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Carolina Beach Music fans will not want to miss this one!!

  • Dec 28, 2008
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 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!
Beach Music 1

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December 30, 2008
Once again you've introduced me to something new and very interesting. Wondering why it's called Carolina Beach Music - seems that there's SoCal influence and popularity at the same time? Is it a East/West Coast thing?
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on I never could … more
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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 they merrily groove to. The 25 classics in this anthology have reigned as genuine beach music favorites for decades.

Beach Music is uptempo, good-time pop-soul--in other words, it's party music. Appropriately, its name was received through its constant presence at parties on the Atlantic coast. The partiers christened these pop/rock and soul songs "Beach Music" because these were the records they played on the beach. Beach Music is high-energy pop and soul with a driving beat.

Beach music, also known as Carolina beach music, is a regional genre which developed from various musical styles of the forties, fifties and sixties. These styles ranged from big band swing instrumentals to the more raucous sounds of blues/jump blues, jazz, doo-wop, boogie, rhythm and blues, reggae, rockabilly and old-time rock and roll. Beach music is closely associated with the style of swing dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag, which is also the official state dance of both North Carolina and South Carolina. Recordings with a 4/4 "blues shuffle" rhythmic structure and moderate-to-fast tempo are the most popular music for the shag, and the vast majority of the music in this genre fits that description.

A majority of the recordings that ...

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Performer: Various
Release Date: June 3, 2003
Label: Varese Sarabande
Release Date: June 3, 2003

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