and has already cracked several DJ charts; including Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown at #17 and John Hooks Beach Music Top 40 at #27! This party band is based out of Pensacola, Fla. and here is something you may not know about this band: it is fronted by Kyle Hooks, who just happens to be the nephew of our own Rev. Bubba D. Liverance! Look for this tune to continue to move up the charts over the coming months and land in The Smokin' 45 at some point. For more information on The Six Piece Suits, check out their Facebook page. Call your local DJ's and radio stations and request this great cover of the COB classic!
Have You Been Good - Terri Gore and Doyle Wood
The Original Carolina Girl Terri Gore teamed up with Doyle Wood last year to give us "Show Me", which received action across all major Beach Music charts. I personally thought it was one of Terri's best vocal performances in quite some time, but she steps it up even a notch further with her latest duet with Doyle entitled "Have You Been Good". This song has also been receiving major chart action and currently sits at #16 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #18 on Riptide Radio's Top 20. Both of these artists, in addition to their successful duets, have experienced numerous individual songs that have received major airplay across the Southeast, but when you put the two together, magic just seems to happen!! Will this be the month that "Have You Been Good" cracks the Smokin' 45? We shall see on April 5th! "Have You Been Good" is available for download on I Tunes and other music streaming platforms. Here's hoping for more collaboration from these two in the future!
Gonna Stop My Lookin' - Sylvia Johns Ritchie
Sylvia Johns Ritchie has experienced chart action over the last couple of years; both as a solo artist, as well as being a part of some successful duos! "Carolina Moon" topped several of the major Beach Music charts as did "Loving My Blues Away". Duets with Dan Thomas "Two More Bottles Of Wine", and Doyle Wood "Love Comes Knockin", also received major chart action and airplay across the Southeast. Now Sylvia is back with a solo effort entitled "Gonna Stop My Lookin" and it is already storming up most DJ charts, sitting at #10 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #16 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40. Look for this song to continue moving up all major Beach Music charts as we move into the summer months: Did you know these fun facts about Sylvia Johns Ritchie?
- While working in Cape Fear Studios with J.K. Loftin on her 2017 album "Some Girls Have It All" , after listening to the title track, J.K. said "if we change the beat on that, it could be a Beach Music smoothie". Sylvia didn't know what he meant. She thought a smoothie was a drink!! Thus, her introduction to Beach Music!
- She started writing songs in the 1970's and recorded her first album at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. How many artists can say that?
- She is the piano player at her church, Wrightsboro United Methodist Church in Wilmington, N.C. "Gonna Stop My Lookin" is available for download on I Tunes! Be sure to add it to your collection!
Take Me Back - Randy Clay Band
The Randy Clay Band received chart action last year with at least three songs making an appearance on the major Beach Music charts: "One More", "Living It Up (Since You Let Me Down}", and "Tip That Hat" all received airplay across the Southeast. Their 2021 release "Take Me Back" is in my opinion, their best release to date. This smooth groove has already cracked the charts as it is currently #7 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #16 on Riptide Radios Top 20! Next stop should be The Smokin' 45! For more information and to download Randy Clay's music visit http://www.randyclaymusic.com You can also download Randy's music on I Tunes. Keep churning out those great hits Randy!!
No Matter (Life Has Never Been Better) - Little John Thompson
Forevermore Music and Chris Biehler always provide the industry with top notch production, talent, and tunes! Working with some of the most talented artists in the country, Chris and his production team work their magic in the studio and they have certainly outdone themselves with the release of Little John Thompson's "No Matter (Life Has Never Been Better)! Of course Little John is the son of Beach Music legend Big John Thompson and has been involved with numerous Carolina Beach Music Bands, most recently being Hip Pocket. By teaming up with Forevermore Music, and releasing "No Matter (Life Has Never Been Better), Little John has set himself up for, in my opinion, a #1 smash as this song will be heading to the top of all of the Beach Music charts! It is that good!! With an infectious groove and back beat, this song just gets in your head and you can't get it out!! That's the idea right!! Look for this song to be a sure fire floor filler and put a full frontal assault on the charts as we move throughout the summer. It has already debuted on The Beach Music Top 40 at #28 and Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown at #26! Check Christopher Biehler's Facebook page and Forevermoremusic > Russell Thompkins Jr. | Jay Proctor | The Invictas | Jackie Gore | Terri Gore for availability of this fabulous tune from Little John Thompson! Chris is also working with Molly Askins Ford and Craig Woolard on some new releases and I'm sure they will be outstanding as well!
Buzz Me Baby - Marsha Morgan Band
Fresh off the charting success of "Bad Habit", Marsha Morgan gives us a great new song that is currently working it's way up the charts; breaking in to Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown at #30. Some things you may not know about Marsha: She started her career in the entertainment business 25 years ago performing in a variety of venues; but as is the case with many of our beach music artists, first came gospel! Born in Asheville, N.C. she began entertaining at the church at 4 years old with her gospel renditions! Marsha also performed in "We Are The World" with Michael Jackson at the direction of Quincy Jones which led to an appearance on the American Music Awards show in Los Angeles! (Not many people can claim that!) Check back here for more information on Marsha's song and see if she can crack the Smokin' 45 this month! Call your local DJ's and request this great new tune! For more information on Marsha Morgan visit http://www.marshamorganband.com
Words Can Break Your Heart - The Benningtones
In a Facebook post on February 25th, Todd Bennington of The Entertainers announced the release of The Benningtones "Words Can Break Your Heart". In the post Todd stated that "at 69 3/4 years young I have checked off one of my bucket list items. I actually recorded a song!". The song is a "shagged up" cover of a Don Henley, Stan Lynch, and Steuart Smith country song. The song was arranged and produced by none other than Rick Strickland and was recorded at Shearin Park Records. The song has received airplay across many platforms and is currently receiving chart action. The song is available for download on I Tunes and you can check out Todd's Facebook page for more information. Nice work on your first song Todd! Don't wait so long for the next one!
Things You Make Me Do - The Heaterz
The Heaterz (that's Heaterz with a z!) stormed on to the Beach Music scene with their smash hit "Dusk Til Dawn" which topped many DJ charts and still remains in The Smokin' 45. Their follow up, "Bloody Mary", also made a lot of noise on the charts, especially on the Riptide Radio Top 20 where it reached the Top 10. The Heaterz new release "Things You Make Me Do", is in a little different vein than their first two releases, but it is already garnering chart action as it sits at #24 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #36 on The Beach Music Top 40. Look for this song to continue to rise up the charts as we approach the summer months, especially with the group scheduled to make some appearances on the Grand Strand. We keep hearing that the Heaterz (that's Heaterz with a z!) are scheduled to appear at Deckerz (that's Deckerz with a z!) in the very near future! Can't wait for that show and I bet Ray Scott will have fun with that introduction! The Heaterz (that's Heaterz with a z!) at Deckerz (that's Deckerz with a z!).
When You Dance - Russell Henry
Russell Henry has his place in Beach Music lore secured as a member of Bill Pinckney's Original Drifters, who gave us too many Beach Music classics to list here! Russell continues to make his mark on the industry with several songs released into the market that give us that Drifters sound we all love so much! "True Love", "Drip Drop", and "You're So Fine" all received chart action last year. Russell's current release "When You Dance" has received airplay across the Southeast and is currently sitting at #1 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown. Here's hoping Russell continues to make his mark on the Beach Music industry for years to come!
I Wanna Go Back - Too Much Sylvia
2021 is Too Much Sylvia's 30th anniversary! In a press release on March 26th, in celebration of the bands 30th anniversary, Green Dot Records announced the release of the bands new song "I Wanna Go Back". The release states "Take me back to that place in time" is the opening lyric. Can you relate? I certainly can! "I Wanna Go Back" was written and produced by keyboardist Rick Lee (two-time CBMA Writer and Producer of The Year), features Steve Long (2020 CBMA Male Vocalist of The Year) on vocals, and was performed and recorded at Traffic Sound Studio by the same four guys that have been in the band since 2000. The recording and mix engineer was David Rhyne, who the band refers to as their "fifth Sylvia"! Too Much Sylvia has given us numerous hits over the years including FOUR that have been named Song Of The Year by The Carolina Beach Music Awards; most recently "Got The Rhythm" in 2018 and "We Ain't Leavin' Carolina" in 2019. "I Wanna Go Back" is already receiving major airplay across the Southeast and broke into the Riptide Radio Top 20 at #19 this week. I expect this song to gain strong momentum over the summer and be nominated for Too Much Sylvia's fifth CBMA Song Of The Year!! "I Wanna Go Back" is available for download on I Tunes. Do your music collection a favor and download it today!
Dream Come True - Rick Strickland Band
A song that dropped just as I was beginning to wrap up the article for this month was "Dream Come True" from Rick Strickland. I couldn't end this article without mentioning this outstanding effort from Rick. In a Facebook Live broadcast a few days ago, Rick and Lesa Hudson debuted the song for the Beach Music world and received so much positive feedback that Rick was overwhelmed by the response. He was actually nervous that people wouldn't like the song. Come on Rick! What's not to love about this song!! It has everything you want in a Beach Music hit!! During the Facebook Live broadcast Lesa revealed some amazing stats about Rick which included the fact that Rick has had 15 #1 hits throughout his amazing career! Now that's getting it done folks! Well Rick....make room for #16!! This song is receiving so much airplay and momentum right off the bat that it is destined for #1. Check I Tunes for future availability of this future #1 hit from Rick!
Sure'nuf Do - Tim Cashion
As most of you probably know, (but in case you didn't) Tim Cashion is the keyboard player and vocalist for Grand Funk Railroad. From time to time though, Tim likes to make a contribution to the Beach Music industry and I am so glad that he does, because when he does, Beach Music magic happens! Tim's last release "When We Are" was released on KHP Music's "Love Never Felt So Good" compilation and received major airplay and chart action across the market. Tim is probably best known though for his Beach Music anthem "Lovin' On Ocean Drive". In a Facebook post on March 31st Tim announced that he had recently discovered an old CD archive with a demo MP3 of a previously unreleased tune he wrote and recorded back around the "Lovin' On Ocean Drive" CD era (2004). Tim decided to add a few bells, sistar, etc. to the "demo mix" and you have Beach Music magic again, "Sure'nuf Do!". Look for this song to be a major summer hit and show up on all of the major Beach Music charts. "Sure'nuf Do" will be available on Spotify and I Tunes on April 5th. Be sure to add this outstanding effort by Tim to your collection. Keep giving us that Beach Music magic Tim!!
Cigarette Kisses - Feature Attraction Band
Just as I was about to wrap this article up for the month, The Feature Attraction Band dropped their latest release "Cigarette Kisses on Flip Flop Live Radio, which if you have not checked out Flip Flop LIVE - Everything Beach Music! - Home and Flip Flop Live Radio; you should!! The new single is an original tune written by FAB front man Gregg Browder and was recorded in 2020 at Cape Fear Studio in Wilmington, N.C. by J.K. Loftin. Fresh off of the charting success of "Call Me", looks like the FAB have another strong release on their hands! This song has a great shag beat, excellent production, and strong instrumentation: all the things we have become accustomed to from the FAB! Look for this song to start receiving chart action soon and receive strong airplay as we move across the summer months! This future hit will be available for download on all major music platforms, including I Tunes, in the next couple of weeks. Outstanding effort guys! Keep churning out those original tunes!!
Well that's it for this month! Sorry this article was so long but I wanted to include as many of the new songs as possible and every time I thought I was finished, more new music dropped! That is great for the industry though! I hope you have found this article helpful in your search for new music! Please support these artists by downloading and purchasing their music! It is what helps keep this music we love so much alive!
Artists, bands, promoters, record labels: If you would like your music included in future articles, please send your music and information to I can't say it if I can't play it!
Thanks so much for your past and continued support! Check back next month when we will once again go Inside The Music!
See ya at the beach!