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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Beach Music

Posted May 22, 2007 9:01 a.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2007 9:39 a.m. EDT

What song best defines Beach Music? That's the question of the day as Governor Easley and thousands of others celebrate Beach Music Day in North Carolina.

I love all sorts of music. Growing up in Morganton, Beach Music was huge. I remember dances at the rec center with groups like Harry Deal and the Galaxies covering songs recorded by the Drifters, the Platters and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. I recall going to Hickory to see the Tams, the Embers and the Castaways.

I also remember recording music with my group The Cyntriks at Charlotte's Arthur Smith Studios where Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs taped "Stay" and where the Swingin' Medallions laid down tracks for their hit "Double Shot of My Baby's Love."

When I worked as a newsman at WKIX Radio Steve Roddy and the late Dale Van Horn put together a wonderful series on the history of Beach Music which became popular after World War II in the Carolinas. We called it "soul music." Some folks called it rhythm and blues. It's popularity continues today.

Please share your stories as we get some sand in our shoes and go shagging today.