Up and down the Atlantic Coast from Virginia to Florida, when you hear someone refer to beach music, they're not referring to Jan & Dean or The Beach Boys. There in the land of the dance known as The Shag, swinging R&B and buoyant soul are what … see full wiki
Although I have never visited Myrtle Beach or any other beach in the Carolinas for that matter, I have become quite curious about a genre of music known as "Beach Music". In fact, I had never even heard of it until about 10 or 12 years ago. No folks, this Beach Music is not Jan and Dean or the Beach Boys sound. This music emerged after World War II. It began with rhythm and blues and jump blues and evolved over the years. It was really a local phenonmenon in the Carolinas and Virginia region. To learn more about this interesting genre, I suggest you go to beachshag.com where you will find a wealth of information on the subject.
While by no means complete, the terrific 2003 single CD release "25 Beach Music Classics" from Varese Sarabande offers up 25 of the best tunes from the past 50 years. You'll hear the great R&B sounds of The Dominoes "Sixty Minute Man" and Hank Ballard and the Midnighters "Work With Me Annie". Beach music reached the height of its popularity in the 1960's and there is a large representation of tunes from that decade on this disc. Enjoy again classics like "Cool Jerk" by the Capitols, "Hello Stranger" by Barbara Lewis and the rousing party tune "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by the Swingin' Medallions. Credit engineer Steve Massie for a terrific mastering job on this disc. And there are a few nice surprises on the disc as well. If you have never heard the music of the Embers, you are in for a real treat. The opening track, "I Love Beach Music" appears to be the national anthem of Beach Music. There are a couple of other tunes on this disc that I did not previously own that are surprisingly good. "Come To Me Softly" by Jimmy James and the Vagabonds would remind you very much of a Gerry and the Pacemakers tune. I was particularly impressed by a 1987 tune from O.C. Smith called "Brenda". It really makes me wonder why we did not hear more of this wonderful voice after "Little Green Apples" in 1968.
I had given some consideration to purchasing the 2 CD set "I Love Beach Music" from South Carolina's Ripete Records. But the price tag scared me off. I thought "25 Beach Music Classics" was the better bargain. I stopped short of a +5 rating because while the Varese did a respectable job on the 8 page booklet, I would have preferred to see a bit more about the history of Beach Music. But all in all, this is one terrific buy. Highly Recommended!