Here we are, three weeks into summer and come this July 11th we've got only one thing on our minds: free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven, right? Well, get ready to double down on your summer-fun pleasure index for this Wednesday July 11 marks the return of the annual Carolina Beach Music
live DJ spectacular at Amoeba Music
in San Francisco
from 6-9pm. DJ Flip-Flop Mode
and myself will be breaking off hit after hit of classic sunny oldies, boardwalk soul b-sides, and rhythm & blues shuffles what you can Shag
to (no, not that
kind of shag you cheeky monkey).
What is Carolina Beach Music?
Like other regional Oldies/Soul sub-genres, think Lowrider Oldies
or Northern Soul
, Carolina Beach Music (or just plain Beach Music if you're in
Carolina, nothin' could be finer) developed from various musical styles of the 40's, 50's, and 60's that became closely associated with a fancy, footwork-heavy style of dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag
(which, fun fact, is also the official state dance of both North and South Carolina).
Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, white youth in the Jim Crow South could not easily access the compelling music of primarily black R&B artists in their home towns and, in some communities, this remained in effect even after racial integration was implemented in the region. But the kids, as kids are always wont to do, found ways of flocking to the bars and band shells of the Carolina beaches where the shag was the fad and R&B ruled the jukeboxes and R&B artists sometimes performed live (see: Bo Diddley's Live Beach Party Album, recorded live in concert in July 1963 at the Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). Those college students and vacationing teenagers of Beach Music's early years went on to ween their young'uns and their young'uns young'uns on the The Tams, The Embers, The Drifters, The Tymes, The Platters, Ernie K-Doe, Bob & Earl, General Johnson & The Chairmen of the Board, and Major Lance just to name a few.
Quite often the most popular
Beach Music jams were discovered on the flip-side of a chart-topper and some of the original acts made famous by the Beach Music phenomenon maintain a popular following today having scored crucial Beach Music hits, besides b-sides, on through the 70's and 80's. With several radio stations in the Carolinas dedicated to broadcasting Beach Music and Beach Music only nowadays, if you find yourself rockin' your digital audio files north or south of the Carolina border this summer let me not be the first to declare: not only are you doing it wrong but you're dealing the season a disservice. And if you're rocking a hi-fi at home, take it from me: many of the best Beach Music gems can be exhumed from the bargain bin in Amoeba Music's extensive collection of 45s and it's worth puttin' in the time mining them out. Here's a hint: pretty much anything on the Ripete
label is legit Beach Music fare (even if they are all re-pressings, Ripete reissued a ton
of hard to find Beach Music platters for the greater good).
In other words: Beach Music is a guaranteed party, people! So get to fixin' this Wednesday, July 11, by hittin' up your local S'leven, secure your Slurps and come on up to Amoeba Music SF from 6-9pm for Hold Back The Night 2012: a proper Beach Music get down spun by two genuine Carolina Girls, I suwannee!