You know I’m a beach music fan. I attended the 2012 Beach Music Awards weekend in North Myrtle Beach a couple weeks ago, and I thought I had bought a ticket to paradise.

I have to tell you this story first. A few Saturday mornings ago, I played golf with a couple of guys from New Jersey who own a place at Barefoot. I asked them if they were down for the beach music celebration and they said, “What’s beach music?” I said….”Have you ever heard of the Shag?” And they gave me a dumb look like…..   and said, “what da youse be talkin’ about?” I said forget it. We played golf and talked about other things.

I like North Myrtle Beach because it offers so much good oldies music played by some very talented bands. I know a lot of the band members since we grew up with the music in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I played all the songs going thru my DJ career 40 years ago and the majority of beach music fans look like tired worn out horses but they can still ‘run’. They show up and dance their feet off.

Once a year they hold the Carolinas Beach Music Awards to honor the people and music that keep it alive. On that Friday night, I arrived and there was a band playing at Spanish Galleon, Fat Harold’s, the Pirates Cove, Duck’s, and the OD Beach Club and Ballroom. The furthest one is 100 yards away. In 30 minutes you could see 5 bands playing great hits. It’s like a crackhead on cocaine going from one joint to the other trying to get another fix.

Beach music fans are a cult. They have a mission. It’s to enjoy themselves and their music. I’ve never seen so many people enjoy who they are with. You can see all these bands in 4 nights…every night. Jim Quick and Coastline, The Craig Woolard Band, The Band of Oz, The Fantasic Shakers, Sea Cruz, The Carolina Breakers, Steve Owens and the Summertime Band, North Tower, Hip Pocket Band, The Castaways, Donnie and Suan Trexler.

Sunday afternoon at 3pm, the crowd attended a sold out performance at the Alabama Theater and did a lot of tailgating in the parking lot. Larry Sprinkle of Charlotte emceed the awards, the music and the dancing. It was an almost 4 hour show. Some of the fans dressed in character. Take a look:

Eddie Floyd – one of the Soul men of the 1960’s – Craig Woolard on the right

Teaching the 10 years olds to SHAG

Allie, from Fayetteville, the lead singer with Sea Cruz

A Southern belle who likes to dress up

Most people haven’t learned this, but you should

O.D. Mafia. Ocean Drive is the Yellow Brick Road to the Wizard

Another Southern Belle who said she bought that dress at Goodwill for $5

Sea Cruz Band

Jim Quick and Coastline

People wear their ‘religion’

The Castaways at the Spanish Galleon

Thank you for turning this old Jersey boy into a real southern beach, R&B, and soul fan.

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